Cartographic winds of change

We’ll return to the Map Wars series in a few weeks. In the meantime, please enjoy this tidbit.  Fielding Lucas, Jr., was one of the great American map publishers of the early 19th century. Not only did he compile and publish his own atlases, he also drew maps for other publishers. One example of the latter is a Geographical, Historical, And Statistical Map Of North Carolina, published in 1822-1827 atlases by Carey & Lea, shown here…


The engraved maps in the Carey & Lea atlas were relatively small and printed on the sheet of paper separately from surrounding text. Two different states of the North Carolina map were published in atlases with title pages dated 1822. The first state shows small flags denoting the Guilford Courthouse and King’s Mountain battlefield sites. These flags are flying to the east, i.e., the imaginary winds are westerly. This is the less common state of the map. The majority of 1822 Carey & Lea atlases contain a North Carolina map in the second state. In Guilford County, roads have been added, one of which would have gone straight through the small flag. To compensate, the imaginary cartographic winds of change now have a larger flag flying to the west. The “Guilford CH” place name has also been re-engraved, shifted slightly to the east. New Garden, as “N. Gordon”, has been added below the “GUILFORD” place name.

State 1, image courtesy of
State 1, image courtesy of David Rumsey.
State 2, courtesy of UNC-CH.
State 2, image courtesy of State Archives, Raleigh.

In Lincoln County, the original easterly flying flag and the “King’s Mt” text would have been obscured by hachures added to denote King’s Mountain. For this reason, the engraver shows a larger flag flying to the west on the second state of the map, and a new position for  the “King’s Mt.” text. The addition of roads is also noted.

State 1, image courtesy of
State 1, image courtesy of David Rumsey (link above).
State 2, image courtesy of UNC-CH
State 2, image courtesy of State Archives, Raleigh (link above).


There are a few additional changes to the plate from the first to the second state, including but not limited to the addition of Warm Springs near the TN line, and the addition of Kingston (now Conway) in SC. I’m just thankful the engraver was consistent with his imaginary winds. Flags flying in opposite directions might have implied a hurricane with its eye over Salisbury! The next time you see a copy of this map and find yourself wondering if it is the first or second state, be sure to check which way the wind is blowing.

Trivia: Shortly after engraving this map, William Kneass became the Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint (1824-1840).

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