From the Feb. 2016, Our State magazine by Eric Surber.
A LONG TIME AGO-- Native Americans cook barbecue in what is now Cirginia and northeastern North Carolina, using a pit and coals. Colonists contribute pigs from the Old World, and voila: North Carolina barbecue.
Colonist William Byrd says North Carolinians eat so much swine's flesh that "it fills them full of gross humours."
1733-- Believed to be the first time the word "barbecue" -- save one letter -- appears in print, when Benjamin Lynde Jr. of Salem, Massachusetts writes, "Fair and hot; Browne, Barbacue." (Massachusetts? Really?)
1766-- Gov. William Tryon of North Carolina, facing a discontented and overtaxed militia, tries to win back their loyalty with barbecued ox and barrels of beer. (The first pig pickin'?)
Not amused, the soldiers pour the beer on the ground and toss the uneaten ox into the Cape Fear River. (That is almost sacrilegious. What a waste of good 'cue and hops!!)
What Is Wrong With Our Militia. Eat and Drink First and Go After the Gov. Next. --RoadDog