July 11, 1585, about sixty English explorers sailed across the Pamptico (Pamlico)
Sound in three small pinnaces from Wokocon (Ocracoke) to the mainland,
landing at Yesocking (Wysocking) Bay. The men walked from Wysocking Bay to
the lake that the Native American’s called “Paquippe”. This was
today’s Lake Mattamuskeet. Their walk to the lake shore was about five
miles, assuming they followed a natural creek that ran a crooked course
from the Wysocking Bay to the lake shore.
It would be more than 100 years before the lake would
be called “Mattamuskeet.” In 1585, the lake covered 120,000 acres,
about three times its current size, and averaged six to nine feet deep.
The Native Americans could paddle across the lake in their large dugout
canoes, some as large as 35 feet long.
John White was an artist sent by Sir Walter Raleigh
with the 1585 company of English explorers. There were about
200 English subjects in the company.
The undetermined fate of Sir Walter Raleigh’s
company ended English exploration of the land that would become eastern
North Carolina until the late 1600’s.
(Click artwork to enlarge)
Artwork from John White's paintings
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