Christopher P. McCabe
The Development and Decline of Tar-Pamlico River Maritime Commerce and its Impact upon Regional Settlement Patterns.
(Under the direction of Dr. Wade G. Dudley) Department of History, April 2007.
From prehistoric times through the mid-twentieth century, inhabitants of the Tar-Pamlico River basin have utilized its numerous tributaries as corridors of transportation, communication, and trade. As natural, political, economic, and technological influences varied over time, maritime traffic generally increased or decreased accordingly, often affecting patterns of local settlement. The primary purpose of this study is to examine the historical function of maritime commerce on the Tar-Pamlico River, from inception through eventual decline, and to interpret the effects of its associated processes on human settlement in Beaufort, Pitt, and Edgecombe Counties. The chronological examination uses historical, demographical, archaeological, and statistical analyses to explore the perception that commercial maritime activity was the driving force behind community development on North Carolina's lower tar and upper Pamlico Rivers from Bath northwest to Tarboro.