Daniel Coxe & Carolana

Daniel Coxe (1640 - January 19, 1730) was an English physician and governor of West Jersey from 1687-1688 and 1689-1692. The oldest of thirteen children, he was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge where he became a doctor of medicine in 1669. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the Royal College of Physicians and was appointed a physician to the court of King Charles II of England and later to that of Queen Anne.

Daniel Coxe married Rebecca Coldham (only surviving child and heiress of John Coldham, Esquire of Tooting Graveney, Alderman of London and Rebecca Wood) on May 12, 1671. They had a son Daniel and a daughter Mary.

Coxe never left England, he served nominally as Governor of New Jersey by purchase of land. He then bought other land in the Mississippi Valley. He attempted to settle a colony of Huguenots in Virginia, but failed.

Initially Coxe purchased land in West Jersey in the mid-1680s. He bought out the heirs of Edward Byllynge there in 1687. Coxe opened the earliest commercial-scale pottery in New Jersey. He sold out most of his land there to the West New Jersey Society of London, in 1692.

Later in the 1690s Coxe acquired a grant of land in 1698 known as Carolana, which had been given by King Charles I to his Attorney General, Sir Robert Heath. He allegedly purchased this grant from Sir James Shaen, or his son Arthur; Shaen had allegedly acquired the rights from Henry Howard, 6th Duke of Norfolk. The Carolana holding remained with the Coxe family until 1769 when it was exchanged for land in the Mohawk valley of what is now New York state.

Daniel Coxe, Jr. (1673–1739), with an agent John Tatham, went to his father's North American lands. He lived in the American colonies from 1702 to 1716 and after returning to England published an account in 1722 of his travels and a description of the area encompassed by his father's claim, entitled "A Description of the English Province of Carolana, by the Spaniards called Florida, And by the French La Louisiane."

Click Here to view / download an Adobe PDF file of his book. Click Here to view the map that accompanied the book.

For the record, none of the eight Lords Proprietors or their successors ever recognized Daniel Coxe's claim to the colony of Carolina. Upon the Lords Proprietors' sale of Carolina to the Crown in 1728/1729, there is absolutely no mention of Daniel Coxe in this lengthy and complicated transaction. The idea of Sir Robert Heath's original charter in 1629 had been considered to be long settled as "null and void" by King Charles II in the 1660s.

 
 


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