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The British Province of Carolina

A rare large format map of the Carolinas, from S. Maria Island in the south to Cape Charles in the north, with a large inset showing the area from Edistow Island in the south to the Santee River in the north.

The map is extremely detailed for the period, locating dozens of towns, Indian villages, rivers, forts and other places of note. There are English corporations and Indian villages noted in the interior, along with the delineation of several important roads, counties and more. Several notes are added, for example one commemorates the location where "Coll. Barnwell defeated the Indians [1712]."

The genesis of the map is quite interesting. The main image is a significantly enlarged and improved version of Hermann Moll's earlier map of the Carolinas, which appeared in Moll's Atlas Minor and several other publications over about a 30 year period. The size of this map was about 7 x 6 inches. The inset map showing "ye most improved part of Carolina," is a reduced size version of the inset map which appears on Moll's "Beaver Map." This inset focuses on the coastal areas which have seen the most British settlements and the structure of their early parishes. In all, the map is a completely unique work, apparently made specifically for David Humphrey's book on Propagation of the Gospel in the British Colonies in America.

The map appeared in David Humphreys's An Historical Account of the Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Containing their Foundation, Proceedings, and the Success of their Missionaries in the British Colonies, to the Year 1728. The work contains a number of interesting contemporary reports from the Colonies, including accounts of Yamasee and Tuscarora wars in the Carolinas, the New York slave insurrections of 1712, the Four Indian Kings who traveled to England, and a 1715, New York edition of a Mohawk prayer book. In general, Humphreys documented the inevitable trials of attempting to convert and educate a strong aboriginal populace. As noted by Decker, the book

Deals entirely with America, compiled from papers sent to the Society by the Governors of the Colonies. This work details accounts of the travels, hardships and adventures of missionaries sent to New York City, Westchester Country, Albany, Staten Island, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas. There is also some account of the Iroquois and their leaders; of the people and churches of Boston, Rhode Island, Narragansett, Newbury,

While the book's theme relates to missionary travels among the Indians of the British Colonies, the map is among the most detailed single sheet English maps of the region in the first half of the 18th Century and comes prior to the issuance of most of the multi-sheet English regional maps of the British Colonies. This rare map is nicely hand-colored.

Howes H795; European Americana 730/125; JCB Library 452; Simmons 1730 #16; Sabin 33801; Cumming 209; Siebert 141. Decker 41:218
Herman Moll Biography

Herman Moll (c. 1654-1732) was one of the most important London mapmakers in the first half of the eighteenth century.  Moll was probably born in Bremen, Germany, around 1654. He moved to London to escape the Scanian Wars. His earliest work was as an engraver for Moses Pitt on the production of the English Atlas, a failed work which landed Pitt in debtor's prison. Moll also engraved for Sir Jonas Moore, Grenville Collins, John Adair, and the Seller & Price firm. He published his first original maps in the early 1680s and had set up his own shop by the 1690s. 

Moll's work quickly helped him become a member of a group which congregated at Jonathan's Coffee House at Number 20 Exchange Alley, Cornhill, where speculators met to trade stock. Moll's circle included the scientist Robert Hooke, the archaeologist William Stuckley, the authors Jonathan Swift and Daniel Defoe, and the intellectually-gifted pirates William Dampier, Woodes Rogers and William Hacke. From these contacts, Moll gained a great deal of privileged information that was included in his maps. 

Over the course of his career, he published dozens of geographies, atlases, and histories, not to mention numerous sheet maps. His most famous works are Atlas Geographus, a monthly magazine that ran from 1708 to 1717, and The World Described (1715-54). He also frequently made maps for books, including those of Dampier’s publications and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Moll died in 1732. It is likely that his plates passed to another contemporary, Thomas Bowles, after this death.