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. However, two events in 1709 likely served as the catalysts for mass emigration of Palatines to the Netherlands or England and eventually to North America. The first of these was “The Great Winter” of 1708-09, which still ranks as the coldest winter in Europe in the past 500 years.1 The other catalyst was a very small book, nicknamed “The Golden Book” since the title page and/or cover was embossed with gilt letters. 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