A NEW DESCRIPTION OF CAROLINA
By Order of the Lords Proprietors
Drawn by John Ogilby
Engraved by James Moxon
Published by John Ogilby in his atlas “America” London, 1672
20 ½” x 16”
A New Description of Carolina was based in large part on a manuscript map by the philosopher John Locke, who also served as secretary to Lord Ashley, Earl of Shaftesbury and Lord Chief Justice of the province. Locke was similarly the source of most of the notes on the new country of Carolina included in John Ogilby’s new atlas titled America. (Ogilby was Charles II’s royal cartographer.) Ogilby also relied heavily on the accounts of John Lederer of his journey through the southwestern portions of Virginia and North Carolina for new information. Lederer’s map was an important contribution to the cartography of the region but it contained a number of inaccuracies that were repeated by Ogilby and perpetuated by numerous cartographers in subsequent years. Chief among these were Lederer’s depiction of a large, inland lake he called Ushery (renamed Ashly by Ogilby in honor of a principal Lord Proprietor) and an extensive savanna bordering the Appalachian Mountains on the east, which Ogilby also emphasized.
Known as the First Lords Proprietors Map, Cumming states that A New Description of Carolina was undoubtedly issued separately and sold to prospective settlers or investors in the new territory as well as available in the Ogilby atlas. (It also appeared in a promotional tract by Samuel Wilson, secretary to the proprietors entitled an Account of the Provence of Carolina.) The map quickly became the source for a number of maps by other publishers, most famously the depiction of Carolina in John Speed’s Theater of the Empire of Great Britain published in 1676 which was the most notable English atlas of the seventeenth century.
Oriented with the north to the right, the map includes a handsome title cartouche with two Native Americans, the arms of Charles II prominently displayed in the center and an eCharleston would be established.
A New Description of Carolina is known in only one state.
Condition: A very good impression, the map is in overall excellent condition with attractive color. There is some light creasing along the centerfold. The margins have been professionally reinforced and extended.
References: Cumming, Southeast in Early Maps, No.70, further discussed pages 16-18. Pritchard, Degrees of Latitude, No. 13.