From the 1770 "Plan of the Town & Port of Beaufort" by French surveyor and cartographer Claude Joseph Sauthier

Old Burying Ground, Beaufort NC - Time to remove this sign

Photograph courtesy Sara Whitford
     Both this sign in the Old Burying Ground, as well as the following statement on the Beaufort Historical Association's website and self-guided tour brochure are inaccurate; they read:  
     "A record from September 1711 notes the area had 'been depopulated by the late Indian War and Massacre.' It is probable some of the unmarked graves were victims of the Indian wars whose skulls were cleft with tomahawks of hostile Coree and Neusiok Indians." [Impossible - there were no settlers on Farnifold Green's 780-acre land patent until after 1713, when Green endorsed the acreage over to Robert Turner, who laid out the town.] Plus - the Tuscarora War, begun in September 1711, was fought in the area west of Bath and Edenton, along the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers, no where near the future site of Beaufort.
Area where the Tuscarora War was fought, beginning September 1711
 Moseley's 1733 Map noted "This part of the Country was formerly inhabited by Tuscarora Indians" (Click to enlarge.)
"About 1706, five years before the beginning of the Tuscarora War, the Coree had already begun to roam the coast from the New River of Onslow to Core Point and into their old homeland on the Pamlico south shore of 'Coree Tuck.'" (Al Pate)

According to historian William Powell, in September 1711, King Hancock's warriors, joined by other tribes, including the Coree, "launched an all-out attack on white settlements along the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers, including the town of Bath," and killed more than 140 men, women and children, and took many captive.

At the time, there were a few scattered settlers in the "Core Sound" area, along the rivers and banks, but there was no town on the unsettled acreage that would become Beaufort, then owned by Farnifiold Green, who lived north of the Neuse River

     "It’s unclear why the Beaufort Historical Association has opted to keep this sign posted in their graveyard, as they have been contacted regarding its inaccuracy. When asked for a clear resource or reference for why the sign is there, they simply referred to a local historian who had at one time said it was so.
     "Individuals involved in the archaeology programs both with East Carolina University and the State of North Carolina have been contacted in regards to this sign, but they have said they are unaware of any archaeological studies done in the Old Burying Ground that suggest any Tuscarora Indian attack in Beaufort during 1711." (Sara Whitford, Coastal Carolina Indian Center)


     Samuel Leffers (1736-1822) – Early schoolmaster who, with his wife Sarah, owned the Leffers Cottage, now on the Historic Site. They also lived in the Hammock House, Beaufort’s oldest house. Samuel wrote his own epitaph...
     According to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation 2012 Field Study, the Leffers Cottage on the Historic Site was built 2 or 3 decades after Leffers died. As noted below, Leffers built the Hammock House in 1800; not oldest house in town.
     Samuel Leffers (1736‒1822) was recruited as schoolmaster in 1764. Surveyor, merchant, and clerk of court, in 1795 he purchased the “White House” acreage and in 1800 built the "Hammock House." Years before his death he wrote his epitaph:
 Praises on tombstones are but idly spent,
A man’s good name is his best monument. 
     Pierre Henry (1812- 1877) – and Annie Henry (1816-1904) African Americans who were leaders in the education of emancipated slaves and their children at the Washburn Seminary. He was born free during the period of slavery. The school was one of many established in the South by the Congregational Churches of the North following the Civil War. It was adjacent to St. Stephen’s Congregational Church.
    Pierre Henry (1812‒1887) and Annie Henry (1816‒1904) were both born slaves. As with other emancipated blacks, their March 1843 marriage, "date of commencement of cohabitation," was recorded retroactively on August 11, 1866. After the Civil War, Pierre and Annie assisted at Washburn Seminary, perhaps with woodworking and sewing.     
    The 1870 Beaufort census recorded mulatto Pierre Henry as a laborer with real estate value of $500; neither he nor Ann could read or write. By the 1880 census, Pierre Henry was recorded as a "stevedore;" the census noted Pierre's father as being born in Bermuda.
     Pierre and Annie Henry's son, Pierre Henry Jr. (1852‒1935), married Julia A. Washington on July 3, 1878 in Manhattan. His New York obituary included: "Pierre Henry Dies At 83; First Negro Policeman in Boro. Mr. Henry was the only former slave to become a member of the New York Police Department. He was born in Beaufort, N.C. in the slave quarters of William C. Bell [southwest corner of Ann and Turner streets]. During the Civil War he served on the U.S.S. Forward as a powder boy. He settled in Brooklyn in 1873 and became a piano mover. He joined the police force in 1889 and retired in 1920. He died at United States Veterans' Hospital in the Bronx."
     Sara Gibbs (d.1792) & Jacob Shepard (d.1773) – Sarah was married to Jacob Shepard, a seaman. Jacob’s ship went to sea, but never returned. He was presumed dead. [Jacob returned home and died of smallpox.] Later, Sarah married Nathaniel Gibbs and had a child with him. After an absence of several years, the shipwrecked Jacob Shepard unexpectedly returned to Beaufort to find his married to another man. The two men agreed that Sarah would remain with Gibbs as long as she lived, but must spend eternity at the side of Jacob Shepard.
    Sarah Lewis Shepard Gibbs (abt.1740‒1792) & Jacob Shepard (1733‒1773) – After Jacob Shepard's death from smallpox in 1773, widow Sarah married Nathaniel Gibbs. After Sarah's death, Gibbs married Alice Easton. Gibbs died in 1806 and was buried in Washington, Beaufort County.
    Sarah Lewis and Jacob Shepard were parents of six children including Hannah Shepard (1758-1825) who married Charles Biddle 25 Nov 1778. Biddle wrote: “Mr. Jacob Shepard, the father of Miss Shepard, had been a respectable merchant of Newbern, and removed here on account of his health. Taking a voyage to Philadelphia, he was seized soon after his return with the smallpox. Notwithstanding he was much beloved by the people here, they dreaded the smallpox so much that they were afraid to go near the house, so that it was difficult for the family to procure the necessaries of life, and impossible to get any one out of the family to nurse him. Mr. Shepard died in a few days extremely regretted by all who knew him.” (During Biddle’s two years in Beaufort, he became a leader and helped built a small fort.) Widow Sarah was the second wife of Nathaniel Gibbs (1752-1806), who first married Mary Whitehurst; his third and last marriage was to Alice Easton (m. in 1795). Nathaniel Gibbs was buried in Washington, Beaufort County.