Kocherthal ‘s 1709 map of Carolina

A very cursory historical background on Kocherthal and the Palatines

Before we get to Kocherthal’s 1709 map of Carolina, a very brief historical background is in order. The Palatine region of western Germany was devastated repeatedly by wars in the 17th Century and early 18th Century. Famine and poverty inflicted by constant war are frequently cited as reasons for emigration of German Palatines during this period.

An unusually harsh winter of 1708-09, the coldest in Europe in the past 500 years, exacerbated famine conditions and may have prompted the Palatines to consider relocation.1 If decades of war and famine had not yet instigated mass migration, what encouraged the Palatines to finally overcome inertia in 1709? The major catalyst for mass emigration of Palatines to the Netherlands or England and eventually to North America, it turns out, was a small “Golden book”. It received its nickname from the gilt lettering of the title page and/or cover.

The title of this book has been translated into English as “Extensive and Detailed Report of the Famous Land Carolina, Situated in the English America.”2 The “Golden Book” was authored by German Lutheran minister Joshua Kocherthal (née Josua Harrsch), who based its contents on earlier Carolina promotional tracts published in London. Continue reading

Daniel Dunbibin, Nicholas Pocock, and Trees

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?

18th Century charts by Nicholas Pocock, George Le Rouge, and John Norman each show a line of trees along the coast of present-day Myrtle Beach.

Image credits: 1770 Pocock image courtesy of Boston Rare Maps. 1777 Le Rouge image courtesy of North Carolina Collection at UNC-CH. 1794 Norman image courtesy of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library.

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Map Wars IV: The Minister Strikes Back

In earlier blog posts, we’ve discussed the resurrection of the plates for the 1833 MacRae-Brazier map and their use by Wellington Williams to publish a “new” map of North Carolina in 1854. The following episode involved their use by an unknown publisher (J.H. French?) for a bizarre map that turned out to be a publisher’s mock up for the map that is the subject of today’s post. What does a minister have to do with all of this?

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Map Wars III: A disturbance in the force…caused by a bizarre map of NC

In a previous post, we discussed Wellington Williams’s publication in 1854 of a (not so) new map of North Carolina, printed from the resurrected copper plates of the 1833 MacRae-Brazier map. Those plates had more lives than a cat. Their next reincarnation resulted in one of the strangest North Carolina maps ever published. That is the topic of this North Carolina Map Blog post. Continue reading

Let’s talk turkey

Welcome to the William P. Cumming Map Society’s new blog: the North Carolina Map Blog.  We hope to be posting every few weeks or so, and hope to have it set up eventually to make use of all those newfangled things like Twitter and RSS feeds. Your comments are appreciated, as long as they are civil! Continue reading