Beaufort

/boh"feuhrt/, n.
a male given name.

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      colonial seaport town, seat of Carteret county, southeastern North Carolina, U.S. It lies opposite Morehead City on Beaufort Harbor (there bridged) and is linked to the Atlantic Ocean by Beaufort Inlet, which there, between Bogue and Shackleford banks, receives the Newport River. Laid out in 1715 on the site of a Native American village (Wareiock), it was incorporated in 1723 and named for Henry Somerset, 2nd duke of Beaufort (1684–1714). Many colonial houses remain along narrow oak-lined streets, and the town's Old Burying Ground has interesting colonial markers. Beaufort Harbor was the base of the pirate Blackbeard (Edward Teach) and his ship Queen Anne's Revenge. In 1862, during the American Civil War, the town was occupied by Union troops when they captured Fort Macon in Beaufort Inlet; a state park now preserves the site.

      Tourism is an economic mainstay. Fish meal is a leading product, and there is some boat building and lumber milling. The North Carolina Maritime Museum features exhibits on maritime history. Nearby are Cape Lookout National Seashore on the barrier islands to the east and Croatan National Forest to the northwest. Pop. (2000) 3,771; (2007 est.) 4,192.

      city, seat of Beaufort county, southern South Carolina, U.S. It is situated on Port Royal, one of the Sea Islands, and on the Intracoastal Waterway. Its harbour was first visited by Spaniards in 1521. Early settlement attempts in the area were made by French Huguenots (1562), the English (1670), and Scottish Covenanters (1684). A fort was built by the British in 1711, and the town, also founded that year, was named for Henry Somerset, 2nd duke of Beaufort (1684–1714).

      Beaufort was occupied by invading forces during the Revolutionary and American Civil wars. Between wars it thrived on a plantation economy, exporting indigo, rice, and cotton. An antebellum atmosphere with numerous colonial buildings and historic landmarks has been preserved; these include the Episcopal church (built in 1724 and later remodeled) and the arsenal (built c. 1798; now housing the Beaufort Museum).

      Shrimping, truck farming, cattle raising, light manufacturing, lumber milling, tourism, and the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot (on Parris Island, 5 miles [8 km] south) contribute to the city's economy. In 1959 the building that had housed Beaufort College (1795–1861) became the administrative centre of the newly organized Beaufort campus of the University of South Carolina (South Carolina, University of). The city is also the site of the Technical College of the Lowcountry, which traces its origin to the Mather School, founded in 1868. The Beaufort Water Festival is held each July. Inc. 1803. Pop. (1990) 9,576; (2000) 12,950.

      county, extreme southern South Carolina, U.S. It consists of a coastal region bordered to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean. The New (New River) and Coosawhatchie rivers define portions of its western boundaries, and the Combahee River constitutes its eastern boundary. The county comprises lowland plains and some 65 islands (part of the Sea Islands chain) separated from each other and from the mainland by bays, the St. Helena and Port Royal sounds, the Coosaw, Broad, and other rivers, and the Intracoastal Waterway. Some of the islands, including the sites of Hunting Island State Park and Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, persist in a relatively unspoiled state. Others, especially Hilton Head Island, are known for sandy beaches and mild temperatures and attract tourists throughout the year. A bridge connecting Hilton Head to the mainland was built in 1956. Beaufort county includes the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island and a nearby Marine air base. Many of the county's longtime African American residents speak the Sea Islands' unique Gullah dialect, compounded of African and English linguistic elements.

      Cusabo Indians inhabited the area when Spanish explorers arrived in the early 16th century. Following short-lived Huguenot and Scottish settlements, the first permanent European settlement was established by the English at Beaufort in 1711. Beaufort was established as a county in 1785 and named for Henry Somerset, 2nd duke of Beaufort, one of the colonial proprietors of Carolina. The English held Beaufort during the U.S. War of Independence (American Revolution) and sent gunboats to the region during the War of 1812 (1812, War of) but failed to attack. During the American Civil War, Union sailors made Hilton Head Island their base while they blockaded nearby ports.

      At the end of the 20th century, Beaufort county boasted one of the few unpolluted marine estuaries on the U.S. Atlantic coast, an important shellfishery. Though aircraft parts and aluminum products are manufactured, industry in general has not been encouraged. Local farms produce primarily vegetables and hogs, but agriculture is secondary to tourism and recreation in the economy. Hilton Head Island is the largest city, and Beaufort is the county seat. Area 587 square miles (1,520 square km). Pop. (2000) 120,937; (2007 est.) 147,316.

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Universalium. 2010.

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