Grifton in Pitt County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Erected 1961 by Archives and Highway Departments. (Marker Number F-3.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Exploration • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the North Carolina Division of Archives and History series list. A significant historical date for this entry is September 20, 1743.
Location. 35° 22.531′ N, 77° 26.324′ W. Marker is in Grifton, North Carolina, in Pitt County. Marker is on Highland Boulevard near Queen Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Grifton NC 28530, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Catechna (here, next to this marker); Blount Hall (approx. 1˝ miles away); Burney Place (approx. 4˝ miles away); Scuffleton Bridge (approx. 6.2 miles away); Washington's Southern Tour (approx. 6.6 miles away); Former Colleges Tower Hill (approx. 7.3 miles away); a different marker also named Washington's Southern Tour (approx. 8.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grifton.
Regarding John Lawson. John Lawson (1674-1711)—naturalist, adventurer, and author—was a key figure in early North Carolina history. A New Voyage to Carolina, the account of his travels across the Carolinas published in 1709, introduced much of Europe to the New World. Lawson served as Carolina’s first Surveyor General, and co-founded North Carolina’s two oldest towns. An ambassador to natives while promoting colonization, John Lawson was one of the earliest promoters of the Carolina territories.
Little is known of Lawson’s early life. Born in 1674 to a prominent family in Yorkshire, Lawson received primary and advanced educations in London. Trained in the natural sciences, Lawson sailed to Charles Town in 1700, intending to gather specimens for English collectors. Later that year, Lawson and nine others embarked on a 550-mile, 57-day journey through Carolina’s unexplored regions. He kept record of his travels, meticulously describing flora, fauna, topography, and inhabitants of areas explored.
European colonists encroached on Native American land as the colony of North Carolina grew; consequently tensions escalated between the two groups. In 1711, the Tuscarora, who controlled most of the land between the Neuse and Roanoke Rivers, began a war with the colonists. In September of that year, the Tuscarora captured and killed John Lawson, whom they believed was the governor. Lawson’s capture signaled the beginning of a three-day rampage that left at least 120 colonists dead in Bath and the surrounding countryside. Men, women and children were killed and their bodies mutilated throughout the region. Houses, stock, and barns were destroyed. (North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 1, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 12, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 767 times since then and 67 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 12, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.