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 “How did Google find Lenoir, a moving target on these maps?”
A variety of maps, including political maps, terrain/topographic maps, and transportation maps all share at least one thing in common: They receive far more attention than geological maps. Yet, some of the most colorful and attractive maps are those depicting our geology. Continue reading “NC ROCKS! Geological maps of North Carolina”
© North Carolina Map Blog.
Although neither rare nor of great historical significance, a certain style United States regional map, centered on the Carolinas, captured my attention a few years ago after observing the remarkable frequency with which many of these maps were attributed to non-existent translations of a work by François-Alexandre-Frédéric, duke de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt. These maps cover the Carolinas and portions of surrounding states. Continue reading “Another La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt Map?”
Although this blogger doesn’t pretend to understand the complexities of civil subdivisions and local government in the northern States, one can state with reasonable accuracy that townships (some States refer to them as towns) have been an important geopolitical unit for several hundred years in New England. In North Carolina, the county has been the basic geopolitical subdivision since the establishment of Albemarle County in 1664. Yet we also have townships. Where did they come from and what use are they? Continue reading “North Carolina townships: a relic of the carpetbaggers”
Several remarkably rare maps were recently “discovered” in Winston-Salem, NC, at the Moravian Archives. Of course, the custodians of these maps have always known of their existence. However, the cartographic community has been largely unaware of these particular maps as evidenced by the absence of their documentation in the usual reference works. For example… Continue reading “Holiday surprise! A “Discovery” of several great maps.”
Filling in the blanks: the sources used by Henry S. Tanner to complete
his 1823 map of North Carolina
One of the most important maps in North Carolina’s cartographic history, first published in 1807, is titled: To David Stone and Peter Brown Esqrs. This First Actual Survey of the State of North Carolina Taken by the Subscribers is respectfully dedicated By their humble Servants Jona. Price. John Strother. It was the first map of the entire State, excluding lands owned by the Cherokee Nation, that had been created by actual survey. Continue reading “Filling in the Blanks”
The earliest engraved North Carolina town plan is that of New Bern by Jonathan Price. The map was engraved by the local silversmith, Allen Fitch, who advertised it “ready for delivery” as early as the August 30, 1817, issue of the Carolina Federal Republican (New Bern, NC).
For many collectors, the progressively mundane character of later 19th century maps is no match for the seductive combination of artistry and expansion of geographic knowledge associated with colonial era maps. It’s no wonder that cartobibliographers have focused on the earlier maps. In Part 1, we discussed the excellent references available for identifying pre-19th century maps of North Carolina, and the dearth of references for maps published after 1800. Let’s take a look at one very helpful on line guide for a subset of 19th century atlas maps. Continue reading “What Map is This?: Part 2”
One of the great 19th century wall maps of North Carolina was published by William D. Cooke in 1857. There are no more than 10 currently known extant copies of the map, existing in no fewer than 6 states or variants. The first two states, including a set of proof sheets (state 1) held by the British Library, show Edgecombe County’s seat as Tarboro. On the 3rd and subsequent states, the town is shown as Tauboro. It’s not unusual for misspelled place names on early maps to be corrected on later issues of the map. But to take a perfectly spelled place name and, seemingly, “mess it up”? At first glance, that made absolutely no sense. Turns out, it was supposed to be changed… to Tawboro! The explanation is found in an 1859 newspaper article transcribed below. Continue reading “A Town with Two Names”