Moseley's 1733 Map of North Carolina

Inscribed on the lower left side, "To His Excel'y Gabriel Johnston, Esq., Captain General & Governour in Chief in and over His Majesty's Provice of North Carolina in America. This Map of the said Province is most humbly Dedicated and Presented by your Excellency's most obedient Humble Servant. Edward Moseley." Entitled on the lower right side, "A New and Corret Map of the Province of North Carolina By Edward Moseley, late Surveyor General of the said Province. 1738."

This map, surveyed in 1732-1733, is the first map to focus solely on the colony of North Carolina, and was the idea of Royal Governor George Burrington - perhaps to get a leg up on South Carolina during the beginning negotiations over the NC/SC border, which had been "initially agreed to" several years previously (and would not be totally resolved until 1813). The observer will note - there are absolutely no markings delineating this tentative border between the two colonies - so, perhaps Governor Burrington didn't want to blatantly anger those in South Carolina - yet.

The map portrays the entire North Carolina coast, starting in the south at near Cape Romain (present-day Georgetown County, South Carolina) and all the way north to Black Bay in southern Virginia. The known rivers are shown westward, as far as were known, to what is named the Charokee Mountains in the western part of the colony. Also shown along the coast is the King's Highway running from Georgetown, SC to Virginia, depicting the known path all throughout North Carolina, and the known towns along the way.

There is a wealth of information on the names of the primary settlers and larger plantations in the Albemarle region - those living along the rivers flowing into the Albemarle Sound, along the Pamlico River, the Neuse River, along the Cape Fear River and its tributaries, and in the vicinity of "Waggomau Lake " (Lake Waccamaw).

Intriguingly, there is a paucity of extant information pertaining to the many early settlements in the "back country" as the Piedmont area was then called - especially since Moseley, as the Surveyor General, would have surely been kept current of the newly emerging number of land grants all over the interior of the colony. Similarly, Moseley spared little attention on the many Indian settlements throughout the colony, only providing scant annotations of a small number of their many well-known settlements.

Final note - anyone can purchase a very good reproduction of this important map - at a very reasonable price - at the North Carolina State Archives. They have hundreds of old maps of NC, many with copies for sale online.

© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved