This chapter focuses on Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian explorer in the service of the French king. Da Verrazano became the first European to view the southern tip of the Outer Banks. He painted a romantic picture of the tall sweeping grasses and majestic evergreens of Bogue Banks, the twenty-five-mile-long sandy island that teemed with dozens of species of exotic birds and sheltered tranquil Beaufort harbor from the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean. In 1585 Sir Richard Grenville, a captain in Sir Walter Raleigh's first English-sponsored colonization effort, became the first European to sail into Pamlico Sound and the mouth of the Neuse River, a few miles from present-day New Bern. Though Raleigh's colonization attempt ultimately failed, just over a century later Europeans began settling and developing the coastal areas that would become Craven and Carteret counties.
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