Separation of Carolinas

by Robert J. Cain, 2006 as published in NCpedia

'Die Provintz Nord und Sud Carolina (The province of North and South Carolina),' a German map from 1711, and one of the earliest to show North and South Carolina as different regions. Image from NC Maps.

‘Die Provintz Nord und Sud Carolina (The province of North and South Carolina),’ a German map from 1711, and one of the earliest to show North and South Carolina as different regions. Image from NC Maps.

The province of Carolina given by England’s King Charles II to the Lords Proprietors in 1663 and 1665 constituted a single grant. In 1664 the northeastern portion of the province, at that time the only part settled by Europeans, became the county of Albemarle, and a few years later, in 1670, another colony was established at Charles Towne (now Charleston, S.C.) on the Ashley River. Separate governmental structures-governors, councils, assemblies, and courts-came into being for the two settlements, although technically the province of Carolina was a united entity with neither of its two colonies being considered superior to the other.

In 1691, in a halfhearted attempt to centralize authority in response to unrest in both settlements, the Lords Proprietors decreed that the governor of Carolina would reside in Charles Towne and appoint a deputy for the northern part of the colony. The practical effect of the measure was at best negligible. Although the innovation resulted in the chief executives of North Carolina being styled “deputy governor” as a result of the change, their subordination to the “governor” at Charles Towne seems to have been merely formal. In addition, the legislatures and courts of both parts of the province continued their separate and independent existences. In 1710, however, the Proprietors ceased naming a governor for all of Carolina, and in 1712 Edward Hyde took the oath as governor of “No. Carolina.” Nevertheless, various formal documents issued by the Lords Proprietors well after 1712 continued to refer to the “Province of Carolina” as if it were an undivided unit, as well as to the “Province of North Carolina” and the “Province of South Carolina.”


Hugh T. Lefler and William S. Powell, Colonial North Carolina: A History (1973).

Powell, The Carolina Charter of 1663 (1954).

Additional Resources:

Walbert, David. “A royal colony.” Colonial North Carolina. (accessed October 16, 2012).

Davis, Jim. “Dividing the Carolinas.” Point of Beginning. November 25, 2002. (accessed October 16, 2012).

Image Credits:

Huber, Johannes Henry. “Die Provintz Nord und Sud Carolina.” 1711, NC Maps. (accessed October 16, 2012).

Welcome to the HMC Fellowship

The Historic Mapping Congress first met a few years ago with the express purpose of coordinating the efforts of various organizations and individuals interested in finding and mapping historic roads and the important sites they connected.  The technological advantage that Geographic Information Systems (GIS) offered were quickly recognized and the group almost immediately took on the challenge of designing a spatial database structure and defining the applications and web services that would access it.  The driving philosophy has always been centered on allowing the public to openly input their knowledge through a spatial “crowdsourcing” concept based on interactive maps and the ability to validate those contributions by others.  To date, our efforts have produced a geographic data model and many conceptual ways of providing electronic collaboration. With a primary focus on the technology aspects, some of the more traditional collaboration issues may have appeared to be largely unattented.  This blog post is an attempt to update the record by explaining each of the many ways our group is already facilitating and promoting the open sharing of historic information through geography.  As our motto says, we are “mapping the past, charting our present, guarding the future.

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