Henry Mouzon, Jr., or Henry Mouzon, Jr. – which one made the map?

As will be shown in a future blog post, Henry Mouzon, Jr. receives undue credit for the map entitled An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina…the whole from Actual Surveys by Henry Mouzon and Others. So does Henry Mouzon, Jr.  Say what? Turns out, there were two persons of that name (first cousins) and their accomplishments have frequently been attributed to one.

An overly simplified family tree indicating the first cousin relationship of the two Henry Mouzon, Jrs.
An overly simplified family tree indicating the first cousin relationship of the two Henry Mouzon, Jrs.

In his introductory essay in Southeast in Early Maps, and in his 1966 monograph, North Carolina in Maps, Cumming brought to our attention the excellent historical research by Wylma A. Wates on the two Henry Mouzon, Juniors. At that time, Miss Wates was working in the South Carolina Archives; her notes on the subject are preserved there, but have not been published (Cumming provided only teasing snippets of Miss Wates’s notes). With Miss Wates’s consent, her notes have been transcribed and are published here. The typed notes are undated; a manuscript annotation on the last page states “Prepared by Wylma Wates…in 1950’s.” However, given a reference to a 1964 publication in the notes, a mid 1960s date seems more probable. Information within brackets [ ] is not part of Miss Wates’s original notes. Otherwise, the information below is under copyright protection and may not be reproduced or republished without the consent of the author, Wylma A. Wates.


Henry Mouzon

© by Wylma A. Wates

Confusion over the identity of Henry Mouzon, the mapmaker, has arisen from the fact that there were two Henry Mouzons in South Carolina at the time. The attached family chart [not provided with the notes, but see the “substitute” provided above], compiled from wills and deeds shows them to have been first cousins – Henry, the son of Lewis, and Henry, the son of Henry. To add to the confusion Henry, the son of Lewis, also signed his name Henry, Jr. This was an 18th century practice which meant a younger person of the same name and not necessarily a son. Henry, the son of Lewis, seems to have been located in St. Stephen’s Parish. Henry, the son of Henry, was located in Kingstree and served as a captain under General Francis Marion. 

Current identification of Henry Mouzon of Kingstree as the mapmaker seems to rest with William Willis Boddie, History of Williamsburg, (Columbia: The State Company, 1923). On page 123 along with other unverified statements about Henry Mouzon’s early education in France and his war career, he is credited with drawing the well-known map of South Carolina and the first survey for the Santee Canal.  James A. Wallace in History of Williamsburg Church, (Salisbury, N.C.: Printed at the Herald Office, 1856) has an account of Capt. Henry Mouzon’s career in the Revolution based on recollections of Miss Nancy Mouzon, his daughter. She was 11 years old when Tarleton burned her father’s house and was then “a venerable lady…a bright example of unabated mental vigor…”  Although written in a most laudatory style, there is nothing about Mouzon as a mapmaker.  Dr. Samuel O. McGill in his Narrative of Reminiscences in Williamsburg County (Columbia: The Bryan Printing Company, 1897) gives several indications of his friendship with Mouzons of his generation and gives an account of Capt. Henry Mouzon’s life on pages 283-84 with no mention of his having been a surveyor. Mrs. E. A. Poyas on pages 38-44 of Days of Yore, or Shadows of the Past (Charleston: Edward Perry, 1870), has a sketch of the Mouzon family. The genealogy is substantially the same as that in the recent article in Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina. It seems to grow out of an obituary of a daughter of Capt. Henry Mouzon, called by Mrs. Poyas, Nelly, but evidently Nancy and, at least, claims to be based on first-hand accounts from Miss Mouzon. While making much of Capt. Mouzon’s career in the Revolution, it says nothing of his having been a surveyor or mapmaker. In Some Descendants of Henry Mouzon, Map-Maker and Surveyor, compiled by Mabel Trott FitzSimmons, in Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina, No. 69 (Charleston, 1964), pages 46-50, the statement is made: “The only record which exists is a little handsewn paper book, with no cover, evidently written by some member of the family. The first entry is dated September 19, 1738, and the last June 13, 1797.” This seems to contain only genealogical information – birth, marriages, and deaths, or the sort of information one would find in a family Bible. The only authority given for the identification of Capt. Henry Mouzon as the mapmaker is W. W. Boddie, History of Williamsburg and some family tradition several generations removed from the source.

The will of Henry Mouzon, Jr., of Craven County can be seen in Charleston Wills Vol. 18,  1776-1784, pps. 242-243 (Typed copies in S.C. Archives). It was signed on October 19, 1775, and leaves to his nephew Josias Blake Dupre, “all my wearing apparel & surveyor’s instruments.” The date that the will was proved or recorded is not given, but in Inventories 1776-1784, p. 39 (MS in S.C. Archives), the inventory of the estate of Mr. Henry Mouzon, Jr., deceased, was made on April 17, 1777 and signed by Hezekiah Maham, Esq., Richard Norman, and Nicholas Ray. It contained along with other items:

  • a parcel of surveyors instruments,
  • 1 Sett printing Types,
  • 2 qrs. writing paper, and
  • Sundry Maps & 2 copper Plates.  

Deeds along with other family wills definitely show that this same Henry Mouzon, Jr., sometimes described as of St. Stephen’s Parish, was the son of Lewis. Samuel Dubose in his Reminiscences of St. Stephen’s Parish, Craven County, and Notices of her Homesteads, (Charleston: A. E. Miller, 1858), says on pages 8-9:

“Next is Lifeland, the residence of Peter Sinkler… Mr. Sinkler’s first wife was Elizabeth Mouzon, sister of Henry Mouzon, the Surveyor and Engineer. Their children were Jane, who married Joseph Glover of Colleton; Peter who married Mary, daughter of Richard Walter; James who never married; and Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Dubose of Murrell’s.”

The author is identified in the pamphlet as the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Sinkler Dubose.


In his will, Henry Mouzon left his picture to his nieces, Jane and Elizabeth Sinkler. Henry Mouzon, Jr., the mapmaker, also made a Map of St. Stephen’s Parish with an early survey for what later became the Santee canal. A description of this map is in F. A. Porcher, The History of the Santee Canal, dedicated to the South Carolina Historical Society, 1875, and published by the S.C. Public Service Authority in 1950: “In one corner of the map is a vignette exhibiting the indigo plant in its leaf and its seed, and an industrial picture representing the process of its manufacture. An old tradition long current in St. Stephen’s says that the portly figure who represents the master is that of Mr. Peter Sinkler, and the figure near him, that of his overseer, Mr. Guerry.” Peter Sinkler, who died during the Revolution, was the brother-in-law of Henry Mouzon, son of Lewis, having married his sister, Elizabeth. 

On March 21, 1774, the Committee on Public Accounts approved an account of Ephraim Mitchell and Henry Mouzon, Jr., for £4347:10:3; after deducting £765 from their original claim, “for surveying the several District Lines in this Province.” In their petition presented to the Commons House on April 25, 1775, for payment of the full amount of their claim, Ephraim Mitchell and Henry Mouzon, Jr. declare that they had been appointed by Governor Lord Charles Greville Montagu, “to run out and mark the Boundary Lines of the several Districts in this Colony.” A Committee Report the next day upheld the previous allowance. (Commons House Journal No. 39, pps. 145, 274-275.) In Treasury Receipts, 1774-1778, p. 58 and 91 (MS in S.C. Archives), there are two receipts for certificates which total the amount of this claim. The first was signed by M. Brewton for Ephraim Mitchell and Henry Mouzon, Jr., the second on page 91, is signed by Henry Mouzon, Junr.  An advertisement of “Proposals for Publishing by Subscription an Improved Map of the Colony of South Carolina, corrected from Actual Surveys by Henry Mouzon, jun. and Ephraim Mitchell” appeared in the South Carolina and American General Gazette, June 3 and 10, 1774. [Also advertised in the South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, May 31, 1774; and in the South Carolina Gazette, June 27, 1774 – despite similarities in titles, these 3 newspapers had different publishers.] The legend on the map itself reads: “An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina with their Indian Frontiers, shewing in a distinct manner all the Mountains, Rivers, Swamps, Marshes, Bays Creeks, Harbours, Sandbanks and Soundings on the Coasts; with the Roads and Indian Paths; as well as the Boundary or Provincial Lines, the Several Townships and other divisions of Land in Both the Provinces; the whole from Actual Surveys by Henry Mouzon and Others.” It was published in London in 1775.

A comparison of signatures in the Archives might offer the conclusive evidence in this problem of confused identity. The signature of Henry Mouzon, Jr. on the Treasury Receipt may be taken to be that of the Mapmaker. A sampling of signatures of Henry Mouzon, Jr., Deputy Surveyor on manuscript plats in the 1770s definitely show them to be the same one. A signature on a plat of Lewis Mouzon for 400 acres in Craven County on October 5, 1769, was different. No signatures of Henry Mouzon, Jr. as a surveyor after the Revolution were found. The signature of Capt. Henry Mouzon in the Accounts Audited File in his own account for supplies furnished, and on affidavits of service of others are definitely different.

We know Henry Mouzon, Jr., of St. Stephen’s Parish was a surveyor, while there is no contemporary evidence that Capt. Henry Mouzon was. Henry Mouzon, Jr. [son of Lewis] died before April 17, 1777. Capt. Henry Mouzon lived until Aug. 25, 1807. There is no record of Henry Mouzon, Jr. as a surveyor after the Revolution although his partner, Ephraim Mitchell, later served as Surveyor-General of S.C. (See his obituary from the City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, March 16, 1792.) Unless documentary evidence can be produced showing an earlier reference to Capt. Henry Mouzon as a surveyor before Boddie’s History in 1923, the weight of evidence must rest with Henry Mouzon, Jr. of St. Stephen’s as the Mapmaker.


UPDATE: Returning to the promise of a future blog post identifying the true maker of the “Mouzon” map of the Carolinas, you can find out by reading the May 30, 2015 blog post.

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