Early Bogue Banks and the Borden Connection

Bogue - the word and the name:
  • In old Norman-French and Spanish, “bogue” signified a mouth; used in Spanish topography to describe a narrow channel or passage of water.
  • A bayou, stream or waterway; Choctaw creek, stream or river.
  • William Bogue settled in Perquimans Precinct, in the Albemarle of Carolina by 1689. Descendants Josiah and Mark Bogue were noted in Jones County in 1790, near Bogue Banks; much too late for the inlet to carry the Bogue name.
  • John Lawson’s 1709 map noted “Bogue Inlet”—most likely a name used by Indians who fished and hunted on the sand banks.
Bogue Inlet, Bogue Banks and Bogue Sound 
The Early Years
During his 1524 voyage, it is believed that Verrazano sent a man ashore on what would become known centuries later as Bogue Banks—an east-west barrier island, a few miles southwest of Beaufort Inlet. The Indians encountered were Coranine or Coree.

In his 2009 book, Bogue Banks - A Look Back, Jack Dudley wrote "Edward Moseley conveyed two tracts of land totaling 35,000 acres on Bogue Banks to Christopher Gale in 1717. In 1720 Louis Mitchell conveyed 2,500 acres to Christopher Gale. The Lords Proprietors also granted Gale 9461 acres. Gale, like many investors, was an absentee owner; his patent lapsed and the island was claimed by William Borden" [between 1732 and 1733.] 

A shipbuilder from Rhode Island, “…in 1732 William Borden disposed of his business and removed to North Carolina." 1 William Borden, Sr. settled his family on the west side of Harlowe Creek which flows into the north side of Newport River—known as the Mill Creek area—where they built a shipyard and sawmill. The first Quaker meeting in Carteret County was organized on August 1, 1733, at the home of William Borden.2 Borden quickly amassed wealth and became one of the largest landowners in Carteret County.
The original 1733 Edward Moseley Map, “A New and Correct Map of the Province of North Carolina,” included an inset titled “Port Beaufort or Topsail Inlet.” That inset noted the eastern tip of Bogue Banks as “Part of Burden’s Island.” 

The eastern tip of Bogue Banks was only a few miles south of Borden’s shipyard and sawmill at the mouth of the Newport River. 

Governor George Burrington described the nearby town of Beaufort, at this time, as one of “little success and scarce any inhabitants.”
BRICKELL MAP circa 1729

John Brickell’s 1737 book, A Natural History of North Carolina, included his “Map of North Carolina.” 

This map, most likely created after 1729 (noting of New Hanover Precinct formed in 1729), noted Bogue Inlet, Bogue Banks and Bogue Sound.

William Borden Sr. built his Beaufort home about 1768. He was able to view the east end of Bogue/Borden Banks from either of his two porches overlooking Taylor’s Creek.
1798 Survey hand-colored print, mounted on linen, by Jonathan Price; To David Stone and Peter Brown Esqrs. This First Actual Survey of the State of North Carolina Taken by the Subscribers is respectfully dedicated By their humble Servants Jona. Price, John Strother.3 On the west end of the island near Swansborough, this map noted Borden Banks, Bogue Inlet and Bogue Sound, as well as “Bill Borden” as owner of the acreage across the sound.

In 1799, William Borden Jr. inherited the “dwelling house and manor plantation” with all the old patent land and 800 acres to be laid out at Harlowe Creek. Borden Sr. left many acres of land on Borden Banks to be divided among his children and grandchildren.
1863 drawing from H.E. Valentine’s sketchbook
Caption notes “Borden Banks"
1Historical and Genealogical Record of the Descendants, as Far as is Known, of Richard and Joan Borden Who Settled in Portmouth, RI in 1638, published in 1899, Hattie Borden Weld 
2NC Highway Historical Marker Program essay; ID: C-35, CORE SOUND MEETING, Location: NC 101 southeast of Harlowe, Carteret County 
3 North Carolina State Archives