This small quaint seaport has roots back to April 7, 1730 when Isaac and Jonathan Green Sr. purchased from Ebenezer Harker "a certain plantation and track of land containing by estimation 441 acres situate lying and being in ye Carterett in ye county of province of aforsaid being ye west side of ye mouth off White Oak River." By 1771 Theophilus Weeks started a town on his plantation, laying out a plat and selling lots. Formerly known as Bogue, Week's Point, The Wharf and New Town, the town was officially designated by the North Carolina General Assembly on May 6, 1783. Above photo (from North Carolina State Archives) courtesy Jack Dudley, as included in Swansboro - A Pictorial Tribute

Early History by Lucy Greene - published in 1959

Carolina . Herman Moll .1729
Detail of Carolina . Moll . Showing "Weetock River"
Images were not included in this history.

 Early History by Lucy Greene

Founded in the early 1700's, it existed under the names of Week's Wharf, Bogue and for several years as New Town before it was named in honor of Samuel Swann, Speaker of the Colonial Assembly and official representative of Onslow in the Assembly.

Its honored citizen “was a surveyor by trade and a lawyer of surpassing ability and eloquence,” it is related. He was the editor of Swann's Revival or “Yellow Jacket” and a nephew of Edward Moseley and an uncle of John Ashe.

Although Swann lived in New Hanover County, he represented Onslow in the Assembly for 24 years (1738-1762) and for 22 years was speaker of the House. He is also reported to have been the first surveyor to have crossed the great Dismal Swamp while engaged in locating the dividing line between this state and Virginia.

In 1783, after his retirement, an act was passed by the Assembly of North Carolina officially changing the name of the community to “Swansboro” and at the same time a bill to establish a school there was also passed by that august body.

The White Oak River, on whose banks the community stands, has played a large role not only in the development of Swansboro, but also in the development of both Onslow and Carteret counties whose banks it washes.

It served as a highway of travel and transportation for 200 years before the coming of the railroad and highway transportation, although its entire length from its source in the center of the White Oak Pocosin in northern Onslow County to Bogue Inlet, where it makes its way to the Atlantic Ocean is a mere 50 miles.

Before the coming of the white settlers, Indian settlements were established on each side of the river and the wrath of Hurricane Hazel in 1954 bared the skeleton of one of these early Indian inhabitants on a bed of shells on an island in the White Oak, near Swansboro. Other evidence of their existence there is found in old deeds indicating they had permanent homes. Indian fields, Indian Creek in lower Jones County and Indian Camp Branch, a tributary of Starkey's Creek in Onslow County, are believed to have been part of their large settlement. At Cedar Point, on the east side of the river, are deep beds of shells where the Indians apparently opened oysters and clams for generations, perhaps for centuries. MORE...

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