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PlaceDescription
Cape Fearcommunity in central Harnett County near the N bank of Cape Fear River.
Cape Fearthe southernmost tip of Smith (Bald Head) Island, S Brunswick County, at the mouth of Cape Fear River in the Atlantic Ocean. Discovered by Verrazzano in 1524. Appears as Promontorium tremendum on the De Bry map, 1590, and as Cape of Feare on the Molyneuxmap, 1592. The name apparently originated in 1585 when the Tiger, en route to Roanoke Island, was nearly wrecked "on a breache called the Cape of Feare." John White had a similar experience and mentioned the name again in 1587. Spanish maps of the same period mark the point as Cabo de Trafalgar. At a later time, when it was desirable to attract colonists to the Carolina region, the name Cape Fair was substituted but not permanently accepted.
Cape Fear Riveris formed by the junction of Deep and Haw Rivers on the Chatham-Lee county line. It flows SE along the Chatham-Lee county line and through Harnett County, S through Cumberland County, SE through Bladen County, and along the Columbus-Pender, Brunswick-Pender, and Brunswick-New Hanover county lines into the Atlantic Ocean. It had a succession of names after it was first discovered by Europeans. Spanish explorers in 1526 named it Rio Jordan; a Barbadian colony in 1664 named it Charles River; and between 1664 and 1667, when Clarendon County existed in the area, it was known as Clarendon River. It appears as Clarendon River on the Ogilby map, 1671; as "C. Fear R. or Clarendon R." on the Gascoyne map, 1682; as Cape Fear River on the Barnwell map, 1722; as Clarendon River on the Moll map, 1729; and as Cape Fear River on the Moseley map, 1733, and thereafter on others.
Cape Fear Sectiona term applied to SE North Carolina along the Cape Fear River. Appears as Pine Plains on the Ogilby map, 1671.
Cape Fear TownshipN New Hanover County.
Cape Fear TownshipSE Chatham County.
Cape Fear Townshipformer township in E Lee County, now township no. 3.
Northeast Cape Fear Riverrises in NW Duplin County about 2 mi. S of Mount Olive; flows SE to form a part of the Duplin-Wayne county line; continues S through Duplin and Pender Counties; turns slightly W to form a part of the New Hanover-Pender county line; and flows S in New Hanover County, where it enters Cape Fear River at Wilmington. Appears as Northeast Fork and North East River on the Collet map, 1770.
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This content is from the North Carolina Gazetteer, edited by William S. Powell and Michael Hill. Copyright © 2010 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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