What’s in a name? Conetoe, NC

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

Occacock from Actual Survey

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.*

Occacock from Actual Survey by Jonathan Price Continue reading

Miniature maps of 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

The mysteries of William Churton and his map of North Carolina

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

Re-Stating Bellin’s Carte de la Caroline et Georgie

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.

Bellin map - Carte de la Caroline et Georgie

1757-Bellin-Plate 1

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What’s in a name? Bellin “Reckoned” wrong in Carolina.

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

Carey’s Pocket Atlas Maps of North Carolina

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

Anniversary of the Mouzon-Delarochette map of the Carolinas

Happy Birthday, “Mouzon” Map!

Today marks the 240th anniversary of the publication of a map that was not made by Henry Mouzon, Jr.  One of the most recognized colonial era maps of North Carolina is the so-called Mouzon map, first published in May 1775. It is a beautifully executed map, entitled An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina with their Indian frontiers, Shewing in a distinct manner [all sorts of neat stuff], the whole from actual surveys by Henry Mouzon and Others. Continue reading

234th Anniversary of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse

March 15, 2015, marks the 234th anniversary of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, one of the most pivotal engagements of the Revolutionary War. A series of lectures pertaining to the event is scheduled during the evenings this week, and reenactments and other activities are scheduled for the anniversary weekend, March 14-15. For details of these events, please visit the Guilford Battleground Company. What contemporary maps of the battle survive? Continue reading

George Washington’s TripTik®

George Washington’s upcoming birthday and a recently spotted highway historical marker pertaining to his Southern Tour in 1791 prompted a search for contemporary (to Washington) maps showing the President’s route through North Carolina. What did we find? Continue reading

Re-stating John Henry’s 1770 Map of Virginia

Discovery of a previously unrecorded proof state

of John Henry’s 1770 Map of Virginia

One of the rarest colonial era maps of Virginia is A new and accurate map of Virginia wherein most of the counties are laid down from actual surveys…by John Henry, published in London in February, 1770, by Thomas Jefferys. Previously published cartobibliographies and descriptions of this map have reported only one known state of the map. Continue reading

Nathaniel Batts: Buried at sea, but not originally

Nathaniel Batts: Buried at sea, but not originally

Nathaniel Batts may not have been the first permanent European settler in North Carolina (there is vague evidence that he was not), but he was undoubtedly one of the earliest and best documented. Where is his grave site? Continue reading