Re-Stating the 1770 Churton-Collet map of North Carolina

This beautiful late colonial (1770) map of North Carolina, by William Churton and John Collet, is one of our great cartographic treasures. I have been unable to find a description of the different states of the Churton-Collet map, and have assumed that there was only one state of:
A compleat map of North-Carolina from an actual survey / by Capt’n Collet, Governor of Fort Johnston ; engraved by I. Bayly. However, examination of the two copies held by the Library of Congress reveals that there are (at least) two separate states of the map. The first state lacks several place names and other features found on the second state.

Some of the obvious additions to the engraved plate for the second state of the map are illustrated below.

A “marshy area” just below Cross Creek:

1770 Churton-Collet States

Cain [sic] Creek Mountain in southern Orange (now Alamance) County:

Churton-Collet 1vs2 Alamance

Mr. Jones, Dr. Hall, Granges, Neates, Mr. Murray, Mr. Rowan, all on west side of NW Branch Cape Fear River (from north to south):

Churton-Collet 1vs2 CapeFear

Ct. Herons Bridge, Seges, Mr. McQuiare, Mr. Harrisons, and Mr. Merriecks on NE Branch Cape Fear River (from south to north) and, on coastal road NE of Wilmington: Ct. Heron, Cl. Howes, Mr. Jones (over erased Tavern), and Cl. Moor:

Churton-Collet 1vs2NECapeFear

Not illustrated: a large stippled area N of Bath,  “landscaping” in Col. Palmer’s tract E of Bath, and the naming of Linvile Cr. in the SW part of Wachovia or Dobbs Parish.

Census of known extant copies of the Churton-Collet map

A survey of surviving copies which are currently known reveals 5 examples of the first state:

Library of Congress

South Caroliniana Library

       Moravian Archives, Herrnhut, Germany

Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps

Private Collection –  viewable via Boston Public Library web site,

and 30 examples of the second state:

Library of Congress

State Archives, Raleigh (2 copies)

North Carolina Collection, UNC-CH (2 copies)

Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (2 copies)

The British Library (2 copies)

Forsyth County Library – Winston-Salem, NC

Davidson College

Tryon Palace Historic Site

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

University of Virginia



John Carter Brown Library

Clements Library

Newberry Library

American Antiquarian Society

Private Collections (3 copies)

La Bibliothèque nationale de France (2 copies)

Biblioteca Nacional de España

Moravian Archives in Herrnhut, Germany

Hargrett Library, University of Georgia
The MacLean Collection

Copies sold by Graham Arader in 2000 and 2009

Many kind people at the following institutions have assisted in tabulating this survey of Churton-Collet maps: The British Library, Boston Public Library, South Caroliniana Library, MESDA, North Carolina Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill, Yale, Harvard, Clements Library, Newberry Library, University of Virginia, and State Archives in Raleigh. Obviously, these kind folks went out of their way to help, and the assistance they provided is greatly appreciated. Examples from other institutions are either available on line or in books or auction catalogs. Unfortunately, the UK National Archives in Kew was unwilling to assist in identifying the states of the 2 copies in their possession, and no published images of those two examples have yet been located.

Do you know of any other state(s) of this map? Have you located a copy not included in the census? Please let us know via the “What’s on your mind” comment box below.

One thought on “Re-Stating the 1770 Churton-Collet map of North Carolina”

  1. May 2015 – updated census to include a 4th known copy of the first state, this one in the collection of the Moravian Archives in Herrnhut, Germany. Their catalog indicates the presence of two copies of the map, but only the one for which an image is available is included in the census above.
    July 2015 – a recent visit to Moravian Archives in Herrnhut, Germany, by Larry Tise provided confirmation that their 2nd copy is in the 2nd state. That information has now been added to the census.
    January 2016 – the copy in the Hargrett Library at the University of Georgia has been added to the census (2nd state).
    November 2016 – the copy in the MacLean Collection has been added to the census (2nd state).
    February 2017 – the copy in the possession of Barry Lawrence Ruderman (1st state) has been added to the census.
    April 2020 – both copies in the BnF have now been digitized; their other copy is also 2nd state and the census has been updated to reflect that.

What's on your mind?