Adriane Askins Neidinger

Archaeological and Historical Site Investigation/Thesis of the John's Island Wreck (EDS0001).

(Under the direction of Dr. Gordon P. Watts, Jr.) Department of History, September 2000.

For at least one hundred years residents of Edenton, North Carolina have claimed that Holy Heart of Jesus, a vessel that operated during the American Revolution, found its final resting place in Pembroke Creek near John's Island. In 1980, during East Carolina University's second underwater archaeology field school, the remains of a wooden sailing vessel dating from the eighteenth century were discovered by students in the area where local legend suggested the remains of Holy Heart of Jesus were located. The John's Island Wreck (EDS0001) was re-investigated in 1993 by students from East Carolina University's Program in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology and members of the Underwater Archaeology Unit of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History. While archaeological fieldwork concentrated on determining the age, function, construction techniques, and cultural affiliation of the site, an in-depth archival investigation of the history of Holy Heart of Jesus sought to determine if the John's Island Wreck (EDS0001) could represent the remains of that vessel. Several parallels between the John's Island Wreck (EDS0001) and Holy Heart of Jesus were drawn, but evidence was inconclusive; neither proving or eliminating the possibility of the wreck site and the vessel being one and the same.