On 30 October 1629, King Charles I issued a grant to Sir Robert Heath, his attorney general, for all the land in North America between 31° and 36° north latitude. This land was designated Carolana, i.e. “land of Charles.” During the next 150 years, Carolana made sporadic and wandering appearances on maps. Continue reading
Cartographic historians and collectors of 18th Century maps of what is now Virginia and the Carolinas love “wow” maps, such as the Churton-Collet map of North Carolina and the Fry-Jefferson map of Virginia. A few maps, such as Carte de la Caroline Meridionale et Septentrionale et de la Virginie, receive no love at all and are essentially ignored. Why is that? Continue reading
Renowned British map dealer, scholar, and author Philip Burden made an exciting discovery at the Admiralty Library in Portsmouth, UK. Burden discovered four previously unrecorded small charts of locations on the east coast of North America, bound within an extremely rare small atlas by Philip Lea. Continue reading
Eighteenth Century South Carolina surveyor James Cook has been dead for over 200 years. Let’s make believe he’s still living and still surveying. What else would he be doing? He’d be suing several late 20th and early 21st century writers and publishers for libel. His case would be a slam dunk. Let’s examine the evidence of libel and then the facts. Continue reading
One noticeable feature on a select few Carolina coastal charts published during the last half of the 18th century is a row of trees along the Grand Strand, a section of coast now dominated by high rise hotels and condos. Who “planted” these trees? Daniel Dunbibin or Nicholas Pocock?
Have you seen the Land of Eden? No, it’s not in Mesopotamia. At least not William Byrd’s Eden. Byrd’s original Land of Eden was in North Carolina. Continue reading
John Mitchell’s monumental 1755 map of North America has a curious annotation in the North Carolina Piedmont. About 15 miles southwest of present-day Salisbury, one sees “283 M. Survey’d”. So what 283 miles were surveyed?
Conetoe: A small but wonderful community in eastern Edgecombe County, about 6 miles southeast of Tarboro.
First, let’s get the pronunciation correct; it’s cuh-NEAT-uh, according to the NC Gazetteer. Don’t even think about pronouncing it Cone Toe. Ok, I’ll confess, I can’t help but think “Cone Toe” when I see Conetoe. It sure would help if they would revert to the original spelling. What is the source of this town’s unusual name? Continue reading
A small map published in late 1795 holds a special place of distinction in North Carolina’s cartographic history. Occacock from Actual Survey. By I. Price 1795 was the very first map drawn, engraved, and printed in North Carolina.*
The old axiom, “good things come in small packages”, certainly holds true in maps. There are some miniature maps of Carolina that are adorable. Let’s take a look at a few maps of the Carolinas that measure no more than four inches. Continue reading
William Churton (1710 – c1767/8) was one of the pre-eminent surveyors in North Carolina during the 18th century. Unfortunately, very little is known about him. He was born in London on April 5, 1710. He was in North Carolina by 1749, but when he arrived is unknown. His professional career in North Carolina predominantly pertained to surveying tracts of land in the Granville District. At the time of his death (late 1767 or early 1768), William Churton had nearly completed a map of North Carolina. Circumstances of Churton’s death and the fate of his manuscript map remain mysteries to us. Continue reading