The cartographic wanderings of Carolana

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

Ould Virginia, one of many newe names that didn’t stick.

When the English shifted their colonization efforts north from Roanoke Island to the James River and Chesapeake Bay, they took the name “Virginia” with them. So what did they call North Carolina once they absconded with its original Virginia moniker? Ould Virginia, of course.

Theodor de Bry’s 1590 published engraving of John White’s map of Virginia was the first printed map focused specifically on what is now North Carolina. The second such map was published by John Smith in his 1624 book, The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles... Continue reading

Westward Ho! Roanoke, the Map, and X Marks the Spot

Westward Ho! Roanoke, the Map, and X Marks the Spot is a free symposium to be held 27-29 October 2017, on Roanoke Island, NC. The sympsium will focus on new information on Sir Walter Raleigh’s  Roanoke Island colonies & the John White-Thomas Harriot Virginea Pars Map—with all its secret symbols. 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

Re-stating Blome’s A Generall Mapp of Carolina

A Generall Mapp of Carolina Describeing its Sea Coast and Rivers, London Printed for Ric. Blome, was published in A Description of the Island of Jamaica: With the other Isles and Territories in America, by Richard Blome (Burden, Plate 420). The title page in the first edition of the book is dated 1672. Continue reading

What’s in a name? Green’s Path

The East Coast Greenway organization’s vision is …a green travel corridor [that] will provide cyclists, walkers, and other muscle-powered modes of transportation with a low-impact way to explore the eastern seaboard. Over 300 years ago, there was a trail in eastern North Carolina that undoubtedly required muscle power. It was literally a green way or, more specifically, the Green Path, as illustrated here:

Detail from the 1775 Mouzon map, courtesy of the David Rumsey Collection

Detail from the 1775 Mouzon map, courtesy of the David Rumsey Collection

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What’s in a name? Lockwood Folly

Few North Carolina place names are older than Lockwood Folly, and the origins of few place names are more mysterious. It appears to have made its debut as “Look Wood Folly” on the c1673 Ogilby-Moxon map, A New Discription of Carolina..., the so-called First Lords Proprietors’ map. “Lockwoods Folly” is seen on the c1673-75 A New Map of the English Plantations in America…, by Robert Morden and William Berry, and “Lockwood Folley” is found on the 1682 Gascoyne map of Carolina, the so-called Second Lords Proprietors’ map. Lockwood Folly remains a regular, if not constant, place name on North Carolina maps from that point forward to current times.

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