A New Voyage to Carolina (Paperback)
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John Lawson's amazingly detailed yet lively book is easily one of the most valuable of the early histories of the Carolinas, and it is certainly one of the best travel accounts of the early eighteenth-century colonies. An inclusive account of the manners and customs of the Indian tribes of that day, it is also a minute report of the soil, climate, trees, plants, animals, and fish in the Carolinas. Lawson's observation is keen and thorough; his style direct and vivid. He misses nothing and recounts all-from the storms at sea to his impressions of New York in 1700, the trip down the coast to Charleston, and his travels from there into North Carolina with his Indian guides.
About the Author
John Lawson (1674 - 1711) was a British explorer, naturalist and writer. He played an important role in the history of colonial North Carolina, publicizing his expeditions in a book, and founding two settlements. Beginning December 28, 1700 Lawson led a small expedition out of Charleston and up the Santee River by canoe and then on foot to explore the Carolina backcountry. Along the way he took careful note of the vegetation, wildlife and, in particular, the many Indian tribes he encountered. He traveled nearly 600 miles through the wilderness, ending his journey near the mouth of the Pamlico River. After his expedition, Lawson settled near the Pamlico River and earned a living as a private land surveyor. In 1705 he was appointed deputy surveyor for the Lords Proprietor of Carolina. In 1708 he succeeded Edward Moseley to become surveyor-general. Lawson played a major role in the founding of two of North Carolina's earliest permanent European settlements--Bath and New Bern. On March 8, 1705, Bath was the first town incorporated in what was to become North Carolina. Part of the incorporated land was owned by Lawson. He became one of the first town commissioners. Later he became clerk of the court and public register for Bath County. Lawson published an account of his adventure in 1709, in which he described the native inhabitants and the natural environment of the region. The book was an instant success, and several editions were published, including versions in German and French. The resulting publicity attracted many settlers to the colony of North Carolina. In 1709 Lawson returned to London to oversee the publication of his book, A New Voyage to Carolina. While in London he represented the colony in a boundary dispute with Virginia. He also organized a group of Palatine Germans to settle in Carolina and returned with them in 1710 to found New Bern on the Neuse River. The government of Queen Anne had invited the refugees to England for passage to the colonies. They were fleeing extended hardship in their homeland, due to a record cold, and French invasions. Nearly 3000 Palatine Germans were settled in the New York Colony in 1710 as well. In September 1711, Lawson and Christopher von Graffenried were captured by Tuscarora Indians while ascending the Neuse River. The Tuscarora released von Graffenried but tortured and killed Lawson. Shortly thereafter, tensions between Indians and settlers erupted into a bloody conflict known as the Tuscarora War.