Re-Stating the 1770 Churton-Collet map of North Carolina

A compleat map of North-Carolina from an actual survey / by Capt’n Collet, Governor of Fort Johnston ; engraved by I. Bayly.

This beautiful late colonial (1770) map of North Carolina, by William Churton and John Collet, is one of our great cartographic treasures. I have been unable to find a description of the different states of this map, and have assumed that there was only one state. However, examination of the two copies held by the Library of Congress reveals that there are (at least) two separate states of the map. The first state lacks several place names and other features found on the second state.

Some of the obvious additions to the engraved plate for the second state of the map are illustrated below.

A “marshy area” just below Cross Creek:

1770ChurtonColletStates

Cain [sic] Creek Mountain in southern Orange (now Alamance) County:

ChurtonCollet1vs2Alamance

Mr. Jones, Dr. Hall, Granges, Neates, Mr. Murray, Mr. Rowan, all on west side of NW Branch Cape Fear River (from north to south):

ChurtonCollet1vs2CapeFear

Ct. Herons Bridge, Seges, Mr. McQuiare, Mr. Harrisons, and Mr. Merriecks on NE Branch Cape Fear River (from south to north) and, on coastal road NE of Wilmington: Ct. Heron, Cl. Howes, Mr. Jones (over erased Tavern), and Cl. Moor:

ChurtonCollet1vs2NECapeFear

Not illustrated: a large stippled area N of Bath,  “landscaping” in Col. Palmer’s tract E of Bath, and the naming of Linvile Cr. in the SW part of Wachovia or Dobbs Parish.

A survey of surviving copies which could be located with a quick search over the past few weeks reveals 3 examples of the first state:

Library of Congress

South Caroliniana Library

Private Collection –  viewable via Boston Public Library web site,

and 27 examples of the second state:

Library of Congress

State Archives, Raleigh (2 copies)

North Carolina Collection, UNC-CH (2 copies)

Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (2 copies)

The British Library (2 copies)

Forsyth County Library – Winston-Salem, NC

Davidson College

Tryon Palace Historic Site

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

University of Virginia

Harvard

Yale

John Carter Brown Library

Clements Library

Newberry Library

American Antiquarian Society

Private Collections (3 copies)

La Bibliothèque nationale de France

Biblioteca Nacional de España

Copies sold by Graham Arader in 2000 and 2009

Many kind people at the following institutions have assisted in tabulating this survey of Churton-Collet maps: The British Library, Boston Public Library, South Caroliniana Library, MESDA, North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill, Yale, Harvard, Clements Library, Newberry Library, University of Virginia, and State Archives in Raleigh. Obviously, these kind folks went out of their way to help, and the assistance they provided is greatly appreciated. Examples from other institutions are either available on line or in books or auction catalogs. Unfortunately, the UK National Archives in Kew was unwilling to assist in identifying the states of the 2 copies in their possession, and no published images of those two examples have yet been located. La Bibliothèque nationale de France catalog suggests that they have a 2nd copy, but this has not been confirmed and only one copy in their possession has been digitized.

Do you see other changes in the copper plate from the first to second states? Please let us know via the “What’s on your mind” comment box below.

What's on your mind?