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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rev. Baylus Cade, Progressive North Carolinian and Inventor

Added 6 Sep 2020

Capt. Samuel A'Court Ashe of Wilmington, former Confederate soldier, conservative North Carolinian apologist, defender of slavery, and, not surprisingly, considered "eminent" North Carolina "[redeemer] historian," told in Cyclopedia of Eminent and Representative Men of the Carolinas of the Nineteenth Century (1892) that "Rev. Baylus Cade, a prominent citizen of Raleigh, was born in Barker's settlement, Va (now West Virginia), September 3, 1844."  Ashe, in his desire to reflect the prominence, dare I say "greatness" of the "Lost Cause" and the "extraordinary" men who exemplified it with distinguished honor, told how Rev. Cade joined the Confederate Army and surrendered with Lee at Appomatox.  He then went on extolling the many virtues of the supposedly great conservative ex-warrior, turned Baptist minister and lawyer. 

Samuel A'Courte Ashe

Ashe wrote this in 1892.  Only six years later, things changed... 

By 1912, Eugene Clyde Brooks edited a book of poetry in which a short biography was included on each poet.  Rev. Cade was a poet of some state-wide renown and he was listed with two poems in Brooks' book. 

Rev. Cade's biography in that book told the same details as Ashe's, with the added detail of his age at the time of enlistment in the Confederate Army: the tender age of eighteen.  It also told of his subsequent education from 1866-1869 at Richmond College and his becoming a Baptist minister in 1868.  Being a good conservative North Carolinian, Eugene Brooks also expressed some regret after extolling the many virtues of Rev. Cade when he said "But when Daniel L. Russell was elected Governor of North Carolina, he became the governor's private secretary." 

Always makes me cringe when a racist Southern Democrat (or Republican today) says "But.." when describing anything...

Shortly after his death, the Williamston Enterprise, on June 7, 1918, apologized for Cade's service under Russell, saying that financial matters necessitated him taking the position.  "The appointment as private secretary came unsought," stated the Enterprise, "His brethren in the Baptist denomination, ministers and laymen as well, understood the circumstances and motives and maintained their high respect for him and appreciation of his worth."  Still, this does not explain Cade's later service as head of the liberal Lincoln Republicans, to which Russell belonged, at the Waynesville Convention.  Furthermore, his finances were never uncertain, as he purchased the University at Chapel Hill's printing business in 1895, earned $50,000 and a 17-yr royalty from the sale of one of his inventions just before he left for North Carolina.  Cade had money.  Brooks and the Enterprise almost made it sound like there was something seriously wrong with being Russell's secretary... 

Daniel Lindsay Russell (1897-1901)

I should mention that conservative North Carolinians tried to assassinate Gov. Russell when he defended unionist policies in the state and the enfranchisement of African-Americans, against the wishes of the state's-rights ex-Confederates, part of whom were retaking Wilmington's government in 1898 and murdering black citizens without any consequences whatsoever.  Russell was not held in high favor by citizens of the state, who opposed any black enfranchisement policy as "ungodly." The Williamston Enterprise assumed every one of their readers to agree. 

We now call this affair, the only coup d'etat ever to occur in the United States, the "Wilmington Race Riot of 1898."  Conservative U.S. Congressman (and ex-Confederate soldier) Alfred Moore Waddell installed himself as mayor of Wilmington after his declaration that he would "choke the Cape Fear River with carcasses" if blacks weren't "put in their place" like they were before the war.  Conservatives may not have been able to enslave blacks as before, literally, but there were other ways (like Jim Crow laws and Black-laws) to prevent their political empowerment and force their suppression in the great white Godliness of "Progressive"-era North Carolina and today.

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Ashe supported the classical North Carolinian  conservative agenda... he certainly had no problem with Waddell's group's massacre of blacks.  Ronnie Wayne Faulkner tells that, in the latter years of his life after the riot, "Ashe became obsessed with the War between the States."  Faulkner's thesis, "Samuel A'Court Ashe: North Carolina Redeemer and Historian, 1840-1938" tells that "Ashe did not purposely distort the facts," but his lack of training as a professional historian opened him to bias and Wayne assures that "he often gave a somewhat unusual interpretation to them."  

Ashe was, after all, first a lawyer, not an historian.  Late in his life, he published the short treatise "A Southern View of the Invasion of the Southern states and the War of 1861-65" to reiterate the virtues of slavery and the right of the South to engage in it.  He included much rhetoric in this polemical pamphlet, much of it sheer conservative bias.  

Compare Ashe's cherry-picking style of self-congratulatory rhetoric to today's conservative apologist entertainment of FOX NEWS and their intentional distortion of facts.  1898 began the 100-yr long conservative re-entrenchment in our state that still affects us today... still leaves us open to snake oil salesmen like FOX NEWS, not unlike the "redeemer history" of Ashe's day.  It was a battle for conservative control that almost killed Daniel L. Russell (attacked by a force of paramilitary Red Shirts on a train while traveling back from Wilmington after casting his vote) and lowered the local opinions of those associated with him... like Rev. Baylus Cade... and like any professional historian today who attempts to tell the truth... the "good ol' boys" simply say it's my "interpretation" of the truth, so much like their forebears.  A great deal of propaganda is pushed by conservatives, very much afraid of change. Yes, I get this propaganda daily on Facebook... ;)

William L. Saunders tombstone showing the word "patriot" although for which country is not clear: The USA or the CSA.  It also has the phrase "I refuse to answer" carved into it, a reflection of the trial in which he used the 5th amendment.
Populism, "popular" opposition politics, in the South has generally taken the form of white-supremacy, like George Wallace in 1968 or David Dukes, KKK leader in 1984.  A form of Populism, the Farmer's Alliance (formed in Texas in 1876), called for collective economic action against elites: brokers, railroads, and merchants and for reform in national politics, notably, by 1890, the exclusion of African Americans from politics.  

In December 1890, Rev. Cade became associate editor of the Progressive Farmer, the Farmer's Alliance organ in North Carolina under editor Leonidas L. Polk, who pushed the "Sub-treasury bill,"  This position lasted six months.  Still, Cade would not support Polk's policies, particularly the Sub-treasury bill, which he and Gov. Zebulon Vance viewed as unconstitutional (6 Sep 2020: compare to the un-Constitutionality of most of Donald Trump's policies today):

"After a careful and patient study of the sub treasury bill, I am convinced that its enactment into a law would be disastrous to the country, and especially to the agricultural interests.  Holding this view, I cannot write one word in favor of that bill. The dominant sentiment of the Alliance upon this measure is in irreconcilable conflict with my views, and the only manly and honorable course left for me is to retire and let some other editor take charge whose views are in harmony with the friends of the sub treasury bill." [Cade, quoted by The State (Columbia, South Carolina), June 25, 1891]

How much of this quote of Cade's was accurate and how much the words of the Farmer's Alliance supporters, is impossible to tell.   The "manly and honorable" part, however, about stepping down to make room for supporters of the sub treasury bill, makes this sound suspiciously like the Farmer's Alliance "booted" out a non-conformist Rev. Baylus Cade.  The news coming directly from South Carolina, who supplied the Red Shirts a few years later during the Wilmington Race-riot affair, also makes it sound suspiciously like white-supremacists who didn't like the Reverend.  This was the only article from South Carolina to include a reference to "Rev. Baylus Cade" that I could find and it sounds very much like "good ol' boy - make us sound better-than-thou" politics.   

Populists and liberals had certain common goals that brought them together... 

In the elections of 1894, a Fusionist coalition of anti-elitist Populists and early liberal Republicans led by Populist Marion Butler swept state and local offices in North Carolina.  The coalition would go on to elect Republican Daniel Lindsay Russell as governor in 1896 against conservative Southern-Democrats.  

Fusionists were seen as an "unholy" alliance of Populists with "Negro-loving" liberals, reviled by staunchly conservative ex-Confederates.  They were not Farmer's Alliance men.  To the point, they were not wholly white-supremacists, concerned more with economics than social conservatism. 

Due to his close association with Russell, Rev. Cade, already "tainted" in the ultra-conservative Alliance's eyes, was no longer seen as a true ally.  These included men like Polk, Ashe, and William L. Saunders, the infamous leader of the North Carolina Ku Klux Klan who became the first person to make use of the 5th amendment in a Congressional hearing.  "I refuse to answer" is on his tombstone... literally "written in stone." 

These white-supremacists were the political winners of 1898 and perhaps why no one was ever prosecuted for the Wilmington-riot massacre of black citizens.  Still, that never explained the federal ignorance of justice.  Literally, these murders were ignored by everyone!  In the one-sided political apathy, truth and justice lost meaning. We continue to fight that same fight against ultra-conservative white-supremacists in the North Carolina of today, but perhaps with a bit more hope of winning this time. 

Reflecting Ashe's new opinion of Rev. Cade's more progressive sympathies after the war, in 1908, the prolific ex-Confederate (he seemed anxious to make his point) published his Biographical History of North Carolina from Colonial Times to the Present in eight volumes and, in this post-riot work, Ashe only mentions Cade once: his reference to Cade's actions as lawyer defending Elias Carr, president of the Farmer's Alliance.  There is no mention of his association with Governor Russell, assuredly his most prominent work to that date.  There was also no mention of his leading the state's Republican party after Russell's leaving office as governor.  

White supremacists won.  Russell's, Cade's, and Lincoln's party of liberal Republicans were thoroughly suppressed.  They even gave up on getting African-Americans into politics; the conservative white-supremacist opposition was simply too great.  

What happens when you oppose the powers-that-be in any particular political entity?  Well, like Rev. Baylus Cade, you become the "wayward" young idealist who didn't know any better... according to voluminous "redeemer history." 

Like most of these amateur "historians" of North Carolina's so-called "Progressive Era" (now, there's a misnomer), many truly progressive personalities of North Carolina's past were cast into a political bonfire.  Their contributions were no longer admired by a state full of white-supremacists who could no longer stomach them and their anti-slavery, unionist views.  They became lost in a sea of rhetoric.  "State's rights" or Anti-Union sentiment won North Carolina's future and continues to choke our democracy to death.  

History makes the present.  Southerner conservatives, officially the "Tea Party" today, call themselves "patriots," wave the stars and bars, display the American Eagle on their websites, all the time while waving a Confederate flag, some even promoting groups like the KKK... you'd think they'd realize that this is incompatible, even dysfunctional, but... it's most certainly traditional.

My grandfather, who was born at the start of the Civil War, respected Rev. Baylus Cade, enough to name a child after him.  This child was my father (born in 1916 while Cade was still alive), Baylus Cade Brooks Sr. and I also possess the man's name as "Baylus Cade Brooks Jr."  In my view, the progressive nature of Rev. Baylus Cade lives on in myself and, no doubt in his own descendants.  

Understanding this historical sense of resistance to white-supremacist conservatives in my own lineage makes me proud and I think that it's time that North Carolina should recognize and restore Rev. Cade's contributions as scientist, inventor, minister, poet, lawyer, editor, journalist, and thoughtful North Carolina progressive. He began as most southerners, believing as they did in state's rights, even fought the federal government in the Civil War while too young to even be allowed a drink to celebrate today, but had slowly changed his outlook through his mental acuity, education, exposure to social inequalities, and his opposition to North Carolina's harsh suppression of African American justice. 

One of the characteristics that distinguished Rev. Cade above the lawyers and politicians of polite (meaning "white") conservative society was his scientific prowess.  He obviously focused more upon electrical and practical inventions rather than using his prominence and legal abilities to oppose the wishes of the people in the form of the federal government.  As the Ku Klux Klan and Red Shirts rode across the country frightening blacks and supporting Southern Democrats like Furnifold Simmons, William L. Saunders, and Charles Aycock in their conservative agenda, Baptist minister Rev. Cade sought to better our world through science and technology. 

Cade began his scientific work while still living in Scott's Depot, West Virginia.  In 1883, he proposed a better railroad car coupler.  It was a simple start, involving a "peculiar construction" of the duplex pin and bifurcating bar in traditional couplers.  

His interest in rail continued.  Cade's first invention while living in Louisburg, Franklin County, North Carolina involved telegraphy and he proposed to use the rail system to carry the transmission.  On March 6, 1888, he proposed his ideas for the "Railway Telegraphy" idea, "to provide simple and effective means whereby telegraphic communications may be established between moving trains and the stations along their tracks, or elsewhere.":

Baylus Cade's "Railway Telegraphy" patent

This was closely followed by the actual telegraph device.  In February 1890, eight years before the state's conservative coup d'etat in Wilmington, the Scientific American reported on Rev. Cade's "Electric Railroad Telegraph:"  He sold this device in 1889 for $50,000 plus royalties for 17 years!

Scientific American (February 1, 1890), 76.
Cade's "Railroad Telegraph" patent

Carolina Watchman, October 24, 1889

Carolina Watchman, December 12, 1890

In 1890, Cade involved himself in Populist, or anti-federal government politics and became assistant editor of the Progressive Farmer magazine, under editor Leonidas L. Polk.  Another of their publications included the Carolina Watchman, from which the ad above is taken. 

However, Rev. Cade was also interested in social reforms and had a growing progressive streak ("Progressive" Farmer was something of an intentional misnomer to distract from the white-supremacist conservative agenda of the organization).  

While serving as chaplain for Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Cade witnessed a serious failure of the prison system and offered solutions.  In 1897, the Proceedings of the Annual Congress of the National Prison Association of the United States, Rev. Baylus Cade submitted an article that revealed a bit of his progressive nature.  


  • Excerpt: "When society creates conditions which make either starvation, or theft to satisfy hunger, necessary in a given case, it cannot innocently punish him who takes bread to escape death by hunger.   In that case society is the criminal, and is as guilty before God, and in the esteem of all righteous men, as any other criminal ever was guilty."

Cade argued for welfare and food stamps, long before they ever became available.   Although the ex-Confederate soldier, Private Cade still regarded himself Populist, his social sentiments became increasingly progressive.  While Cade was still in Kansas, Daniel Russell "battled several detractors in both the Republican and Populist parties before he received the fusion nomination for governor. In a resounding victory for the fusionists, Russell was elected to the state's highest office."  Cade would continue the metamorphosis into a Lincoln Republican upon his return to North Carolina and during his tenure as Gov. Russell's private secretary, beginning in April 1898.  

As the Raleigh News & Observer, under Josephus Daniels was the mouthpiece for the conservative white-supremacists, the Charlotte Observer served as opposition and printed the following on October 26, 1898:

Charlotte Observer, Oct. 26, 1898
Where as it has been made known to me by the public press, by numerous letters, by oral statements of diverse citizens of the State, and buy formal written statements that the political canvas now going forward has been made the occasion and pretext for bringing about conditions of lawlessness in certain counties in the State, such, for example as Richmond and Robertson County, and...

Whereas it has been made known to me in such a direct and reliable way and that I cannot doubt its truthfulness, that certain counties lying along the southern border of the State have been actually invaded by certain armed and lawless men from another State [South Carolina, invited by the conservatives of North Carolina]; that several political meetings in Richmond and Halifax County has been broken up and dispersed by armed men in using threats, intimidation, and in some cases actual violence; that in other cases property has been actually destroyed and citizens fired on from ambush; that several citizens have been taken from their homes at night and whipped; that in several counties peaceful citizens have been intimidated and terrorized by threats of violence to their persons and their property until they are afraid to register themselves, preparatory to exercising that highest duty of freedmen - casting of one free vote at the ballot box, for men of their own choice, in the coming election...

Now, therefore, I, Daniel L. Russell, Governor of the State of North Carolina in pursuance of the Constitution and laws of the said State and by virtue of its already vested in me by the said Constitution and laws do any issue this my proclamation commanding all ill-disposed persons, whether of this or that political party, or of no political party, to immediately desist from all unlawful practices and all turbulent conduct and to use all lawful efforts to preserve the peace and to secure to all people the quiet enjoyment of all their rights of free citizenship; and I do further command and enjoin it upon all good and law-abiding citizens not to allow themselves to become excited by any appeals that may be made to their passions and prejudices by representatives of any political party whatsoever, but to keep cool heads and use their good offices to preserve the public peace and protect the humblest citizen in all his rights, political and personal, and I do further command and enjoin it upon all judges and all the other civil magistrates and upon all solicitors, sheriffs, and other officers of the law to use the best efforts under the Constitution and laws of the State to apprehend and bring to speedy trial all the offenders against persons and property and political and civil rights of any and all persons in this state whosoever...

(signed), Daniel L. Russell

By the Governor, Baylus Cade, Private Sec.

Two weeks later, on November 8, "Russell traveled home to Wilmington and cast his ballot without incident, but he barely made it back to Raleigh. A group of armed Red Shirts boarded the train at Hamlet looking for the governor, but Russell had been tipped off and was hiding in the baggage car. With the [conservative Southern] Democrats once again in control of the legislature, Russell considered resigning but eventually served out the remainder of his term, leaving office in 1901."[North Carolina Election of 1898]

Compare these events to Tea Party groups like "Operation American Spring" who now plan a May 16th, 10-million-strong invasion of Washington, DC to demand President Obama's surrender of the government.  This time, it's not just North Carolina, but the entire Tea-Party portion of crazy America.  Of course, the Tea Party's last Washington "invasion" amounted to a slumber party, so, certainly, times have changed. 

Still, at the turn of the 20th century, times were different (undoubtedly more aggressive and unfair) and North Carolina, a strongly conservative and white-supremacist state, easily resorted to violence to disfranchise blacks and prevent their service as leaders in the community, much like the reaction to President Obama today.  In that respect, North Carolina has not yet changed enough.  

Rev. Baylus Cade had aspirations of running for Congress on the Populist ticket before the violence in New Hanover County.  Upon leaving office, Russell tried to secure Cade the position of "court reporter," but that failed and Cade moved away from Raleigh briefly to Baltimore, Maryland before heading back to North Carolina in Morehead City.  He had adopted a clearly progressive mindset, joining Lincoln's Republicans and heading the Waynesville convention in 1902.  He became the state's leader in that party briefly before realizing the futility of fighting against the white-supremacists who ran the state.  

Baltimore Sun, January 30, 1901

Charlotte Observer, July 25, 1902

By the end of 1902, Cade had begun publishing his work on poetry and the next few weeks, he had announced his removal from politics.  He and Lincoln's Republicans were thoroughly beaten in North Carolina.  The state would remain conservative until this very day, when, ironically, conservatives have switched from the old traditional Southern Conservative to the modern Republican party, which has no resemblance whatsoever to Lincoln's Party.  So, now the white-supremacists have joined the Republicans.  I know, it gets confusing... but, that's politics! 

Charlotte Observer, December 21, 1902

Charlotte Observer, January 9, 1903

Six years after leaving politics and moving to Shelby, North Carolina, the ever-faithful Charlotte Observer announced Cade's newest invention.  It was a typesetting machine that promised to revolutionize printing.  The "inventive genius" Cade took numerous trips to Philadelphia to negotiate a contract for developing it.  

Cade filed the original patent August 10, 1908.  The mechanism was much more complicated than his previous inventions.  The patent paperwork was 13 pages long.  

"Composing and Line-Casting Machine," U.S. Patent Office patent for Baylus Cade, August 10, 1908.
Charlotte Observer, July 12, 1909
Charlotte Observer, August 2, 1909

Asheboro Courier, November 10, 1910

Charlotte Observer, March 22, 1911

Charlotte Observer, September 10, 1911

The real trial came in Philadelphia in 1911 and Rev. Baylus Cade was said to be quite pleased by it.  In the short interview between train stops at Lincolnton, Cade said, "the test was in every way satisfactory and if the present plans materialize the machines will be on sale one year hence."  Cade told the reporter that the decision had not yet been made whether to manufacture it in Shelby at his own facilities or in Philadelphia at those of his investors.  

Manufacturing a new product is always filled with numerous delays and Cade's "Compotype" Typesetter was no exception... apparently the price of its manufacture also increased, which, again, is no shock... 

Charlotte Observer, September 13, 1911
Charlotte Observer, January 7, 1912
Still, Cade returned from Philadelphia in March of 1912 with glowing news!  The Charlotte Observer reported that "He has a number of line slugs cast on the new machine and left one here which will be published in the Cleveland Star and will be the first printing done by the Cape Typesetting Machine."

"The inventor's friends have the sincerest confidence in its success.  Experts have visited the shop in Philadelphia and declare it a marvel. Mr. Cade has been working out the principles of his machine for 20 years or more and now the dream of its life is about to be realized in perfecting a machine that will revolutionize the printing industry."

My grandfather was a Baptist minister himself and an avid reader of the Charlotte Observer.  He followed Rev. Cade's success almost daily.  When his fourth son was born, Rev. E. M. Brooks and his wife, Emma wrote to Rev. Cade informing him of their decision to name their son after him.  Rev. Cade wrote back:

Letter: "Rev. Baylus Cade to Rev. Edgar M. & Emma Morton Brooks of Palmerville" (January 12, 1916)
Not long after my father, Baylus Cade Brooks Sr. was born, on January 1, 1916, this ad came out in the Charlotte Observer on July 15, 1917.  Another article from the Statesville Landmark shared the enthusiasm that the "returns will be marvelous."  A new patent had been filed on November 15, 1917 possibly due to the many changes that had been made by either Cade or the manufacturers in Philadelphia, Arnold and Frank D. Nacke, machinists (A. Nacke & Sons at 236 S 9th Street), or it could have been an added mechanism that was required to make it work better.  Another ad came out the following March 28, 1918.

Charlotte Observer, July 15, 1917

Statesville Landmark , July 13, 1917

"Casting Mechanism for Typographical Machines," U.S. Patent Office for Baylus Cade, November 15, 1917.
Charlotte Observer, September 9, 1917

Charlotte Observer, March 28, 1918

Charlotte Observer, May 27, 1918

Charlotte Observer, May 28, 1918

Reverend, lawyer, poet, politician, and inventor Baylus Cade died at the age of 74, on May 24, 1918 while seeking to further the manufacture of his typesetting machine.  The Charlotte Observer's obituary appeared in the May 27th issue, but the most complete biography appeared the next day.  That thoughtful friend/writer assured us that his invention would continue:

Rev. Baylus Cade

By far one of the most interesting characters in North Carolina passed away in the death of Rev. Baylus Cade who came into fame in recent years as the inventor of Cade typesetting machine and invention over which he had wrought in hopeful expectancy for more than 15 years. There were many who had faith in the invention and from time to time Mr. Cade was financed in the progressive steps towards attaining the perfected machine. This, it was understood, had been accomplished and the more recent efforts were in the direction of building a factory for the making of the machines.  At this writing it has not developed what effect the death of the inventor will have on the future of the Cade typesetter, but the possibilities are that it had been forwarded to such a state of completeness that there will be no difficulty in going on with it. Mr. Cade was a Baptist preacher, a man of great stature, and in his clerical coat, top hat and side whiskers was a personage of imposing appearance on the country circuit or on the crowded city streets.  He was a man of marvelous energies in the long years he devoted to his invention he did not neglect the pulpit.  He was the father of a large family having been blessed by 14 children of whom three daughters and two sons survive.  In the earlier days of his inventive work he received but little encouragement, but he never relaxed his efforts. He was handicapped by lack of proper machinery for the construction of the various parts of his machine, and for a time had to be content with the ordinary facilities of a Philadelphia machine shop, where there was finally turned out several years ago, his first crude typesetting machine. The "slugs" turned out he brought home as evidence of his triumph, but he did not contend that the machine was complete.  It needs adjustment of several kinds, and upon this finishing task patiently and hopefully set to work. Later came word that the imperfections in the machine had been removed and the stockholders had passed the stage of disappointment. The Cade typesetting machine stood a completed invention and the next move was the founding and equipping of a plant for its manufacture.  For several months Mr. Cade had been in Philadelphia superintending the making of the machinery which was to go into this factory and he was engaged in the supervision when called to its final abandonment.

The career of Cade, the Baptist preacher, was uneventful; the life of Cade, the inventor was picturesque - romantic. People with whom he came into contact could not resist the depth of his faith. He would never here to the suggestion of failure.  He persisted in convincing a man even against his will, and so, people came to have faith in both Cade and the Machine. It was a hard fate that directed the taking off of the inventor when the reward of all his years of labor and expectations seem to be within his grasp.


The Cade Manufacturing Company of Shelby, North Carolina lived after Rev. Baylus Cade, under its president, E. B. Hamrick, president also of Shelby Cotton Mills; another Shelby Cotton Mill man, Vice-president J.C. Smith of Shelby; Secretary-treasurer J. H. Quinn, and many other officers and investors across the state.  By 1918, they were seeking new manufacturing facilities in Greensboro on the corner of Lithia and West Lee, with frontage on the Southern Railroad line... the former Arctic Ice and Coal Company.   

Inland Printer/American Lithographer (1917), 698-9

Editor & Publisher, 51 (August 10, 1918), 24.

Many times, I have been told that my telling of history is overshadowed by my progressive politics.  This is the absolute truth and my intention!  My point is not to tell our history the way that North Carolinians have traditionally viewed it or want me to tell it, but to tell the truth instead.  In order to do that, I have to give the old historians a thorough reaming from a political point-of-view.  "Redeemer" history or "Revisionism"is a blight on professional history and a purposeful avoidance of justice.  Samuel A'Court Ashe and his "good-ol-boys" have reduced real progress to the realm of the distant "ether" and intentionally maimed our state's past.  Those with the wrong politics have been left out of the history books.

Rev. Baylus Cade made his contributions to society and because of his association with Daniel Lindsey Russell and liberal politics, conservative North Carolinians, who won the final battle of 1898, drove him into insignificance.  He was seen as a political traitor, a castaway, and eventually gave up on politics.  He devoted his energies to his scientific inventions and the Baptist ministry - he was largely successful as an inventor.  Despite his later scientific successes, even to this day, almost no one has heard of him.  Mine is an "odd name," people say, but it would not be if white-supremacists hadn't taken over the state at the turn of the 20th century and robbed Rev. Baylus Cade of his rightful recognition. 

I'm not bitter... well, maybe a little. ;)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Edward Moseley's 1733: North Carolina's Tale of Two and a Half Maps

Major Isaac Roberdeau

A long and involved affair developed over Edward Moseley's published [meaning printed... by, in this case John Cowley of Angel-Alley without Bishopsgate in London] map of North Carolina from 1733, which was huge, an 1822 tracing of one printing of that map, also huge, and a smaller, updated manuscript version of Moseley's map made in 1737, which could easily fit in a poster frame of today.  There are various photostatic copies of all shapes and sizes running about, too.

Answering the first question on my mind was not as easy as it first appeared when I investigated the many copies (seven in all) of Moseley's map available at the North Carolina State Archives

These were all photostats.  There are seven that were made at some time from original published versions of Edward Moseley's engraved map of 1733.  Three of these are from a tracing of Moseley's map made September 5, 1822 by Major Isaac Roberdeau, Chief of the recently-formed (1818) Topographical Bureau of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Isaac, the son of Revolutionary War General Daniel Roberdeau is best known for his association with Peter Charles L'Enfant in surveying the new capital city of Washington, DC.  The others are copies of a map held by a wealthy businessman who kept a winter home in South Carolina.  The photostatic copy made from this map was held after 1937 and before 1966 by the University of South Carolina. This copy was lost... so, of course, was the original.

The Roberdeau tracing intrigued me because we knew so little about it.  The question was, of course, about Roberdeau's involvement with an original copy of the 1733 Moseley map.  It surprisingly evolved into a hunt for the provenance of ECU's copy of the same map because its provenance was tied intimately with how Roberdeau obtained access to the copy of the map that he traced... as I think, the ECU copy, which I also think was Moseley's personal copy.

Presumably, Roberdeau made his tracing from an original copy that the United States was  not able to simply purchase... perhaps the owner would not part with it.  Or, he could have gone to England, as some have suggested and traced one of their two copies, but it's not as likely.  

Most likely, Roberdeau did not use either of the two copies available in England because only one member of the Bureau left for England during this time and he was to purchase special surveying instruments.  Roberdeau made the tracing, so Roberdeau had to be where the map was and he was not the one who procured the instruments.  Also, getting Congress to pay for two men to tour England on our recently-invaded country's dime was probably asking way too much.   

Presumably, this original was available to Roberdeau either in Washington, where he began his residence in August 1818 or at the home of its owner in 1822.  Assuming the latter, he would have had to be at the map's home at the time and, hopefully, there would be some reference to show this.  So, where was this location?  Most likely, it was in Edenton, where a published Moseley map of 1733 original was known to exist 30 years later with Hugh Williamson Collins (1812-1854).  By chance, Roberdeau may have had that opportunity...

1822 tracing of Moseley Map of 1733 by Major Isaac Roberdeau of the Topographical Bureau, U.S.Army Corps of Engineers. (original: "H 47 Roll" 57 x 45 inches, U.S. War Department), held by Library of Congress, lately lost - photostatic copy at NC Archives in Raleigh.
Bottom right cartouche on the Topographical Bureau's tracing of the Moseley Map of 1733 including Major Isaac Roberdeau's signature and the date September 5, 1822.
About the original Moseley maps of 1733 known to be in America... 

Professor Ralph Scott of East Carolina University presented a paper in 1991 detailing the provenance of "Plausible" Moseley's [this was the nickname that William Byrd II gave Moseley in 1728 as they surveyed the Virginia-NC line together] published map copies in the United States.  His concern was to establish the origin of the Graham copy hanging on the wall of Joyner's Special Collections Library at East Carolina University.  This copy was recently found (1982) in an attic of the Graham family home, the "Wessington" mansion in Edenton (see below):

Wessington mansion in Edenton, NC. Photo by Baylus C. Brooks (July 21, 2014).

Henry P. "Harry" Kendall, ca. 1925
Scott then presumed only two copies have come here, one with Gov. Arthur Dobbs when he arrived from London in 1755, the other bought by map collector Henry Plimpton Kendall (inventor of Curad Bandages, friend of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and chair of the Business Advisory Council under FDR) in 1937.  

Kendall probably obtained his copy late, perhaps overseas.  He had toured England in 1910 with his mother, Clara, sailing from Liverpool on the Zeeland back to Boston, Mass.  Later, Kendall left Boston to visit Brown, Shipley & Company manufactures (on Pall Mall in London) on the Cunard Steamship Samaria in September 1925.  He visited again two months later on the Cunard ship Alaunia to visit another manufacturer on Gibraltar Row.   In 1930, he held a map exposition in which he exhibited numerous maps of North Carolina.  Conspicuously absent from this exhibition was the alleged 1937 purchase of Moseley's 1733.  He visited France in 1931, according to ship passenger records, of which there are many Henry Kendalls leaving from either Boston or New York in the 1920s and 30s and visiting many localities, mostly in England.  Many of those travelers were likely this "Henry P. Kendall."  

Comparison between digital copies of both the Kendall copy and the Graham copy now held by ECU.  A line is missing between the "n" and "d" of the word "and" on the ECU copy but appears on the Kendall.  The "K" and first half of the "e" in "Keeauwees"is partly missing on the Kendall copy, but appears on today's ECU copy ... since ink does not miraculously re-appear, the maps are different copies. 
Kendall apparently saw a map during one of his many trips to England concerning North Carolina that he had never seen before and simply had to have it for his collection.  He could have seen it in a curio shop in Charing Cross or maybe a map collector that he met did not mind parting with a map of faraway America.  

Most likely, Kendall purchased this map and brought it back to his winter home in South Carolina, where he then photographed it and shared copies with map enthusiasts and the University of South Carolina before storing it at his estate.  He probably never knew that another version existed in America...

The interesting part is that Moseley maps keep disappearing... Kendall's original copy was not in his papers when he died in 1959 and the photostatic copy that he had made for University of South Carolina (and map enthusiast [author of Southeast in Early Maps (1958)] and English professor William P. Cumming) had disappeared from the University of South Carolina's archives.  In 1966, they borrowed a copy of the copy that the North Carolina State Archives had made earlier.  So, thankfully, we still know what Kendall's copy looked like... and, it was in pretty good shape, actually!  It had some inking variations, however, that distinguish it from the Graham copy (see comparison photos above). 

William P. Cumming’s collection of maps were generously donated to the E.H. Little Library of Davidson College, and include forty-eight maps with special interest in the early Southeastern United States - Harris, Jim. “Cumming Map Collection,” Davidson Encyclopedia, 23 January 2012

The only original left in the United States (that we know of) remains ECU's copy, hidden until 1982.  I've suggested, almost jokingly, that ECU institute National Archives-level security, of course. Still, even that failed at least once!

These maps were both 57 x 45 inches, within reasonable variation.  Furthermore, the map tracing that Roberdeau made in 1822 is 57 x 45.  So, it came from a published version of 1733, most likely... probably the only one known to have existed in NC at that time... again, the one found in 1982 in Edenton. After all, it could not have been Kendall's because that copy was probably still in England, waiting on the wall of some curio shop.

Interestingly and again, the War Department's "H 47 Roll" Roberdeau tracing of 1822 also turned up missing from the National Archives.  Again, fortunately, Raleigh was able to preserve this one through its photostatic copies.  It seems that the North Carolina Archives is the champion of both copies in its ability to preserve that which others have had difficulty!  lol

Today, in the digital age, the chances of losing their information again would be almost nil... thank goodness, because the historic value of that map is extraordinary and we keep fumbling with it thanks partly to private owners whose momentary delight dies with them! 

East Carolina University's original copy, found in 1982 is perhaps the most famous and has the most interesting story - and, some of it we can positively verify.  Ralph Scott meticulously followed its life, detailed by manuscript holdings of ECUs Special Collections (undoubtedly, there are more in other archives). 

As mentioned earlier, Gov. Arthur Dobbs (1689-1765) arrived in North Carolina in 1755 to replace Gabriel Johnston, who passed away in office in 1752.  Scott originally postulated that Dobbs purchased one of Edward Moseley's famous maps of 1733 while still in England... [whether "famous" or "infamous" is a matter of whether or not you've read my work ;) ]. Scott postulated that Dobbs brought it with him when he came to America. 

Moseley Map [1733] (#MC0017), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Advertisement for the published Moseley map; 9 September 1737; Virginia Gazette; Williamsburg, VA as shown at "A New and Correct Map of the Province of North Carolina: The Discovery of a 1737 North Carolina Manuscript Map" byMike McNamara - Interestingly enough, John Cowley advertised Seymour's Survey of London and Westminster profusely in every British newspaper, but I have yet to find the Moseley Map of 1733 advertised in any British newspaper.  The interest may not have been in Britain.

There's another possibility... proposed by another scholar, Mike McNammara: Dobbs may have urged the original engraver of Moseley's map (John Cowley) to make a smaller manuscript copy from Moseley's original survey, with added details showing improvements that occurred in the few years since the 1733 map was surveyed: the boundary between North and South Carolina and a settlement at the head of the Pee Dee, for instance.  McNammara believes the printed 1733 had not yet been available by 1736 when Dobbs and associates presented a map to the Board of Trade in London... so, they needed a "quickie" made, so to speak.  McNammara asserts that Dobbs kept the 1737 at his library at Castle Dobbs "on the second shelf of the catalog of his Northern Ireland library."  Dobbs had serious interests in investing in North Carolina.  Also, the 1737 manuscript map, to which McNammara refers, contained fewer details (settler's names) than Moseley's published version, indicating a more utilitarian purpose behind this smaller copy.  

A New and Correct Map of the Province of N.C. (#MC0035), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.-Reproduction from original. Scale [1:633,600]. 60 miles = 1 degree. Note below title: "Survey by J. Cowley, London. 1737."

A comparison of the compass roses on the Moseley maps and on the Hoare painting of 1752. 

Not only that, a 57 x 45- inch map would be difficult to hold casually while posing for a portrait.  ;)  McNammara makes a strong argumrent.  Unfortunately for Scott's original timeline, the 1737 map was probably the one in Dobb's possession, as McNammara asserts.  But, this may not be the end of the timeline just yet...

Portrait of Arthur Dobbs copied from the 1752 painting by William Hoare
Dobbs did bring a map to the colony and to Brunswick Town, where he lived at Russellborough mansion... he died here.  He even had his portrait painted holding this map, to illustrate the lavish attention that he displayed toward it.  Again, this map was probably the 1737 manuscript map and not the published 1733.  Regarding the map in the painting of Dobbs, McNammara cites the smaller size and position of the compass rose, as well as Dobb's prior partnership with North Carolina land investor Henry McCullough as early as 1735.  McNammara asserts that the 1737 was the one that was submitted to the Board of Trade in 1736 with their proposals.  Dobbs obviously had a prior relationship to the 1737 map that pre-dated his arrival in the colony... even his appointment as its governor in 1753, if William Hoare did, indeed paint this portrait in 1752.  Dobbs planned well in advance for his governorship/investment. 

So, the Graham copy at ECU may not have arrived with Dobbs in 1755.  Could Dobbs have purchased Moseley's personal copy from his estate when he arrived, six years after Moseley died in 1749?  The governor did, after all, build Russellborough mansion adjacent to Brunswick Town on the Cape Fear River.  He did reside in that town during his term, the same place where Moseley lived since 1734 and where he likely died [It was also where the 73-yr old codger met the 15-yr old Justina Davis and married her in 1762!].  The map might have been in his easy grasp at some point, especially after Moseley died, perhaps with his widow, Ann Sampson Moseley (she would later marry Hugh Munro of New Hanover, who d.1779).  That would preserve Scott's explanation, anyway... considering Dobb's interest in North Carolina and his residence in the Lower Cape Fear at the right moment, it's quite possible.

This highly speculative tact requires an approach from the other end of the timeline that, hopefully may tie together.  We have to "fore" track on the trail about a century... the Graham family was in possession of a map at some point and a 1853 article researched by Scott confirms that a cousin, Hugh Williamson Collins, a grandson of Josiah Collins Sr of Edenton, owned it by that time:

Portion from: "North Carolina," North Carolina University Magazine , v. 2, no. 1 (February 1853), 2.
The Collins were related by marriage to the Grahams.  So, this is very likely the earliest confirmed existence of ECU's map.  As to the map in Dobb's possession...

So, we have to connect the Moseley map from the time it fell from Moseley's own hands until it came into Collins' possession... assuming ECU's copy to be Moseley's personal copy.

Now, track to New Bern... with the Collins' kin... the Daves.

Josiah Collins II (1768-1839) of Edenton, N.C.
Now, Professor Scott, at ECU, described how Arthur Dobb's map (1733 or 1737 or both?) wound up in New Bern at Tryon Palace after Dobb's death... after an incident referred to as the "Martin Court Quarrel."  In his efforts to explain the provenance of this map, he describes how the last royal governor, Josiah Martin, replacing Arthur Dobbs had to leave the colony suddenly because of a slightly-heated argument called the "American Revolution."  When Martin boarded the ship, he left behind many of his belongings, including the map that was mired in litigation over Dobbs' estate.  We know he left a map because in the auction of his hastily left belongings there was a New Bern shipwright named David Barron who bought "One map of North Carolina" (only one!!!)... still, Barron died a year later and we lose track of (maybe) the 1737 map... but, both maps may have resurfaced together! They did, as the update below shows:
UPDATE: [7-29-2015]: Here's the other map purchase of David Barron: 

From 1777 sale of Josiah Martin's belongings left in Tryon's Palace when he hightailed it to HMS Cruizer. This is on the facing page of the estate sale (10 total pages!)
 It appears that the 2 pound price of Barron's map may have been the larger 1733 map while Ogden's only cost him 13 shillings. Presumably, the larger, printed map fetched a better price.

 UPDATE [6-4-2015]: I went to the state archives and just happened across the estate sale of the vacated Josiah Martin from 1777. In it, I found this reference:

From 1777 sale of Josiah Martin's belongings left in Tryon's Palace when he hightailed it to HMS Cruizer. Titus and Thomas Ogden were New Bern merchants. It appears that Titus Ogden purchased another map from the estate.
Yes, another reference to a "Map of Carolina" sold to Titus Ogden. The Ogden Family Papers, 1773-1891 (# 05481) at the Wilson Library at UNC tell:

  • Members of the Ogden family, headed by James and Mary Odgen, lived in Manchester, England. Their children Thomas Ogden (d. 1787), Titus Ogden (d. 1793), and Isaac Ogden (d. 1785) emigrated from Manchester to North America circa 1770, where they settled in New Bern, N.C., and became successful landowners and merchants. Titus Odgen later moved to Philadelphia, Pa., and then to Tennessee, where he died in 1793. Titus Ogden was a paymaster to the troops and of Native American annuities; he was present at the 1791 signing of the Treaty of Holston with the Cherokees in Philadelphia.
 "Thomas and Titus Ogden" or "T&T Ogden," merchants of New Bern appear often in the John Gray Blount papers regarding transactions and a vessel owned by Titus Ogden called Old Agatha of which Titus tried to get Blount to purchase half. Estate papers for both Thomas and Titus do not mention the map. John Daves was legally involved with settling the Ogden's affairs in Craven County with John Gray Blount as Titus Ogden's executor. Daves died in 1804. Daves presumably obtained the map in Ogden's estate and presumably passed to his eldest son, John Pugh Daves... both maps then sold from his estate to James W. Bryan for a mere 75 cents!

Further update below on John Pugh Daves Estate Sale....

Capt. John Daves of New Bern

Major (later, Capt.) John Daves (1748-1804) of New Bern served as the "first collector of the newly-open United States Customs House in New Bern," as told by Scott.  His home sat directly in front of the old governor's palace.  Scott also traced the family lineage of Daves and especially his daughter, Anne Rebecca (1785-1833), the wife of Josiah Collins Jr. and mother of Hugh Williamson Collins and the oldest child of age at the time Daves' died in 1804.  

Still, there was another link:

[UPDATE:] There is some possibility that Daves' son, John Pugh Daves had both maps in his estate inventory in 1839. They apparently were sold to "James W. Bryan"... if the bad writing actually reads as "Maps"... Yes, another link in the chain... James West Bryan, lawyer and recently appointed postmaster for Russel's PO in Craven County [15 May 1838] confirmed Daves' handwriting on his will in the probate in 1838. Bryan's biography from the Bryan Family Papers, 1704-1940 (#00096) at UNC reads:

  • James West Bryan (1805-1864), attorney and Whig legislator of New Bern, N.C., brother of John H. Bryan, graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1824. He represented Carteret County in the North Carolina State Constitutional Convention, 1835, and State Senate, 1835-1836. He was a trustee of the University of North Carolina, 1836-1856, and a member and vestryman of Christ Episcopal Church, New Bern. He married Ann Mary Washington (1814-1864) in 1831, with whom he had five children: John (died in infancy), Laura (1837-1868), James Augustus Washington (1839-1923), Henry (died in infancy), and Washington (1853-1927).

John Pugh Daves' Estate Sale in 1839, Craven County, NC [Updated info 6-4-2015]

So, how did Hugh Williamson Collins in Edenton get the 1733 Moseley map in 1853!? It may have come to him through his mother or maybe he borrowed it from a cousin.

Dobb's seems to have possessed both maps (remember, two were sold from Martin's "going out of the country sale" in 1777 it seems).  It would be interesting to know definitively what happened to Moseley's personal copy after his death slightly bef. 15 July 1749 and how Dobbs obtained it... Moseley never mentioned it in his eight-page will... damn him! :)
Major John Daves House
313 George Street, New Bern
Ca. 1770 - from Walking Tour Map

Furthermore, there is a narrative that may also preserve more of Ralph Scott's provenance detail and even how Major Roberdeau became involved in 1822.  Even more interesting, this tale supports the idea that Roberdeau traced ECU's copy of Moseley's map of 1733... maybe Moseley's own personal copy with his own penciled revisions written directly upon it.  

Yes... revisions... the penciled notations on the map portion below include revised waterways and names of settlers.  The "S[tephen] Howard" printed on the north side of New River received this particular property in 1748, a year before Moseley died.  Other names like "J[ohn] Harris" (friend of John Fonville and his neighbor on the Neuse River who died in Jan 1749), "T[homas] Spight" (Spaight) on the Neuse... Davis, Lewis, Joseph Morgan all received their grants and had been deeded their properties at the indicated locations before Moseley died.  The "SW R..." on New River probably refers to today's Southwest Creek [which he then called "River"]. The lettering is sometimes ornate, with serif, and placed similarly to names that Moseley placed on the 1733 original.  Also, the penciled-in portion that's probably Holly Shelter Creek, beginning near Burgaw (incidentally, there's a great seafood place on that creek called Hollands), is where Moseley and many of his "Family" members had significant real investments (see pics below).  [Note: NC Archives map, call number: MC.167.H7461.1885h]

These notations are probably from the right time and they do appear to follow his interests...
The evidence is good for this being Moseley's writing.

It should be noted here that Prof. Jonathan Dembo, archivist for ECU's Special Collections, mentioned that Herman Moll would sell subscriptions to people to have their names printed on their land in his maps.  If memory serves, William Mayo did the same on Barbados (there's a list of subscribers) and it may have been a common practice among hungry/indebted cartographers.  Moseley was, by no means, starving, but he may have been continuing this common practice even after he published the map... plans for a revised edition, perhaps?  The money could start rolling in before he could get it published!  You would think he already had enough... lol.

New River portion of ECU's Graham copy of the 1733 map with penciled notations/revisions
Moseley Map of 1733 (ECU) compared with 1770 John Collett showing the same area of the Lower Cape Fear.  Note that the penciled-in extension for the creek running east from the NE Cape Fear is in the approximate area of Holly Shelter as indicated by John Collett on his map.  Moseley and his "Family" owned quite a bit of that property.  The Swanns were his in-laws as well as the Lillingtons ("Lunington" on Collett) and both families owned saw mills on that creek. Also, Moseley's nephew, John Ashe, a later Rev. War General, founded the short-lived town of Exeter and Moseley himself had owned 2,000 acres directly South from Exeter and between Thomas Merricks' and Charles Harrison's lands that he deeded to sons James and Sampson when he died in July 1749.  They subsequently passed this property on to John Alexander Lillington, also a later Rev. War General in the 1760s.  The picture below shows a 1764 survey for this 2,000 acres by the "Great Island" in the NE Cape Fear River.
1764 Survey by John Colson for 2,000 acres (Moseley's grant originally stated 1,850 acres) formerly belonging to Edward Moseley on the east side of the NE Cape Fear River adjacent to the "Great Island" - from the Lillington Collection, Pender County Library Annex, Burgaw, Pender County, NC.

This is great fun, but we'll have to stop glaring at the map and get back to the narrative... ;)

Enter Major Isaac Roberdeau in the early 19th century... he's already surveyed Washington, DC with L'Enfant, been appointed by Calhoun to the Topographical Bureau and avidly seeking maps of the United States.  His story explores early antebellum North Carolina and the "Era of Good Feelings," a period in the political history of the United States that reflected a sense of national purpose, especially with the failure of the Federalist party and a forlorn opportunity  to create George Washington's hope of a no-party system.  Nevertheless, historians consider the "Era of Good Feelings" something of a misnomer because the history of the era expresses a strained and divisive political atmosphere (human beings in America have difficulty getting along, it seems).  There were particularly strong factions within the Monroe administration and the Jeffersonian Republican Party that fueled repeated investigations... a lack, rather, of "good feelings."

John C. Calhoun, as Secretary of War, formed the Topographical Bureau and appointed his friend, Isaac Roberdeau in charge of it (was once accused of overpaying Roberdeau in 1821).  The Secretary of War was accused of abusing his office and Roberdeau testified in his defense that, during his term as Chief, he struggled to increase the map holdings of the War Department from 65 at start to 1,180 and it was still increasing.  Roberdeau assured that it would soon reach 2,000.  This testimony for his friend Calhoun was delivered before Congress in 1825.  One of those "acquired" maps had to be his tracing of the Moseley Map, made three years earlier.  

Roberdeau Buchanan talked about the relationship between the engineer and John C. Calhoun and Roberdeau's usual trend regarding his inspections in his Genealogy of the Roberdeau Family: Including a Biography of General Daniel Roberdeau:

  • Between Mr. Calhoun and the family of Colonel Roberdeau, there existed a warm friendship ; commencing with their official relations while the former was Secretary of  War.  Upon his yearly tours of inspection of the various military posts, Colonel Roberdeau generally accompanied him, and kept a private journal of the movements and expenses of the party.  The Columbian Sentinel of Boston, September 27, 1820, contains a notice:  "Secretary of War left New Haven on Friday last on his return to Washington, accompanied by Major Roberdeau of the Topographical Engineers, and Mr. Hagner, one of the Auditors of the Treasury."

Roberdeau made his tracing of Moseley's map on September 5, 1822.  Where he obtained access to a copy of a Moseley original, 57 x 45 inches, is the question.  

Hugh Williamson Collins' father, Josiah Collins Jr. lived, like his father, in Edenton at a large estate that at least one map labels as "Monticello" in the 1830s (be warned: I have been informed that this map may be inaccurate, though Collins did live in Edenton, on the Albemarle shore):

Walter Gwynn, [untitled], 1830s

A New and Correct Map of the Province of North Carolina: The Discovery of a 1737 North Carolina Manuscript Map
Mike McNamara
- See more at:
A New and Correct Map of the Province of North Carolina: The Discovery of a 1737 North Carolina Manuscript Map
Mike McNamara
- See more at:
A New and Correct Map of the Province of North Carolina: The Discovery of a 1737 North Carolina Manuscript Map
Mike McNamara
- See more at:
It may have been at Collins' "Monticello" near Edenton that Roberdeau had returned to trace Moseley's map in 1822.  

Collins, Josiah, Sr. by A. C. Menius III, 1979
Collins would have been an interesting man for Roberdeau to speak with.  He had built a canal from Lake Phelps to the Scuppernong River around the turn of the century to drain his 160,000 acres in then Tyrrell County (now, Washington).  
  • NOTE:  Josiah Collins' grandson Josiah III would become known for his estate at Somerset Plantation on Lake Phelps.  However, he was the first generation to move away from Edenton and the first to be born in America and not England.  

President James Monroe often traveled by new maritime technology.  August 17, 1807 marked the launch of Robert Fulton's North River Steamboat.  This brand new technology was making inroads upon maritime navigation and characterized the innovative atmosphere of the era, as also the newer and better Dismal Swamp Canal, by coincidence, an engineering specialty of Major Isaac Roberdeau who published "Mathematics and Treatise on Canals" in 1796.  Certainly, the Collins should have known of Roberdeau's work.  Although it was eventually Major James Kearney who surveyed the Dismal Swamp Canal, Roberdeau must have had some impact upon the project and good reason to accompany his friend Calhoun on the journey to investigate the coastal fortifications, another of his professional interests.  So, Collins and Roberdeau would have much to share. 

President James Monroe
Josiah Collins Sr. had an accident and was quite elderly already in 1819.  He would die by May of that year.  Still, a month before he passed away, President Monroe, his secretary and Secretary of War John C. Calhoun and his wife visited Edenton in April of 1819.  They were making a tour of the southeastern coast, visiting Edenton, Washington, NC, New Bern, Trenton, Wilmington, Charleston, and, undoubtedly many other destinations.  

Secretary of War John C. Calhoun

The Edenton Gazettte issue of April 6th, 1819 reported that they brought along members of the Army's "Corps of Engineers" that were to show the president "objects particularly deserving his attention" relative to "a naval depot, dock-yards and fortifications."  Major Isaac Roberdeau never appeared by name in the newspaper reports, but as the Chief of the Topographical Bureau, Corps of Engineers and a personal friend of John C. Calhoun's, he undoubtedly did accompany them, perhaps anonymously included in the president's military contingent.

Edenton Gazette header for April 13, 1819

The president and party left Washington, DC on March 31st.  They took the steamboat Roanoke for Norfolk, arriving there the next day.  The Gazette printed the news from Norfolk on April 1st:

Edenton Gazette April 6th, 1819

 The president was to return to the Dismal Swamp Canal which he had inspected the year before, falling into the canal when some loose logs on a bridge rolled as he tried to stand on them.  One reporter noted sarcastically that he only got "[Henry] Clay" on his coat.  lol  Nevertheless, Monroe saw Lake Drummond and experienced one of the first trips through the newly opened Dismal Swamp Canal, seen as an important advance in national security after the recent war with Britain... the second one... War of 1812.

Edenton Gazette ad for Steam-boat Albemarle, April 1819
Once in Edenton, President Monroe again received another hearty welcome.  "On Tuesday, last," stated the Edenton Gazette, they embarked aboard the Steam-boat Albemarle for the "Marshes, which separate Albemarle from Pamlico Sound" (namely, the current Hyde, Tyrrell, Washington, and Beaufort County areas) before proceeding to inspect the recently closed Roanoke Inlet, a devastating detriment to Edenton's commerce.  The president's party of engineers may have offered some hope to Edenton's merchants, undoubtedly, Josiah Collins Sr. and Jr. who would certainly have been in attendance... "opening a direct outlet to the ocean from Albemarle Sound," which was rapidly closing and choking off what little access merchants still enjoyed from other maritime locales and their ships' cargoes.

Although the newspaper did not specifically mention the Collins, the two men were prominent local citizens of Edenton who should have been there... with at least John C. Calhoun in attendance, if not his friend and engineer, Roberdeau.  Still, Calhoun was closely associated with the Topographical Bureau that was then actively engaged in acquiring a massive collection of maps and would have been interested in a copy of Moseley's map that anyone, like Collins, would wish to share.    

It's still possible that Roberdeau and Moseley's map may have missed each other in Edenton.  Perhaps another explanation for the connection between Roberdeau and an original copy of Edward Moseley's map might assume that Collins did not obtain access to the map in 1804 when his father-in-law, Captain John Daves died and that it actually fell into the hands of his son, John Pugh Daves (1789-1838) of New Bern (perhaps given to his sister and mother of Hugh Williamson Collins, Anne Daves Collins after his death in 1838)... 

No problem... because the president's party made their way that April over land to Washington, NC, then by the waters of the Pamlico to Neuse Bridge on the Neuse River, and then, into New Bern.  Calhoun and/or Roberdeau may have found the map in Edenton or they might have heard about it and decided to ask Daves about it when they reached New Bern on the president's tour the morning of April 10th.  

By luck, the committee awaiting them in New Bern consisted of many prominent citizens of their fair town, including John Stanly, Edward Graham, and Jonathan P. Daves (yes, this is him).  

William Blount Shepard (1844-1913)
Prof. Ralph Scott writes that Mrs. John W. Graham, of Edenton, claimed the ECU copy of the map to have "been in possession of the Graham family for several generations."  Another part of Ralph Scott's investigations concerned how it came into the Grahams' possession.  Hugh Williamson Collins was apparently an alcoholic who never married.  He was living with his sister Ann Collins Blount when he died of "dropsy due to cirrhosis of the liver" in 1854 at the age of 41, the year after he informed North Carolina University Magazine of his ownership/possession of the Moseley map. 

Afterward, Scott tells us that Hugh's nephew Arthur Collins (1842-1913, son of Josiah III) left "an old map in the room" to the care of his cousin William Blount Shepard (1844-1913) who happened to live at Josiah Collins III's Somerset Plantation in Creswell, North Carolina [Collins-Shepard genealogy].  Arthur made his request that Shepard "Please take care of [the map] for me."  He must have done so before his death.  He died June 1913.  Little did Arthur know at that time that Shepard would die before him, in January of the same year.  Still, Shepard's daughter, Anne Cameron Shepard had married William Alexander Graham, MD (1875-1911).  Their son was John W. Graham, husband of the woman who found the map in her attic in 1982 and transmitted it to ECU.  

So, it may have been that, by this time, the Collins and allied families viewed the map as an honored possession - certainly not when Bryan had two maps for only 75 cents.  Still, the 1733 map had been sought by the federal government for the Topographical Bureau's collection and traced in 1822, then by the North Carolina University Magazine in 1853.  Anne Shepard Graham and her husband may have recognized the map's historical significance as well... Edward Moseley's name was well known, especially after Confederate attorney-general and Wilmington resident (and member of Moseley's "Family") George Davis' glorious praise of him following the Civil War.  

NC Gov. William Alexander Graham (1840-1843)
Still, if James W. Bryan possessed the map in 1839, there may be another trail... A bit more investigation shows that William Alexander Graham's father was John Washington Graham (1838-1928), of Orange County, North Carolina.  John's father was Governor and Confederate senator William Alexander Graham of North Carolina, born in 1804, son of General Joseph Graham (War of 1812), and whose grandfather James Graham (1714–1763) was born in Drumbo, County Down, Northern Ireland and settled in Chester County in the Province of Pennsylvania.  Gov. Graham's wife was Susannah Sarah Washington (1816-1890). UPDATE: Was she related to Mary Ann Washington who married James W. Bryan? Indeed, they were sisters, both daughters of John and Elizabeth "Betsy" Heritage Cobb Washington. So, the 1733 map may have passed from Mary Ann Washington Bryan to her sister, the wife of Gov. William A. Graham sometime after Bryan purchased the "2 old maps" from John Pugh Daves' estate in 1839.

So, we have two possible transmissions from Daves to Graham, one via Daves to Collins-Shepard and the other via Bryan/Washington to Graham. It may have happened both ways, the map temporally being loaned to Hugh W. Collins who died prematurely and the old map falling to Shepard who gave it back to the next generation of Grahams.

Of early North Carolina "historians," commonly trained as lawyers and politicians, Gov. William A. Graham was something of an antiquarian/amateur historian himself whose daughter had married Walter Clark, noted politician, lawyer, and compiler of the state records, another twilight-years historian like his father-in-law.  Graham was well-noted for his strong Confederate sympathies and white supremacy and much of his historical contributions undoubtedly had a slightly-biased revisionist historical "flavor."  He also may have imparted "historical" sympathies to his son, William, the doctor who married Ms. Anne Shephard and brought the Collins' map into his orbit.  
  • Still, the next generation folded the map and stored it in their attic (in a large encyclopedia... part of a collection of books stored there)... not archival conditions, but dry.  Bugs and other environmental factors may have taken their toll and many places along the fold lines have been eaten away... a perfect argument for proper, non-antiquarian and third-party/public archival care.  The map could have been lost at any number of occasions while in the private care of people who may or may not understand its value to the state. The Kendall original copy of Moseley's map is now lost to us because Kendall chose to keep it in his own, personal collection... a collection that he had no control over after his death.  A part of our cultural heritage was irresponsibly thrown away... Public institutions are not perfect, no.  Still, they have YET to lose an original copy of this map and have a much better track record than the private whims of the average human being.  Archives have many stages of oversight... it's their job.  Yes, I feel strongly about least we may still have Moseley's personal copy thanks to Mrs. Graham's wisdom in 1982.
Incidentally, in 1835, The future Gov. Graham served on the North Carolina General Assembly, House of Commons as the delegate from Hillsborough while Hugh Williamson Collins served on the same body as the delegate from Edenton. Again, a close-knit bunch...
  • Of the "Edward Graham" that served on the committee to meet President Monroe in New Bern in April 1819 with John Pugh Daves, he was probably not related to Gov. William A. Graham, but, irregardless, he was John Pugh Daves' father-in-law.  Daves married his daughter, Elizabeth Batchelor Graham.  Again...this can be confusing!
Anyway... we've gotten way off track, here.  

Obviously, Major Isaac Roberdeau had plenty of opportunity to "discover" an original copy of Edward Moseley's map of 1733... the full-sized 57 x 45-inch version. 

In all of the trouble to discover how a copy of Moseley's map arrived in America... and, just happened to land in Edenton, historians and other scholars have seldom dared to hope that it might be Edward Moseley's personal copy.  The penciled notations, I believe, were made by Moseley himself... in preparation for a revised version.  We may occasionally be rewarded for our dares!  :)

Surely, Moseley had to own a copy of his own final product!  He died in 1749 and he lived in Edenton for most of his adult life, between 1704 and 1733.  But, he spent 1734-1749 living part-time in Brunswick Town, just a stone's throw away from Gov. Arthur Dobb's future plantation of Russellborough, built only five years after Moseley died.  Moseley and the rest of his "Family" owned tens of thousands of acres (nearly 165,000 by my calculations so far) across the colony.  Moseley's sons inherited his portion and, perhaps his other possessions, such as a large map...  Indeed, it may still have been hanging on the wall in his home in Brunswick Town when Dobbs arrived six years after Moseley died!  Anne Moseley, who resided in Brunswick Town after her husband's death, more than likely rolled out a welcome mat for the new governor. It may have been the first time he had seen Moseley's original map.

Gov. Arthur Dobbs may have "inherited," "purchased," "acquired" Moseley's map in Brunswick Town.  This is the only missing link... between the heirs of Edward Moseley and Gov. Dobbs or between Moseley and Collins... the lines do get crossed...  Plus, the Revolution caused enough confusion to lose the trails of both maps, the 1733 and the 1737, when Gov. Martin snuck away in the night to avoid being lynched or killed by irate Americans. Which did he have at Tryon?  One?  Or both?  Some day we may answer that question... some document somewhere, perhaps in the estate of eldest son John Moseley or Edward Moseley Jr., or brothers Sampson, Thomas, James, or William... not to forget daughter Ann Humphries or widow, Ann Sampson Moseley Munro (after 1762, the wife of Hugh Munro).  

One thing that seems significant is that Edward's widow probably remained at his home in Brunswick Town through 1762, where a tax list shows her as still "Ann Moseley."  She had not yet married Hugh Munro (d. 1779).  So, when Dobbs lived in Brunswick Town, Moseley's widow was young and a "free agent" as they say... Dobbs married the still-giggling Davis girl in 1762 as well... the Davis family was related to Moseley through marriage and Dobbs most likely met her in Brunswick Town or Wilmington.  He had ample opportunity to come into contact with Moseley's map.

Last Page of Edward Moseley Will, dated 20 March 1745
Moseley's kids weren't hurting for wealth... the most interesting aspect of Moseley's eight-page will is that he spends a great deal of time devising his many acres with various houses (including the unfinished "Moseley Hall" on the west side of the Northeast Cape Fear River that was to be his grand estate), improvements, and the produce of his slaves and vineyards.  He names his many slaves (about 100 in all), his more than 150 books, various rings worth a "guinea" each, demanding payment of his debts only from the more than plentiful money owed to him and not from the sale of any of his property or slaves, worrying about every minute detail of even the most insignificant fiscal nature, even to who gets what silverware... but, he never seems concerned specifically about the one primary creation of his own genius and artistry, the one thing that we, today, have come to revere the most... his copy of the map of 1733.  Presumably, it is included in the last item... "The rest & residue of my Estate, both real and personal I give to be equally divided among my Sons & the Survivors of them."  

I will say this:  he had damn good handwriting!

Even Moseley, himself, the "land-hungry" man described by Noeleen McIlvenna in A Very Mutinous People, the “factious man” who “found little use for his talents save that of stirring up strife and encouraging contention for ends purely selfish" that historian Rev. Francis Lister Hawks found in 1858, cared so much more for his wealth, slaves, and possessions than anything else, including his own creation.  I guess we think more of it than he did.  As for us North Carolinians, we will remember his map... and the one that's hanging on the wall of Joyner's Special Collections at East Carolina University could very well be the one that he thought not so worthy to mention in his will.

Graham Copy of Edward Moseley's Map of 1733 Hanging on Wall of J. Y. Joyner's Special Collections at East Carolina University


Dethroning the Kings of Cape Fear: Consequences of Edward Moseley's Surveys

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Aristocratic Pyrates of the Albemarle

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Brunswick Town and Wilmington

 Purchase an e-copy for $5 or get a print version among more titles by B. C. Brooks