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
This post provides an updated cartobibliography for a Bellin map, Carte de la Caroline et Georgie, first published in 1757. William P. Cumming described two states of one plate (Cumming, Southeast in Early Maps, #311). Ashley Baynton-Williams lists one state each for two plates in his Carolina checklist (MapForum #95, #96). Both deserve partial credit. There are, in fact, maps from two separate plates, with one state of Plate 1, and two states of Plate 2.
Determining the origins of unusual place names found on early maps of Carolina is a fun, and perhaps nerdy, exercise. Some, such as Lockwood Folly, have interesting, and sometimes obscure, historical origins. Others, like Murder and Surveyor’s Ferry, have their origin in copying errors by cartographers and/or engravers. What about Reckoned, on the Catawba River at the current site of Fort Mill, SC? Continue reading
The Pocket Atlas Maps of North Carolina published by Mathew Carey, 1796-1820.
Mathew Carey published his first “Carey’s American Pocket Atlas” in 1796. The engraved plate for this map of North Carolina was used in later issues of Carey’s pocket atlas in 1801, 1802, 1805, 1806, and 1810. Updates to the plate appeared with the 1801 and 1805 editions of Carey’s pocket atlas. Continue reading