Bath in Beaufort County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
First Post Road
to Charleston, over
which mail was first
carried regularly in
North Carolina, 1738-39,
passed near this spot.
Erected 1942 by Department of Conservation and Development. (Marker Number B-21.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Postal Mail and Philately marker series.
Location. 35° 28.543′ N, 76° 48.829′ W. Marker is in Bath, North Carolina, in Beaufort County. Marker is on South Main Street, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bath NC 27808, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Public Library (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Palmer - Marsh House (about 400 feet away); James Adams Floating Theatre (about 400 feet away); Alexander Stewart (about 600 feet away); John Garzia (about 600 feet away); St. Thomas Church (about 600 feet away); John F. Tompkins (about 600 feet away); Matthew Rowan (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Bath.
Regarding First Post Road. ††The first post road in North Carolina was constructed in 1738-1739, extending
†††A year later, in April 1739, the South Carolina Gazette recorded the establishment of a postal route from Charleston to “Georgetown, Cape Fear, Edenton, and so through the Northern Colonies” that would run on the 20th day of every month. In May 1739, the reported that the road running from Edenton to Charleston had been finished. The following month the paper noted that a continuous route was then in existence from Boston to Charleston.
†††The exact route of the road through North Carolina remains something of a mystery. However, it is known to have passed near or through the present-day towns of Corapeake, Edenton, Bath, New Bern, and Belgrade, and through Brunswick County before entering South Carolina. The route apparently fell into disrepair in the 1740s and 1750s. As the British colonies were drawn into the War of Jenkinsís Ear and the French and Indian War, colonial legislatures could scarcely afford to support the post road. Furthermore, oftentimes it was quicker and more efficient to simply mail letters by ship for delivery along the coastal trading routes.
†††In 1765, when William Tryon succeeded Arthur Dobbs as royal governor, North Carolina was the only colony that did not have an official post system, leaving a gap in communications between the northern colonies, South Carolina, and Georgia. Tryon attempted to ameliorate the situation by funding the rebuilding and maintenance of the route, but by 1774 the post road was only partially operable. That same year the first east-west postal route in North Carolina was established between Wilmington and Cross Creek. (North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources)
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
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Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 406 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.