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Now with the area’s modern roads, bridges and ferry boats, visitors today could never imagine what the islands were like in the early days, but the history of the Outer Banks goes back to the first days when our country was new.
It was easy to become a pirate as one Stede Bonnet, a wealthy landowner turned pirate, found out.
History of the first Englishmen settlers arriving in America began when Sir Walter Raleigh, along with John White and 116 colonists, landed on Hattorask (Hatteras) Island on June 22, 1587.
They found the island low, unprotected, almost barren of trees — not suitable to establish a colony.
The route back to Spain passed close to the eastern coastline, and the small barrier islands offered great protection for pirate ships lying in wait for their next prize.
The waters were too shallow for heavy draft vessels to navigate, and the pirates’ lighter ships, usually a sloop or cutter, were relatively safe from the heavy British Man-O-Wars.