Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden‚Äč
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

John Ogilby’s ‘America’ published in 1671 was used as a promotional tool for two colonies in North America. For each of these he was provided with material that enabled him to include a new map. The one of Maryland was available from the outset. That of Carolina, however, was not available. The architects behind its inclusion were the Lords Proprietors. The region of Carolina (now North and South Carolina) was granted to them by King Charles II, following his restoration to the throne in 1660, in settlement of political debts.

‘Following the execution of Charles I on 30 January 1649 many royalists fled to Barbados or were later exiled there by Oliver Cromwell. It soon found its population overflowing with 20,000 white inhabitants and about 80,000 slaves. After the restoration of Charles II, the idea of beginning a new colony like Barbados in North America was discussed among its inhabitants. Representation was made to the King and on 24 March 1663 a charter granted control of the territory between 31o and 36o to eight Lords Proprietors. These were the Earl of Clarendon, the Duke of Albemarle, the Earl of Craven, John, Lord Berkeley, Anthony, Lord Ashley, Sir George Carteret, Sir William Berkeley and Sir John Colleton. In the process he rescinded an earlier inactive grant made by Charles I in 1629 to Sir Robert Heath and known as ‘Carolana’.

One William Hilton had already explored the area in 1662, and in 1663 he returned in the employ of the Lords Proprietors. He described this voyage in his ‘A Relation of a Discovery lately made on the Coast of Florida’, 1664. This time he went as far south as Port Royal. Hilton Head Island was named after him. In 1664 several planters from Barbados settled ‘Charles Town’ on the Cape Fear River, identified as the ‘Clarendon River’ on this map. It is often confused with the later Charleston at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, which is further south. At the time of the initial settlement the Lords Proprietors were seeking amendments to the charter, particularly in extending the southern boundary to 29o, and in hoping to be able to create subdivisions. An amended charter was finally agreed in 1665.

In 1665 the island of Jamaica had been taken from the Spanish and was beginning to show great promise. Not only was its climate and soil like Barbados, but whereas the latter was limited to 166 square miles, Jamaica could offer 4,400. The island began to sap considerable interest from Carolina. In October 1665 Colonel John Yeamans set sail with less than 100 colonists for the Carolina coast. He found the Cape Fear settlement in dire condition, which he tried to improve. He left for Barbados charging Robert Sandford with the job of surveying the coast. However, the situation deteriorated and by 1667 the settlement had been abandoned altogether.

It was the most active of the proprietors, Lord Ashley, who kept on working and organised with his secretary John Locke for a further expedition. This time it was to leave from London. In the summer of 1669 three vessels, the ‘Carolina’, the ‘Port Royal’ and ‘Albemarle’, sailed for Carolina with 150 colonists. They went via Barbados collecting only a few settlers and left the island in December 1669. A brief visit to Bermuda was made where they collected their new Governor, William Sayle, his three black servants and only two white settlers. Sayle was an ex-Governor of Bermuda and already nearly eighty years old.

They reached the coast of Carolina on 15 March 1670, arriving at Bull’s Bay, some twenty miles north of the present harbour of Charleston. They first travelled north to Port Royal, but after some investigation decided to move to St George’s Bay (now Charleston Harbour). They disembarked on the west bank of the Kiawah River which was renamed the Ashley River. The settlement was initially called Albemarle Point but was later altered to Charles Town. It did not officially receive the name Charleston until incorporated in 1783.

In 1670 Ogilby began working on his ‘America’ and approached Peter Colleton, one of the Lords Proprietors, who wrote the following to Locke. ‘Mr. Ogilby who is printing a relation of the West Indies hath been often with mee to gett a map of Carolina wherefore I humbly desire you to gett of my lord [Ashley] those mapps of Cape feare & Albemarle that he hath & I will draw them into one w[i]th that of port Royall & waite upon my lord for the nominations of the rivers, & c. & if you would do us the favour to draw a discourse to be added to this map in ye nature of a description such as might invite people w[i]th out seeming to come from us it would very much conduce to the speed of settlemt’. It was an opportunity to promote the fledgling colony that was not missed by Lord Ashley and John Locke.

Engraved by James Moxon the map is an amalgam of many sources. The Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds are based on an unknown source. The latter is a particular improvement over previous depictions. The Cape Fear region is clearly derived from the Robert Horne map of 1666. The Ashley and Cooper Rivers are undoubtedly drawn from the so-called Ashley-Cooper manuscript. This important document is found amongst the Shaftesbury Papers at the National Archives, London. It is the first large-scale survey of the environs of present-day Charleston. There is considerable resemblance in style, soundings and nomenclature except for three names: ‘Store Cr.’, ‘Ittivan R’ and ‘Ittivan C’, which all appear on John Culpeper’s rough but more specific draft of the same year. There are signs of a potential late incorporation as there are faint erasures nearby. Further to the south the cartography still relies upon that of Le Moyne, now over 100 years old.

The interior emanates from the account and map of John Lederer, published in 1672 (see that entry for a discussion of the cartography). However, it is through the Ogilby and its wide dissemination that Lederer’s errors were to be perpetuated. A few areas of the plate show clear signs of alteration reflecting the difficulty Moxon had in incorporating Lederer’s map into his own. The rhumb lines radiating through the inset on the map could be evidence that this portion was a late addition and may have contributed to the fact that the map was not bound into the early issues.

Until this map was available to Ogilby, he used the Montanus map of the region to illustrate his book. This was based on the old Blaeu map of c.1638. The Ogilby-Moxon map is known as the ‘First’ Lords Proprietors map, as a ‘Second’ in which they also had considerable input was published in 1682′ (Burden). Provenance: private English collection. Burden (1996) no. 392; Burden (2007) 435; Cumming & De Vorsey (1998) nos. 63 & 64 Culpeper manuscripts, no. 66 Ashley-Cooper manuscript and no. 70 Ogilby-Moxon, pp. 17-18; Eerde (1976) p. 115; Ford (1926) pp. 264-73; Karpinski (1937) pp. 26-8; Pritchard & Taliaferro (2002) p. 93 no. 13; Rhett (1940); Shirley (2004) T.Ogil-2c no. 12a; Williams & Johnson (1996) pp. 21-2.


A New Discription of Carolina By Order of the Lords Proprietors

London, c.1673
THE FIRST LORDS PROPRIETORS MAP. 420 x 550 mm., with a couple of very minor splits along the folds professionally repaired, trimmed close as usual, otherwise in very good condition.
Stock number: 10953
$ 15,000
Send us your name and email address.
We'll add you to our subscriber list and alert you to new catalogues and similar news