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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Given the lack of a useful cartobibliography for post-Revolutionary War maps of North Carolina, one shouldn’t be too surprised to find a previously unrecorded map. Nonetheless, the recent discovery of a previously unknown first state of an 1814 map of North Carolina generated some excitement from this blogger. Continue reading →