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

Map Wars: Episode II – A “new” NC wall map.

There are, of course, numerous examples of maps whose publication history far outlived their accuracy from either a physical or political geographic perspective. One of the best examples from North Carolina is the 1833 MacRae-Brazier map.

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1833 MacRae-Brazier map of North Carolina

Note: Analogous to the Star Wars movies, we’re starting in the middle of the story. We’ll eventually circle around to Episode I, the story of the original MacRae-Brazier map. The fact that I’m starting in the middle of the story is what prompted the post title; this mid 19th century commercial cartographic competition did not involve light sabres or other weaponry. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post… Continue reading

How did Google find Lenoir, a moving target on these maps?

In 1847, the North Carolina legislature approved the incorporation of the Caldwell and Ashe Turnpike. The purpose of this thoroughfare was to facilitate trade between western Virginia, Tennessee, and even Kentucky with North Carolina via a route through what is now Watauga and Caldwell counties.This scenic toll road connected Johnson City, TN, with Lenoir, North Carolina, the latter now home to a Google data center. The Caldwell and Ashe Turnpike was completed within a few years and persists today on our State highway map as U.S. Highway 321. What did it look like on the great North Carolina wall maps of the 1850s? Continue reading