In 1695, smallpox, called "A great Mortality", devastated the Pamlico and neighboring Algonquian communities and reduced their populations. In 1701 the explorer John Lawson noted their Algonquian language and vocabulary (Lawson, 1860). By 1710 the Pamlico people were so limited that they lived in a single small village.
By 1709 the total North Carolina Algonquian population was down to some 600 from at least several thousand at the time of English encounter. The Tuscarora War, 1711-1713, claimed more fatalities among the Algonquian allies than of the Tuscarora. In the late stages, the Tuscarora turned on some of their allies. They likely incorporated some of the Pamlico as slaves. By the end of the century, only a handful of Algonkians remained. The Pamlico created distinctive dugout canoes, and traveled extensively. Pamlico artifacts have been found as far away as the North Atlantic.