Pasquotank River

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East-facing photo of the river near dusk.
Pasquotank River from Mid-Atlantic Christian University campus

The Pasquotank River /ˈpæskwətæŋk/ (About this soundlisten) [1] is a coastal water-body in Northeastern North Carolina in the United States. Located between Camden and Pasquotank counties, the Pasquotank connects directly to the Albemarle Sound and is part of the Intracoastal Waterway via Elizabeth City.

Machelhe Island is a river island on the Pasquotank River.[2]


The name "Pasquotank" is derived from pashetanki, an Algonquian word translated as "where the current forks." The river gained importance in trade and shipping during the American colonial period.

The Battle of Elizabeth City was fought on the Pasquotank River where a small Confederate fleet was sunk in defense of the City. The Confederate ships sunk on the Pasquotank River in the battle were the CSS Black Warrior, CSS Fanny, CSS Sea Bird, and the CSS Appomattox.

Some principal industries along the Pasquotank were transport, logging, and oyster harvesting. Since the twentieth century, the commercial viability of the river has declined, as more traffic uses the Intracoastal Waterway by way of Coinjock. The river is now primarily frequented by pleasure boaters.


  1. ^ Talk Like A Tarheel, from the North Carolina Collection's website at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 2012-09-18.
  2. ^ Lacey, Theresa Jensen (1 October 2002). Amazing North Carolina. Thomas Nelson Inc. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-4185-3840-8.

North Carolina State Library. July 1997. “County History.” North Carolina Encyclopedia. [1] 18 Nov. 2000.

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Coordinates: 36°9′26″N 76°1′51″W / 36.15722°N 76.03083°W / 36.15722; -76.03083