Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuckasegee Valley - 1760
A portion of the 1760 Kitchin map. The village of Evanga is indicated where the Little Tennessee and the Tuckasegee Rivers meet.
The folks at the North Carolina Collection of the University of North Carolina library in Chapel Hill have been providing a wealth of research materials online, and just this week they’ve announced the beta version of North Carolina Maps. Eventually, this collection will make available via the web 1500 historically significant maps.
I was glad to see one map in particular, the 1760 Thomas Kitchin map, A New Map of the Cherokee Nation. As far as I know, this is the first published map to show any level of detail for the Tuckasegee River Valley. Kitchin engraved the map based on “an Indian draught” and it was included in the February 1760 issue of London Magazine, along with an article describing a punitive expedition against the Cherokee and the importance of obtaining allegiance of the Cherokee to prevent French incursions from the west. In June 1760, Colonel Archibald Montgomery led British forces into Cherokee country to quell the uprising, but was ambushed and turned back, south of present-day Franklin, NC.
The Kitchin map identifies several villages located near the Tuckasegee River, including Newni, Cunnulrasha, Tuckereche, Kittewano, Cunnawiskee and Tuckeseegee.
Thomas Kitchin (1718-1784) was one of the most prolific English engravers and map publishers of his time. He published a wide range of books, many of which were unrelated to the subject of geography. He also produced maps for magazines, such as The London Magazine and books relating to history. He collaborated with Emanuel and Thomas Bowen, and Thomas Jefferys. On his own, he published the General Atlas in 1773.
Nicholas Graham announced the launch of North Carolina Maps this week:
The site currently includes over 750 maps, primarily from the State Archives and the North Carolina Collection. Maps from the Outer Banks History Center will be added in the fall. There is an impressive variety of maps on the site, including many of the earliest maps of North Carolina, state highway maps, Coast and Geodetic Survey maps, and — my personal favorite — soil survey maps. North Carolina Maps also includes at least one map for each of North Carolina’s 100 counties.
New maps and features will be added to the site on a regular basis over the next two years.
The Kitchin map and many, many more North Carolina maps are at: