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!

Speaking of turkey, the gobblers were a common finding on early Carolina maps. Lacking sufficient knowledge of the Carolina interior, decorative elements such as turkey, deer, raccoon, and even Native Americans were utilized by cartographers to help fill the blank spaces on their maps. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Above left: This turkey is on Virginiae item et Floridae Americae provinciarum, nova descriptio, first published by Jodocus Hondius in 1606. This particular copy, in the collection of the New York Public Library, was published in 1636.

Above center: This gobbler is found on Carolina Described, a map included in Robert Horne’s 1666 promotional tract, A Brief DESCRIPTION OF The Province OF CAROLINA On the COASTS of FLOREDA.

Above right: A proud turkey adorns A New Map of Carolina, first published in 1685 by John Thornton, Robert Morden, and Philip Lea, in London. This particular copy of the map is in the North Carolina Collection in the Wilson Library at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Do you have a favorite “map critter”? Let us know in the comments, including a link to an image if possible. (Please do not put more than one hyperlink per reply or your comment will be snagged by the spam filter).

6 thoughts on “Let’s talk turkey

  1. I love your blog!! I love maps especially pocket maps upon which I have found no turkeys. Thanks for the post.

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