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Cartes et cartographies dans le monde anglophone aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles

Searching for Cofitachequi: How English Colonizers Mapped the Native Southeast before 1700

S. Max Edelson

Résumés

A leur arrivée en Caroline en 1670, les colons anglais s’appuyèrent sur la connaissance que possédaient les Espagnols de la géographie et de l’ethnographie des territoires situés au sud-est de l’Amérique du Nord afin de mieux comprendre les peuples et les lieux se trouvant à l’intérieur du continent. Cet ensemble de textes et de cartes répertoriaient les entradas de De Soto et de Prado et dessinaient un paysage composé de chefferies puissantes, riches et agressives. Les cartographes de la Renaissance et de la première modernité produisirent une iconographie des villes amérindiennes qui rendirent visibles ces caractéristiques sociales. De telles images préparèrent les colons anglais installés en Caroline à des rencontres diplomatiques avec les chefferies amérindiennes, en particulier Cofitachequi, afin de contrer la menace que constituait la Floride espagnole. Cet article analyse deux cartes commandées par les Lords Proprietors de Caroline qui représentaient l’évolution des perceptions de la culture, de la société et des structures politiques amérindiennes. Ce premier contact avec Cofitachequi ayant été pris, les colons anglais purent ainsi affronter un nouveau monde amérindien après l’effondrement de la société mississippienne, monde dominé par des sociétés en voie d’unification.

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1Soon after Hernando de Soto arrived in Florida in 1539, his forces encamped in the Muskogean region of Apalachee along the Gulf Coast. Before he decided on a course into the interior to attempt a new conquest, he interviewed two Native captives who knew of a place that answered his desires and offered to guide him to it. They called it Cofachiqui, but it was known by many names – Chufytachq’e, Tatchequea, Catilachegue, and over a dozen more. This was a placename uttered by unfamiliar tongues and mangled in transliterations before chroniclers and mapmakers fixed its variations in Latin text on paper (Vega 252-54). Archaeologists have settled on Cofitachequi as the standard name for the paramount chiefdom they believe dominated part of what is now the South Carolina Piedmont. They describe it as the easternmost outpost of North America’s Mississippian culture, featuring tributary rule, mound building, and other material and cultural trappings of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex. For the Spaniards who invaded the North American Southeast, Cofitachequi was the destination that set their entrada in motion, a place of seeming clarity within their otherwise hazy grasp of the complex physical, political, and human geography of the interior. It drew them into the continent like a lodestone. By listening to its people and leader, whom they called the Lady of Cofitachequi, these would-be conquistadors acquired the spatial knowledge that propelled them on their violent journey across the mountains and into the Mississippi River Valley, where Soto died in 1542, having failed to secure the region for Spain.

2More than a century later, in 1669, when Carolina’s Lords Proprietors dispatched ships and settlers to plant a new colony in the Southeast, Cofitachequi lived on in their imaginations as a center of Native power, despite the fact that this chiefdom, and many others, had broken down as the primary form of social organization for Native peoples in the region. Carolina’s charter extended indefinitely into the west, but the English knew little about the lands and people just a few miles inland from the shore. Carolina’s founders read Spanish accounts of the entradas, several of which had been translated into English in the intervening years, to shape their expectations. They studied maps derived from official Spanish manuscripts that located the places in these chronicles, populating the blank spaces of the continent with a landscape of Indian cities. And they commissioned two new maps that visualized a landscape of chiefdoms that included new information about particular Native groups about which the Spanish had left no record. In the process, they cobbled together a new picture of the complex social space between Spanish Florida and English Virginia. The elusive chiefdom of Cofitachequi lingered in the European geographic imagination into the eighteenth century, long after this place ceased to exist as a community. When Cofitachequi disappeared from the maps, Carolina’s colonists, traders, and officials lost an important site that had helped them get their bearings in unfamiliar territory.

3This essay traces how the English, from their seventeenth-century coastal settlement in Charlestown, came into engagement with Cofitachequi in idea, image, and text. It considers how this chiefdom’s disappearance changed the English idea of Carolina in the colony’s first generation of settlement. Confitachequi promoted the illusion of a singular Native presence in the interior. It kept alive the original Spanish aims for its conquest – mineral wealth and geopolitical control through conquest – as future possibilities for Carolina’s Lords Proprietors. Its loss forced English colonizers to open their understandings to a bewildering world populated by numerous indigenous societies. As they did, Native groups exploited this confusion by offering to take Cofitachequi’s place as mediators between Carolina’s limited coastal outpost and the Native southeast. The idea of Cofitachequi prepared the first Carolinians for a particular mode of engagement with the Native interior. As they lost this fabled indigenous chiefdom, Native leaders stepped in to fill its place by defining their towns in like terms, as indispensable points of reference that helped Carolinians understand the people and places of the continental interior.

Spanish Entradas and the Elusive Chiefdom of Cofitachequi

4Soto expected to find chiefdoms in the interior Southeast, even before Spanish mapmakers located them on maps of North America. Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón’s expedition of 1526 had failed to plant a permanent settlement along the coast, but it yielded an enduring idea that, past the swampy coastal plain, the inland territory might be fertile as well as temperate. Ayllón returned to Spain with his Native informant and captive, Francisco, who described the lush interior province of Chicora directly to Peter Martyr d’Anghiera, a key chronicler of Spain’s expansion into the world, at his home in Valladolid. Martyr featured this first-hand testimony in his historical account of Spanish discoveries, published in Latin in 1530. His tales of Chicora prepared Soto and his men to seek out treasures as well as habitable lands in the continental interior. The Crown’s contract with Soto, granted in 1537, presumed that the conquistador would find chiefdoms from which wealth might be extracted. Before Soto pilfered his first pearl, he was already obliged by the terms of this contract to give the king fifty percent of the value of any goods he plundered from grave sites and temples (Hoffman 17, 21, 83-85, 88-89).

5When Soto and his men finally reached Cofitachequi’s territory, they configured an idea of the chiefdom as a civic form around their experiences. The initial journey from Apalache to Cofitachequi taught them that the region’s chiefdoms were separated by spaces that had been depopulated by violence. For more than a century before Soto arrived, the great chiefdoms of the Mississippian world faced decline and dispersion. The Savannah River corridor – once home to a string of powerful chiefdoms – had given way to the vacated sites that the Spaniards passed through on their trek to Cofitachequi. Before they found it, they spent weeks on the march in the spring of 1540. Distressed and disoriented, they crossed a great river and found, to their consternation, that in doing so, they had reached the limits of their Native informants’ geographic knowledge. They wandered, lost, for days before reaching a town at the outer edge of Cofitachequi’s influence (Hoffman 92-93; Snyder 11; Strang 27-28; Weddel; Hudson 30). As the Spanish struggled to find a clear path toward Cofitachequi in this “desert,” they uncovered a spatial characteristic of Late Mississippian chiefdoms: their discrete and limited territorial dominion (Fogelson and Sturtevant 48-49; King).

6When they approached the heart of the chiefdom, the sight of the Lady of Cofitachequi, borne on an elaborate litter and then ferried across a river on a fine canoe to greet them, satisfied their expectations for chiefly power and authority. When she placed a string of pearls around Soto’s neck, this act of diplomacy also reinforced Spanish expectations for mineral wealth. Spanish soldiers consumed the chiefdom’s food stores after facing the prospect of starvation on their difficult journey to find Cofitachequi. Their voraciousness made clear how chiefdom society depended on the surpluses generated by intensive maize agriculture (Snyder 12-15; Sleeper-Smith 32).

7Soto believed that the Lady of Cofitachequi commanded people and resources for some 250 miles around the chiefdom’s central settlements, and archaeologists – who offer caveats about the practical limits of its power – categorize Cofitachequi as a paramount chiefdom. Paramount chiefdoms were polities led by micos, hereditary leaders who accepted maize and goods from lesser chiefs, known as orata, in acknowledgement of the micos’ superiority in the political and spiritual hierarchy that governed Mississippian society. This prestige and influence left its imprint on the material culture that archaeologists have excavated, including great houses, temples, mounds, and well-wrought luxury goods for adornment and display. Paramount chiefdoms like Cofitachequi were regional polities, highly cultured according to the Spanish, but also savage in their propensity for war and human sacrifice. Although European observers understood the regional sway of the great micos to be absolute, late-Mississippian chiefdoms were in fact networks of allegiance built on negotiation as much as force and prone to instability and dissolution (Hudson et al. 466-69; Hudson, The Juan Pardo Expeditions 83).

8In some ways, Cofitachequi lived up to Soto’s expectations for the Native society he wanted to find. Assured by a captive Native interpreter, Parico, that the chiefdom was particularly powerful and wealthy, Soto expected to find gold, silver, and plenty of provisions to keep his soldiers fed. A large temple featuring a steeply pitched roof adorned with shells and pearls dominated Talimeco, the central town that contained some five hundred houses. Chronicler Garcilasco de la Vega called the edifice the “richest and most superb of all those that our Spaniards saw in La Florida” (Waddell, “Cofitachequi: A Distinctive Culture” 333-34).

9Soto pillaged Cofitachequi’s temple at a time when Spanish merchants and indigenous divers had been harvesting pearls in the circum-Caribbean for more than a generation. Spaniards recognized pearls as a form of wealth; they understood that their value was linked to their size and luster; and they were accustomed to seeing pearl shipments dispatched to the Crown in vast quantities as a source of currency as well as ornamentation. The stockpiles of pearls they looted here was the only significant cache of mineral wealth they found in the Southeast. They also found sheets of wrought copper that showed familiarity with metallurgy that suggested rich veins of ore hidden in the nearby mountains (Warsh chap. 2; Clayton 308-9).

10After the Spanish took possession of its pearls and corn stores, the reigning Lady of Cofitachequi fled her chiefdom’s central town and went into hiding. Assured by Parico that another rich province lay farther inland, Soto departed. After Soto left, other Spaniards dreamed of returning to Cofitachequi for its “pearls and fine furs, and […] access to the mountains where minerals could be found,” wrote one petitioner to the Spanish king. For decades after this encounter, the Spanish dreamed of founding a new port settlement on the Atlantic coast and linking it back to the untapped wealth of Cofitachequi. Drawn by Spanish maps and accounts, French Protestants established short-lived settlements along the southeastern coast from 1562 to 1565. They continued to dream of the interior province of Chicora anchored by a great walled town stocked with gold, silver, and pearls (Hudson, Knights of Spain 146-84; Hoffman 98-99, 152-53, 236-37, 207-19).

11The Spanish settled St. Augustine in 1565 and Santa Elena (on present-day Parris Island, South Carolina) in 1566. They attacked and dispersed the French and reengaged with Timucuan, Cusabo, and Muskogean peoples, building a network of Native mission towns linked to their new Atlantic outposts. Florida’s adelantado, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, countered the province’s detractors by stressing the value of the resources the Spanish might yet find in the interior, where prospects for new mission towns were better than along the sandy Atlantic coast. He dispatched Juan Pardo and some 250 soldiers into the interior to establish six Spanish compounds in chiefdoms that Soto had visited, including Cofitachequi. These structures, which Pardo ordered local caciques to build and fill with maize, defined the range of a greater Florida that extended some 500 miles inland from St. Augustine. Archaeologist Robin Beck suggests that Cofitachequi’s power was evidently on the wane by the time Pardo arrived. Towns subject to the chiefdom’s authority contributed to the building of a house for the Spanish at Talimeco, but some also set up such buildings in their own towns. In doing so, they asserted their autonomy from the Lady of Cofitachequi’s successor by their willingness to pay tribute directly to the Spanish. In 1568, just a year and half after Pardo’s men occupied these posts within these towns, indigenous fighters attacked them, killing 130 soldiers (Beck, Chiefdoms, Collapse, and Coalescence 83).

12In the aftermath of this debacle, Spain lost contact with Cofitachequi. Spanish Florida’s influence retreated to the coastal zone around St. Augustine and Santa Elena (Turner Bushnell 37-40; Hoffman 252-54; Wadell, “Cofitachequi: A Distinctive Culture” 345-46; DePratter 133; Beck et al. 169). Officials in St. Augustine remained aware of Cofitachequi’s presence and influence just beyond the edge of Hispanized space. They perceived the range of the paramount chiefdom’s power extending from its center in the piedmont all the way to the coast, where they believed whole provinces were “subject to the Mico of Cofâtache” (Calderón). Although Soto and Pardo failed to conquer the Southeastern interior in the sixteenth century, the knowledge they acquired helped mapmakers redraw the image of the Americas. Descriptions of wealthy, warlike, and advanced chiefdoms disseminated throughout the Spanish Atlantic world and encouraged mapmakers to extend the graphic iconography of Native cities they first drew in Mexico and the Andes into the North American Southeast (Hoffman 97).

The Graphic Iconography of Native Cities on European Maps

13In 1663, King Charles II issued a charter to eight Lords Proprietors to settle a band of North American territory that stretched, theoretically, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. When English colonizers examined European maps derived from Spanish sources, they saw the lands bounded by the Carolina charter populated with Native cities. By depicting Native societies with urban iconography, several generations of mapmakers sustained the idea of centralized chiefdoms as an enduring socio-political form, one that applied to Native peoples that Spanish colonizers encountered throughout the Americas. This pattern of representation began with sixteenth-century Spanish manuscript maps and reached a broad European map-reading public after commercial publishers in Antwerp and Amsterdam printed new maps featuring urban icons across the Americas. London printers published new translations of key Spanish chronicles of the North American entradas, illustrated with new maps. Together, these texts and images created a well-established framework for understanding Native societies in the Southeast as regional chiefdoms that were hierarchical, materially advanced, and mobilized for war. When English colonizers drew their own maps of Native Carolina, they repurposed this iconography and retained its presumptions.

14The urban sign is a longstanding graphic convention, present on manuscript and printed maps from the 4th century CE. At its most elaborate, such place markers were pictures of towns in three dimensions. These graphic symbols featured encircling walls with gates, bastions, and towers as well as houses, churches, and other buildings clustered within their protective perimeters. These might be reduced to elemental icons: perhaps two buildings, their edges overlapping to suggest how the eye might glimpse part of an urban scene. Even more simply, they marked a location with a circle or dot, labeled with a toponym to record the name of the town. Mapmaking in the Renaissance and early modern periods was far from uniform in its iconography, but emerging conventions for mapping fortified towns, market towns, and towns featuring cathedrals, abbeys, and monasteries abounded. Engravers changed the appearance of these icons based on their particular styles rather than any consistent means for picturing the structures that these urban spaces actually contained. The most prominent mapmakers of the sixteenth century employed a wide variety of urban signs, some of which were pictorial and others more abstract. Gerardus Mercator, for example, employed an assortment of graphic markers to denote towns in his atlas, symbols that ranged from the schematic to the naturalistic and pictorial. As Renaissance mapmakers ramped up production, their busy copyists retained and reproduced earlier markers for urban settlements on published maps, broadcasting a profusion of signs for “town” in new, mass-produced maps (Delano-Smith 530, 535-36; Kagan 60-61).

15The vast majority used iconography that indicated the size or stature of the settlement, including minor villages, middling towns, and important cities, as Catherine Delano Smith’s study of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century printed European topographic maps shows. Some of the urban icons they produced were signs that pictured one or more roofed structures together to stand for the whole urban scene, adding more buildings for a city and fewer for a village. Others presented urban spaces as if viewed from ground level in profile or from above the surface of the earth in perspective or as an ichnographical (“bird’s eye”) view. Some emphasized the stone walls that encircled these towns; others picked out the highest tower or steeple. The use of a dot conveyed the idea of precise location, sometimes established with astronomical observation. Although mapmakers generated these signs for cities with little consistency, map viewers learned that the smallest villages often had the simplest signs, frequently a small circle without any pictorial ornamentation. Only rarely did mapmakers attempt to use local architectural styles to show the unique cultural and material features of a town. For the most part, generic western European forms for churches, towers, houses, and buildings stood for a nucleated settlement anywhere in the world (Delano-Smith 557, 560-62).

16By the end of the sixteenth century, new urban cartography answered the rising interest in cities as the “capitals of political, cultural, and economic life in Europe.” To capture the scope and grandeur of great European cities, mapmakers featured the bird’s-eye view, which, as a “pictorial gesture,” became “one of the great achievements of Renaissance visual culture.” Not only did it give the human eye an impossible vantage (before the advent of machine-assisted flight) from which cities could be seen from above, but such views also celebrated the city as a complex social achievement that needed to be seen in its totality to be appreciated fully (Ballon and Friedman 680, 687-88).

17The first Spanish maps of America were portolan charts that traced the coastlines of Caribbean islands and the North and South American continents. Soon, however, Spaniards brought the real fruits of conquest into focus on their maps: Native cities, rich with people, buildings, goods, and mineral wealth. This transition was evident in the first published map of Spanish America. To illustrate Hernán Cortés’s second letter to Charles V, printed in Nuremberg in 1524, maritime chart and urban plan appear side-by-side on the same page (Figure 1).

Fig. 1: Map of Tenochtitlán and the Gulf of Mexico ([Nuremberg], [1524]).

Fig. 1: Map of Tenochtitlán and the Gulf of Mexico ([Nuremberg], [1524]).

From JCB Map Collection. Original in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.

To the left, a portolan chart of the Gulf of Mexico; to right, a plan of Tenochtitlán, one that blended indigenous iconography with European conventions in fantastical ways. By mapping the Aztec capital, Cortés included it with the growing domains of Spain’s Charles I, placing this city and the territories it ruled under his monarch’s sovereignty. Furthermore, this urban plan characterized the type of society this conquest incorporated into the king’s dominions. This particularly detailed urban plan featured dwellings, temples, districts, roads, canals, and other hallmarks of a civilized, albeit pagan, society – it was a rich prize, full of wealth and wonders (Cortés; Mundy 26-27).

18Subsequent maps reinforced this idea of the New World as a place of Native cities by transplanting urban iconography to the Americas. Before the forms of North and South America emerged as commonplace continental spaces on sixteenth-century maps, mapmakers imagined the New World as a collection of islands. This presumption encouraged those who produced popular isolario atlases – compendia that gathered images of the world’s islands – to include them in the pages of new publications. The first isolarii, produced in Florence in the early fifteenth century, expressed the broad humanistic interests of Renaissance scholars by presenting the Greek islands as richly rendered places, steeped in ancient history and mythology and featuring contemporary settlements and populations. European journeys into the wider world enlarged the content of this genre of map publishing, and sixteenth-century isolarii invited European viewers to indulge their curiosity for exotic, far-away civilizations beyond the Mediterranean. When Venetian mapmaker Bendetto Bordone published his Libro […] de tutte l’isole del mondo in 1528, he placed the new map of Tenochtitlán within a scattered archipelago that stood for the Americas. In one image, Bordone pictures Brazil as an island with a city indicated by a tower and an adjoining structure (Figure 2).

Fig. 2: From Benedetto Bordone, Libro Di Benedetto Bordone, nel qual si ragiona de tutte l'isole del mondo […] (Venice, 1528).

Fig. 2: From Benedetto Bordone, Libro Di Benedetto Bordone, nel qual si ragiona de tutte l'isole del mondo […] (Venice, 1528).

Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

The large island labeled “Terra de Lamozatoze” (designating South America) straddles the equator, home to at least four unnamed Native cities nestled among mountains and forests. Tidy icons show clusters of roofed structures that suggest that this part of the New World was a settled landscape of towns. These early maps of America depict a place of longstanding civilization, comparable to other towns in other islands around the globe (Bordone; Tolias 265-71).

19Giovanni Battista Ramusio’s 1534 map of the emerging Atlantic world drew on new Spanish accounts to begin identifying indigenous polities (Figure 3).

Fig. 3: Giovanni Ramusio, La Carta Uniuersale Della Terra Ferma & Isole Delle Indie Occide[n]Tali ([Venice], 1534).

Fig. 3: Giovanni Ramusio, La Carta Uniuersale Della Terra Ferma & Isole Delle Indie Occide[n]Tali ([Venice], 1534).

From JCB Map Collection. Original in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.

Drawn from the official manuscript charts, this map accompanied Ramusio’s Summario de la generale historia de l’Indie Occidentali (1534). It shows us the distinctive ring of lake-bound Tenochtitlán – here labeled “Temistitan” – reduced from the detailed plan in the Nuremberg letter to a simpler icon. The map also locates Tumbez, the port city from which Pizarro began his conquest of the Incas in 1531, showing a flag flying from its central tower. Farther south, another, unnamed town features a domed bastion, a crenellated town wall, and soaring towers (Figure 4).

Fig. 4: Details from Giovanni Ramusio, La Carta Uniuersale Della Terra Ferma & Isole Delle Indie Occide[n]Tali ([Venice], 1534).

Fig. 4: Details from Giovanni Ramusio, La Carta Uniuersale Della Terra Ferma & Isole Delle Indie Occide[n]Tali ([Venice], 1534).

From JCB Map Collection. Original in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.

These three pictured cities establish a sequence of past, present, and future conquests. Beyond the detailed coastlines that outline coherent continental forms, Ramusio’s America is a largely empty space, out of which a few Native polities are beginning to emerge in pictorial view as fortified towns encircled by walls, featuring multistory, roofed towers. Such maps introduced the idea of Native civilization, even as other sixteenth-century mapmakers created an opposing iconography of Native savagery. As Sureka Davies has shown, they inscribed images of monstrous humans and cannibals living in crude huts throughout the islands and South American mainland. Urban icons for Indian towns were thus one side of a dueling iconography that shifted between images of advanced urbanism and rude barbarism in its understanding of America as a place (Ramusio; Holzheimer and Buisseret; Davies chap. 7).

20In the middle decades of the sixteenth century, new Spanish expeditions encountered diverse indigenous societies. Their reports named Naitve towns and described their people, cultures, and languages, but new maps showed them to be basically the same kinds of places: an array of identical urban icons scattered across the Americas. These cities were places over which Spanish monarchs claimed sovereignty by right of conquest and Papal authority. In the Valley of Mexico, Spaniards referred to Mexica towns as pueblos and their rulers as caciques, a term derived from the Native Caribbean that they soon applied throughout the Americas to designate chiefs. Gastaldi’s map of New Spain, published in 1548, turns these instances of Native towns into a graphic pattern that spreads across space (Figure 5).

Fig. 5: Giacomo Gastaldi, “Nueva Hispania Tabula Nova,” from La Geografia di Claudio Ptolomeo Alessandrino (Venice, 1548).

Fig. 5: Giacomo Gastaldi, “Nueva Hispania Tabula Nova,” from La Geografia di Claudio Ptolomeo Alessandrino (Venice, 1548).

The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries Special Collections, Gift of Dr. Jack Franke.

It is populated by a dozen named places, each symbolized by an icon featuring two towers connected by a smaller structure; the thirteenth, Tenochtitlan, has pride of place – it is a town symbolized by three towers connected by two smaller structures (Figure 6).

Fig. 6: Detail from Giacomo Gastaldi, “Nueva Hispania Tabula Nova,” from La Geografia di Claudio Ptolomeo Alessandrino (Venice, 1548).

Fig. 6: Detail from Giacomo Gastaldi, “Nueva Hispania Tabula Nova,” from La Geografia di Claudio Ptolomeo Alessandrino (Venice, 1548).

The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries Special Collections, Gift of Dr. Jack Franke.

He presents us not with isolated discoveries, but instead, with a general landscape of indigenous urbanism (Gastaldi; Greer 68).

21Spanish expeditions into the Southeastern interior of North America allowed mapmakers to extend this iconography of Native cities into the province they named Florida. Alonso de Santa Cruz was cosmographer of the Casa de la Contratación de las Indias, an administrative center for Spain’s overseas empire that drew together Spanish geographic knowledge. Among his papers is a manuscript map from the 1540s that appears to be the first attempt to give geographic form to the chroniclers’ accounts of Soto’s entrada (Figure 7).

Fig. 7: Alonso de Santa Cruz, “Mapa del Golfo y costa de la Nueva España : desde el Río de Panuco hasta el cabo de Santa Elena [...]” [ca. 1540s?].

Fig. 7: Alonso de Santa Cruz, “Mapa del Golfo y costa de la Nueva España : desde el Río de Panuco hasta el cabo de Santa Elena [...]” [ca. 1540s?].

Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

It is sometimes called the De Soto map – indeed, at least 14 of the 60 towns depicted here derive from the Soto expedition. In Seville, Santa Cruz helped maintain a secret map, known as the Padrón General. Outgoing captains were issued maps drawn from it; all returning travellers were expected to contribute new knowledge they had acquired that would then be added to it. Spain’s House of Trade was what theorist Bruno Latour calls a “center of calculation”: a place through which information about the wider world was reformulated to produce authoritative knowledge. To represent the chiefdoms that Soto encountered, Santa Cruz applied an element from the urban cartography of the Renaissance and reduced it to a repeated graphic icon, on which three structures appear in perspective, their edges overlapping (Santa Cruz; Nuti; Latour) (Figure 8).

Fig. 8: Detail from Alonso de Santa Cruz, “Mapa del Golfo y costa de la Nueva España : desde el Río de Panuco hasta el cabo de Santa Elena [...]” [ca. 1540s?].

Fig. 8: Detail from Alonso de Santa Cruz, “Mapa del Golfo y costa de la Nueva España : desde el Río de Panuco hasta el cabo de Santa Elena [...]” [ca. 1540s?].

Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

To European map viewers’ eyes, they hinted at developed urban cityscapes throughout the indigenous Americas. Archaeological research suggests that there was a material foundation for Santa Cruz’s decision to extend the generic iconography of Native cities into the North American Southeast. The Mississippian world before Soto featured increasing competition for resources among chiefdoms engaged in frequent conflicts, which prompted the construction of towers, palisades, and other defensive works (Strang 29; Hudson, Knights of Spain 28-30).

22This image of the Americas teeming with Native cities reached a wide European audience through the publication of Abraham Ortelius’s Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (1570). Ortelius’s atlas was a magisterial compendium of European geographic knowledge. Ortelius himself presided over the enterprise more as a scholar than a cartographer: his Latin text explained the credibility of these maps and put them before the discerning eyes of his wealthy, educated viewers. The Theatrum was especially significant, because it codified dramatic changes in Europeans’ view of the world, one that modified ancient knowledge and raced to keep up with new discoveries. One of its maps, “America Sive Novi Orbis,” placed a new image of western hemisphere in European minds and made previously secret Spanish geographic knowledge public (Figure 9).

Fig. 9: Abraham Ortelius, “Americae Sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio,” from Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Antwerp, 1570).

Fig. 9: Abraham Ortelius, “Americae Sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio,” from Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Antwerp, 1570).

From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Not only does this map reveal a Native world of towns, it extends this iconography into Florida, where the Spanish had just planted their first permanent settlement in North America at St. Augustine in 1565 (Figure 10).

Fig. 10: Detail from Abraham Ortelius, “Americae Sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio,” from Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Antwerp, 1570).

Fig. 10: Detail from Abraham Ortelius, “Americae Sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio,” from Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Antwerp, 1570).

From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

More than any other map, “America Sive Novi Orbis” took this iconography of Indian cities and spread it far and wide, making it the dominant image of Native society in the Americas (Ortelius, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum).

New editions of Ortelius’s atlas deepened this image of the Americas as a settled place, full of Native cities that served as capitals of long-settled chiefdoms. As new information reached Antwerp, Ortelius added new images to his world atlas. In 1584, he added three maps – of Peru, Yucatan and Florida – that provide high-resolution views of these particular regions of Spanish America on a single sheet (Figure 11).

Fig. 11: Abraham Ortelius, Peruuiae avriferæ regionis typus [Antwerp, 1584].

Fig. 11: Abraham Ortelius, Peruuiae avriferæ regionis typus [Antwerp, 1584].

From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

At this scale, the maps present the same graphic icon multiplied across space to show the locations of more Native cities, nestled among mountains and rivers. This new map, produced by another official Spanish cartographer, drew heavily on the Soto expedition and newly published narratives of it. It is the first map to locate and name Cofitachequi (“Catilachegue”) (Figure 12).

Fig. 12: Detail from Abraham Ortelius, Peruuiae avriferæ regionis typus [Antwerp, 1584].

Fig. 12: Detail from Abraham Ortelius, Peruuiae avriferæ regionis typus [Antwerp, 1584].

From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

This image of Florida was reprinted in all subsequent editions of Ortelius’s atlas. It became a default source for geographic knowledge of the North American interior when English colonizers arrived along its shores in the seventeenth century (Ortelius and Chaves; Probasco 434-35).

23When the English founders of Carolina examined seventeenth-century maps of the Southeast, they recognized signs for cities from long exposure to urban iconography on European maps of the world. Because this cartographic culture privileged cities as markers of civilization, the expansion of such signs across Spanish America prepared them to engage with interior chiefdoms as dangerous adversaries and potentially valuable allies. Like Soto and Pardo, they were drawn by the legendary wealth and power of Cofitachequi to attempt to locate this chiefdom on new maps, a task that demanded they integrate the geographic knowledge generated by Spain with new information derived from their own presence in the region.

Locating Chiefdoms on John Ogilby and James Moxon, A New Discription of Carolina (c. 1672)

24In 1663 and 1665, Charles II granted charters to a consortium of wealthy merchants and noblemen, the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. These documents marked off the territory between English Virginia and Spanish Florida as a space that stretched across the North American continent between lines of latitude at 31 and 36 degrees north of the equator. This definition of territory fit well with the proprietors’ intentions for their new plantation colony, because it put it within a band of global climate that Europeans regarded as ideally temperate and generative. Under the leadership of Lord Anthony Ashley Cooper, the proprietors aimed to populate this space with English colonists and African slaves, planting a colony in the American subtropics devoted to commercial agriculture.

25They also envisioned their new colony as a blank slate for social innovation. Ashley and his associate, John Locke, drafted Carolina’s Fundamental Constitutions as a blueprint for a neo-manorial polity in which newly minted aristocrats, ennobled by the proprietors, would lead a society of planters that was balanced, prosperous, and orderly. Their noble titles authorized them to claim land in 12,000-acre increments known as baronies, which they were tasked to people and govern. This colonial vision imagined Carolina as an empty space into which a new version of English society might be implanted. Yet it bore one telling trace of the deeper engagement with European knowledge about the Native interior. One class of these colonial landlords were to be called “cassiques,” the very term the Spanish used as a general name to Native chieftains throughout the Americas. (Duff)

26The formal plan for Carolina’s colonization carried with it a presumption of indigenous absence. As J. B. Harley has argued, European mapmakers frequently erased signs of Native occupation in America as a graphic accompaniment to dispossession. They eradicated indigenous place names, Anglicized them in rough transliterations and translations, and superimposed new names and jurisdictions over Native places. A sequence of early New England maps worked assiduously to remove the “traces of an earlier Indian culture.” William Wood’s 1639 map, The South part of New-England, was among the last to retain Algonquian toponyms for settlements, which it designated with small triangles representing wigwams, sometimes enclosed by a palisade (Figure 13).

Fig. 13: Detail from William Wood, The south part of New England as it planted this yeare, 1634 (1634).

Fig. 13: Detail from William Wood, The south part of New England as it planted this yeare, 1634 (1634).

Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center, Boston Public Library, Boston, Mass.

On subsequent maps, the iconography of New England towns becomes more English and more uniform, displacing wigwams and palisades in favor of “church spires.” By the end of the seventeenth century, New England maps made “Indian peoples invisible in their own land” (Harley 182, 185-86, 188).

27The Lords Proprietors commissioned two original maps of Carolina that followed a different pattern of engagement with Native places. Instead of erasing them, these maps emphasized images of Native chiefdoms. Carolina’s founders expected to find the Indian cities they had seen on previous maps, and they sought a diplomatic relationship with Cofitachequi in particular. English colonizers did not imagine a terra incognita stretching before them when they arrived to settle Carolina in 1670. By the end of the seventeenth century, they had begun to compile an image of the southeastern interior populated by chiefdoms, their presence represented by urban icons across regional maps.

28When the English arrived on the Atlantic coast to inhabit the proprietors’ chartered territory, they pictured a vast interior country they had not yet seen for themselves. Chronicles of Spanish entradas through the Southeast, though more than a century out of date, encouraged them to anticipate a landscape populated by powerful, warlike Native societies. Their strongholds appeared as named and located cities on scores of Spanish, Flemish, and Dutch maps of the region. At a place called Kiawah by the local inhabitants, they began building houses and laying out fields, protecting their outpost with armed troops and a defensive palisade. As Europeans looked into the continent, they fixed on the chiefdom as a governing spatial idea in early colonial encounters.

29In addition to Spanish texts and images, accounts of Virginia’s volatile relationship with Algonquian chiefdoms further supported this expectation. Paramount chief Wahunsonacock, whom the English called Powhatan, extracted tribute from a broad swath of the Chesapeake Tidewater. English Virginians initially dreamed of Spanish-style conquests by which they might displace the Native leadership and assume control over the resources and labor of scores of Native towns and simple chiefdoms (Shefveland 9-11). John Smith’s 1612 map of Virginia rendered the Native region (known as Tsenacommacah) as a densely populated space whose towns – some of which boasted “Kings houses” on the map’s legend – fit into an existing political hierarchy (Figures 14 and 15).

Fig. 14: John Smith and William Hole, Virginia ([London], [1624]; orig. 1612).

Fig. 14: John Smith and William Hole, Virginia ([London], [1624]; orig. 1612).

From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Fig. 15: Detail from John Smith and William Hole, Virginia ([London], [1624]; orig. 1612).

Fig. 15: Detail from John Smith and William Hole, Virginia ([London], [1624]; orig. 1612).

From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Two contrasting graphic images of Indian people frame this geography. On the left sits Powhatan, elevated in a seat of power above those he ruled; on the right, Smith’s map pictures a single Susquehannock warrior, dressed for the hunt and representing a society of mobile, Iroquoian tribes that operated by different rules in lands north of Virginia (Smith and Hole; Lee Hatfield 264-65) Spanish representations of mid-sixteenth-century Florida as well as English representations of early seventeenth-century Virginia prefigured Carolina – the space between them – as a place dominated by chiefdoms.

30In a memorandum included in Lord Ashley’s colonial papers, John Locke listed the “Writers of Carolina” that he consulted to understand the Native interior. Locke singled out three sixteenth and early seventeenth-century chroniclers – Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, and José de Acosta – as indispensable guides to Spanish knowledge of the New World (Shaftesbury 265). Locke also listed Peter Martyr, whose De Orbe Novo (1530) was translated by Richard Eden in The Decades of the Newe Worlde or West India (1555), a text that included translations of Acosta’s and Oviedo’s works. He also named Giovanni Battista Ramusio, whose Navigazioni e viaggi (1550-1559) compiled and translated these and other accounts (Hoffman 125-28, 138-39; Lee Hatfield 259; Edwards). Carolina’s proprietors compiled their discoveries and research into a new map of their colony, A New Discription of Carolina (Figure 16).

Fig. 16: John Ogilby and John Moxon, “A New Discription of Carolina By Order of the Lords Proprietors,” in Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World ([London], [ca. 1672]).

Fig. 16: John Ogilby and John Moxon, “A New Discription of Carolina By Order of the Lords Proprietors,” in Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World ([London], [ca. 1672]).

From JCB Map Collection. Original in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.

It was published in 1672 or 1673 in a new edition of John Ogilby’s America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World. The book largely translated Arnoldus Montanus’s De Nieuwe En Onbekende Weereld (Amsterdam, 1671) that drew together narratives and images of the Americas for an English audience. The second edition of Ogilby’s book added new images and text, including a new passage by John Locke, which one of the proprietors called a “description such as might invite people without seeming to come from us” (Shaftesbury 264). In other words, Carolina’s Lords Proprietors provided a promotional tract aimed at recruiting settlers and investors that was inserted in Ogilby’s book as if it were a dispassionate description.

31Ogilby’s book was steeped in Spanish accounts of discovery and conquest. Its subtitle emphasized “The Conquest of the Vast Empires of Mexico and Peru” as a central subject (Figure 17).

Fig. 17: Title page, John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).

Fig. 17: Title page, John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).

From David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries.

America introduced English readers to a place that featured not only European plantations, but also Native “Cities, Fortresses, Town, [and] Temples.” From the first page, Ogilby’s account matched the picture handed down by Spanish maps: America was a place populated by Native civilizations that Europeans were in the process of taking over. The image next to this title page burnished this idea: we see a Native figure raised high, dispersing golden objects; other Native people wear elaborate headdresses, surrounded by exotic goods and animals (Figure 18).

Fig. 18: Title illustration, John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).

Fig. 18: Title illustration, John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).

From David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries.

Ogilby’s description of Carolina added credence to the image of powerful Native chiefdoms visible on the maps. He made no attempt to suggest that Carolina was a terra nullius, a legally vacant place that English colonizers could simply appropriate for themselves. Instead, Ogilby describes a populous and bountiful country of Indian states, “almost continuously engag’d” in war. This was not the endless war of uncultured savages taken from the mind of Thomas Hobbes, however. Instead, Ogilby gives us a “stout and valiant people” with “good Understanding, well Humor’d, and generally […] just and Honest.” They were “courteous and civil,” so much so that the name of “Salvage” did not apply. Early colonists in Carolina reported that the people they had encountered were neither treacherous nor unpredictable – rather, they “have been all along very kind” (Ogilby 205, 208, 209).

32Their leaders were justly styled “Kings,” and when the English arrived on the coast, their “several little Kingdoms” vied with one another to encourage colonists to settle among them. These Natives supplied the first English Carolinians with food with a “fair Dealing we could scarce have promis’d them amongst civiliz’d, well bred, and religious Inhabitants of any part of Europe.” In Ogilby’s Carolina, “Every little Town is a distinct Principality, Govern’d by an Hereditary King” and obedient to his commands. Ogilby used the Spanish term for Native leaders – caciques – to associate Carolina’s Indians to chieftains encountered in Spanish America. (Ogilby 210)

33Ogilby and Moxon’s A New Discription of Carolina is an “amalgam of many sources” (Figure 19).

Fig. 19: English Carolina, Native Florida, and Piedmont Chiefdoms on the Ogilby-Moxon Map. Source: John Ogilby and James Moxon, “A New Description of Carolina,” in John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).

Fig. 19: English Carolina, Native Florida, and Piedmont Chiefdoms on the Ogilby-Moxon Map. Source: John Ogilby and James Moxon, “A New Description of Carolina,” in John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).

From David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries.

It joins three distinct bodies of geographic information together to create a piecemeal image of the region. The first sector summarizes English knowledge of the coast from direct observation and occupation (Figure 20).

Fig. 20: Charlestown, Jamestown, and Areas of English Geographic Knowledge on the Ogibly-Moxon Map. Source: John Ogilby and James Moxon, “A New Description of Carolina,” in John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).

Fig. 20: Charlestown, Jamestown, and Areas of English Geographic Knowledge on the Ogibly-Moxon Map. Source: John Ogilby and James Moxon, “A New Description of Carolina,” in John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).

From David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries.

The English had been surveying, and partially settling, the southern parts of Virginia, from Jamestown to Cape Hatteras, for decades. In 1664, the Carolina proprietors planted a settlement along the Clarendon River (now the Cape Fear River in North Carolina). Although this site was abandoned by 1667, this map reflects some of the knowledge they acquired in this venture. The second, lasting settlement provided a third area of direct English knowledge. Carolina’s proprietors established this outpost along the Ashley River and mapped out some of the rivers and island nearby. An inset map shows the location of sandbars and clear channels into the harbor as well as a smattering of buildings along the riverbank. Ogilby corresponded with proprietor Peter Colleton to obtain the manuscript maps of these English settlement areas that he and Moxon included on A New Description of Carolina. (Burden 2:41-43)

34The second sector of the map represents approximately fifty Native towns Spain claimed as Christianized dependencies within the province of Florida (Figure 21).

Fig. 21. St. Augustine, Native Mission Towns, Port Royal, and Charlestown on the Ogilby-Moxon Map. Source: John Ogilby and James Moxon, “A New Description of Carolina,” in John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).

Fig. 21. St. Augustine, Native Mission Towns, Port Royal, and Charlestown on the Ogilby-Moxon Map. Source: John Ogilby and James Moxon, “A New Description of Carolina,” in John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).

From David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries.

North of St. Augustine and seated along the rivers that flow to the Atlantic coast, the map designates these mission communities with small circles. Between a fictive interior lake (named “Lake Ashley” for the first Lord Proprietor) and the coastal sea islands between St. Augustine and Charlestown, this cluster of towns was copied from earlier maps, especially Arnoldus Montanus’s Virginiæ partis australis et Floridæ (1671). This seventeenth-century Dutch map provides a direct link to Indian towns first identified on official Spanish manuscript maps. The Ogilby-Moxon map locates Owatchaqua, a town that appeared as “Chalaq” on the Santa Cruz manuscript map of 1544 and as “Chalaqua” on the Ortelius-Chaves map of 1584. Houstaqua, called Yustaga by Soto’s chroniclers, and Utina were two Timucuan chiefdoms along the explorer’s route. The French first located Saturiwa during their failed attempts to establish a settlement in the region in the 1560s. This mapped landscape continued a graphic iconography of indigenous cities begun by the Spanish in the early sixteenth century.

35Before the first settlers arrived in Carolina in 1670, two English explorers encountered Native people along this coast, and noted their close associations with the Spanish. In 1663, William Hilton reconnoitered this space on behalf of a group of merchant-adventurers from Barbados. He encountered Indians who spoke credible Spanish and were in no way afraid of the sound of gunfire. The crew feared that this friendly Native group was in league with the Spanish. They saw first-hand the site of Charles-Fort, the French settlement that the Spanish had put to the torch a century earlier. Robert Sandford’s voyage later that year to the same area revealed a territory well-peopled by Native chiefdoms. He visited one town, led by a “cacique” who sat elevated on a “throne” in a circular house of state with all of the apparent trappings of power appropriate to a ruler of his station. Sandford spent most of his expedition exploring Port Royal, the intended site for the Carolina colony. He noted warily that some of the Indians he met had shaved their heads in emulation of the Spanish friars (Shaftesbury xxx).

36When the first English settlers arrived at Port Royal in 1670 with instructions to establish the colony there, they observed that this intended settlement site was close to a populous district of towns. They also learned of a new and disturbing threat that encouraged them to bypass this vulnerable location, so close to Native Florida. They spoke with Native informants who told them of a predatory band called the Westos who had been attacking the civilized Indians of the lowcountry. This news contributed to a decision to pull up anchor and travel up the coast some fifty miles, where the colonists established Charlestown along the Ashley River (Shaftesbury xxx).

37As the Ogilby-Moxon map shows, Port Royal sat on the contested edge of a densely settled region of smaller towns within the Spanish orbit of influence. Although local Indians greeted English explorers with great courtesy, these visits reinforced knowledge about Spain’s long-standing connections with this place and its people. With such an image in their minds, the English appreciated the dangers of planting a new settlement at the edge of this space. They initiated the Carolina colony fifty miles farther north along the coast, putting their outpost at a safer distance from St. Augustine and the volatile indigenous landscape that surrounded it. The presence of these towns thus influenced the site on which the new English colony was established in 1670.

38As English Carolina began, colonists associated its southern flank with danger; at the same time, they looked to the north and west to seek out new opportunities and alliances. The third sector of the map presents the discoveries of an English exploratory journey that revealed chiefdoms throughout the southeastern Piedmont (Figure 22).

Fig. 22: Charlestown, Piedmont Chiefdoms, and John Lederer’s Route on the Ogilby-Moxon Map. Source: John Ogilby and James Moxon, “A New Description of Carolina” in John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).

Fig. 22: Charlestown, Piedmont Chiefdoms, and John Lederer’s Route on the Ogilby-Moxon Map. Source: John Ogilby and James Moxon, “A New Description of Carolina” in John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).

From David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries.

Explorer John Lederer ventured into this space from Virginia in 1669 and 1670, just as the first colonists debated abandoning Port Royal and then disembarked at Ashley River. Lederer trekked through what he called the “Western parts of Carolina and Virginia,” determined to find chiefdoms once visited by Soto and since lost by Spain. He found Indians that met his expectations for sophisticated cultures characterized by numeracy and literacy, including the use of hieroglyphics. He admired what he called their “great knowledge in Physick, Rhetorick, and Policie of Government.” At Sapon, he found a king ruling as an “absolute Monarch” over “People of a high stature, warlike and rich”. Their temples held great stores of pearls (Lederer 12, 14, 24). At Akenatzy, he admired a populous chiefdom, secure on an island under the rule of two kings. Here, and elsewhere, Lederer remarks on the settledness of the chiefdoms he observed. He advances a theory that these chiefdoms had arrived from the west centuries earlier to bring maize agriculture and domesticate the “rude and barbarous” tribes, as he put it, that they found here (Lederer 24-25).

39Spanish narratives about the Americas colored Lederer’s understanding of the places that he observed on his route. He had read Jose de Acota’s accounts of Spanish America and found numerous similarities between the Natives of the interior Southeast and those of Mexico and Peru. The practice of human sacrifice that shocked European readers in histories of Cortés’s conquest of Mexico also characterized some of these chiefdoms. “When their great men die,” he observes, “they likewise slay prisoners of War”. And like the Spanish conquests to the south, Lederer held out hope that English explorers might yet find stores of gold and silver (Lederer 13, 14, 28).

On the banks of a great lake, Lederer found a strong chiefdom, Ushery, that ruled over a populous province. Its warriors fought with silver hatchets, offering the promise of potential silver mines nearby. Their chiefs wore feather ornaments and had, Lederer believed, “more […] civility in their carriage then I observed in the other Nations.” In Ushery (also called Esaw) Lederer found a potent interior chiefdom, worth cultivating as an ally and trading partner. Indeed, one of the direct consequences of his journey was the opening of a route of trade between these Souian Indians, later called the Catawbas, and Virginia (Lederer 30-31).

Before the narrative and map of Lederer’s journey was published, John Locke obtained a copy of the explorer’s accounts and sketches. Drawing on these materials, he sent Ogilby a hand-drawn map that informed this third sector of the Ogilby-Moxon map (Figure 23).

Fig. 23: John Locke, “Map of the south eastern part of North America and part of South America,” 1671.

Fig. 23: John Locke, “Map of the south eastern part of North America and part of South America,” 1671.

MPI 1/11, UK National Archives, Richmond, U.K.

Locke’s manuscript map divided southern North America into two spheres along a bisecting dotted line, the 31 degree North parallel that marked the southern boundary of the Carolina charter. Beneath this line is a Hispanized space that includes Mexico, Yucatan, Cuba, and much of the Florida peninsula. Above it, Locke stretched the toponym CAROLINA across the southeastern interior. This space included Spanish-occupied St. Augustine along with Port Royal, Ashley River, and Cape Fear, but these annotations were mere landmarks that put the focus of the map – Lederer’s discoveries – into context. At the edge of a densely shaded mountain range appeared each of the Native cities that Lederer visited, including icons designating Ushery and other cities with urban icons drawn from the conventions of European mapmaking (Locke, “Map”) (Figure 24).

Fig. 24: Port Royal, Ashley River, and Ushery. Detail from John Locke, “Map of the south eastern part of North America and part of South America,” 1671.

Fig. 24: Port Royal, Ashley River, and Ushery. Detail from John Locke, “Map of the south eastern part of North America and part of South America,” 1671.

MPI 1/11, UK National Archives.

The Ogilby-Moxon map does not locate Cofitachequi. When the Spanish lost contact with the chiefdom, it vanished from early seventeenth-century maps or drifted into the west, past the edge of more certain geographic knowledge. This displacement of Cofitachequi is evident on Johannes de Laet’s Florida, et Regiones Vicinae (1630) (Figure 25).

Fig. 25: Joannes de Laet, Florida, et Regiones Vicinae (Leyden, 1630).

Fig. 25: Joannes de Laet, Florida, et Regiones Vicinae (Leyden, 1630).

From Florida Map Collection, University of South Florida, Tampa Library and Studies Center Gallery.

The map features scores of Native towns in dense clusters in Guale (present-day coastal Georgia) and scattered along the rivers flowing into the Gulf of Mexico through Apalache to the west. Laet locates “Cofachiqui” deeper in the interior, beyond the reach of early seventeenth-century Spanish missionary activity (Laet) (Figure 26).

Fig. 26: Cofitachequi and Port Royal. Detail from Joannes de Laet, Florida, et Regiones Vicinae (Leyden, 1630).

Fig. 26: Cofitachequi and Port Royal. Detail from Joannes de Laet, Florida, et Regiones Vicinae (Leyden, 1630).

From Florida Map Collection, University of South Florida, Tampa Library and Studies Center Gallery.

By visiting Ushery/Esaw, Lederer approached the space that Cofitachequi had occupied and influenced, producing a new landmark for colonial understanding of the southeastern interior. Map historians have dubbed A New Discription of Carolina “The First Lords Proprietors’ Map,” and have critiqued its inaccuracies, especially those derived from “Lederer’s misconceptions” about the Carolina interior (Cumming 163).

40What is important about this map, however, is not how well it conforms to modern geographies or even contemporary realities, but rather how it documents English engagement with early modern European knowledge about space and place in the Native interior. To create this map, Locke, Ogilby, and Moxon joined the proprietors’ recent surveys of the English coastline to Lederer’s sojourn into the Piedmont, and placed this new knowledge in a broader regional context informed by sixteenth-century accounts and images. They drew deeply from the well of Spanish cartographic conventions available to them in published books and printed maps to make these three discrete bodies of information cohere into a unified image. The many blank spaces on this map reveal how this process of integration was provisional and ongoing. The errors this process made visible in A New Discription of Carolina were not the product of Europeans projecting empty fantasies across the landscape, but rather a deeply researched attempt to reveal the locations and capacities of interior chiefdoms.

Finding Cofitachequi on Joel Gascoyne, A New Map of the Country of Carolina (1682)

41In 1682, the Lords Proprietors of Carolina published a second official map of their colony: Joel Gascoyne’s A New Map of the Country of Carolina (Figure 27).

Fig. 27: Joel Gascoyne, A New Map of the Country of Carolina (London, 1682).

Fig. 27: Joel Gascoyne, A New Map of the Country of Carolina (London, 1682).

From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Much had changed in a decade. Officials moved the port and capital city from a riverside site on the Ashley River (marked “Charles Town” on the inset map) to the tip of the peninsula formed by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. Plantation settlements dispersed some thirty miles into the interior along their banks. With African slaves brought from Barbados, Carolina’s first planters experimented with indigo, rice, and silk. Enslaved Africans and Indians grew maize, raised cattle, sawed lumber, and extracted pitch, tar, and turpentine from pine forests. Beyond this small settlement, the English picture of the interior was clarifying into a new configuration of Native communities. The Ogilby-Moxon map located dozens of indigenous towns across the Southeast. Gascoyne’s map reduced this complexity to five sites: Cofitachequi, Sewee, Cambahe, Westo, and Esaw. These five toponyms show how English colonists attempted to reconcile their direct encounters with Native groups with the image of chiefdoms inherited from the Spanish (Hollis 154).

42The reduction in the number of Native towns on this new map reflects the ongoing process of Native coalescence. Soto reported numerous polities along the route of his entrada. The Ogilby-Moxon map locates place markers for Spanish Florida’s mission communities, the Piedmont chiefdoms, and the places and people encountered by the English in Virginia and the Carolinas. The Gascoyne map follows a different pattern. In place of the profusion of Native polities, it reduces the complexity of Native societies to a handful of places, each standing for a different type of Native society. This map sharply revised the long-held expectation of a continent of numerous contending chiefdoms. By 1730, a “new South was emerging” that dispensed with the array of discrete towns that Soto encountered and would instead be dominated by a few powerful, coalescent Indian nations, including the Creeks, Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Catawbas (Ethridge and Schuck-Hall 1).

43The smallest of these indigenous markers did not even merit a proper urban icon; nor could it be classed as a chiefdom. The map showed the current location of a band of Sewee Indians, right at the edge of the settled colony, between the headwaters of Wando Creek and the southern banks of the Sewee River (Figure 28).

Fig. 28: Sewee Settlement, Cambahe, Westoh, Cafitaciqui, and Esaw. Detail from Joel Gascoyne, A New Map of the Country of Carolina (London, 1682).

Fig. 28: Sewee Settlement, Cambahe, Westoh, Cafitaciqui, and Esaw. Detail from Joel Gascoyne, A New Map of the Country of Carolina (London, 1682).

From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

When the first Carolina colonists came ashore, they did so at the invitation of the Cacique of Kiawah and other leaders of coastal communities that anthropologists call the Cusabo. These welcoming Indians provided labor, food, and encouragement as they sought the English as a military ally and trading partner. But a decade later, Carolinians no longer saw these coastal leaders as powerful chiefs presiding over hierarchical chiefdoms. The Sewee were one of several groups colonists now referred to as “settlement Indians,” or more simply, “Our Indians.” Such terms downgraded these inhabitants to powerless dependents of the growing colony. As one official reported, their caciques were little more than mere elders, figureheads who did not command large territories or exact tribute from subordinate villages. Although the English were always on the hunt for the glimmer of gold and silver, they regarded most of the Native Carolinians they met as “generally poore.” They did not live in towns but in “straggling Plantations.” Thus, the “Sewee Settlement” merits the same graphic icon as the English plantations nearby – a small circle (Shaftesbury 334-35).

44The pamphlet published with the map described the Cusabo tribes as “an effeminate people […] a broken uncultured, and unpolish’t People in Government,” none of which could muster more than 50 fighters. The author speculated that these local Indians had, in the distant past, settled along the swampy rivers of the coast after they were “chased from the Mountains” by more powerful Native societies that dominated the interior. The idea of an ancient conflict pitting aggressive Piedmont warlords against nomadic coastal hunters was an imagined historical event, but it helped explain the differences between the Mississippian Indians the English expected to find in Carolina and the Cusabos they lived among and came to know well. The rise of the Westos and other military slaving societies drove the Cusabos to take refuge in the wetlands and forests of the lowcountry. This recent threat explains their frequent migrations as well as their hospitality to English colonists who might defend them against the violent raids that had depopulated their towns (R. F. 13; Browne 20).

45Beyond the settlement Indians represented by the “Sewee Settlement,” the English identified the Combahee as a friendly Cusabo ally between Charlestown and St. Augustine. The intrigues of the Spanish had, officials thought, prejudiced Florida Indians against the English, making the prospect of a Spanish-Indian attack against the colony likely. Officials counted the Combahee as an English friend to the south – one powerful enough to be represented by a graphic icon that typically designated a chiefdom, but that shared many of the cultural characteristics of the Settlement Indians. Others, including the Ashepoo, Bohicket, Edisto, Escamagu (Saint Helena), Etiwan, Hoya, Kiawah, Kussah, Kussoe, Mayon, Sampa, Stalame, Stono, Touppa, Wando, Wimbee, and Witcheaugh were apparently regarded as so small and inconsequential that none merited a marker or a name on the proprietors’ second map (Shaftesbury 197-99; Waddell, Handbook of North American Indians 254-64).

46The Westos were recent arrivals to the region, not the descendants of long-established chiefdoms. From their settlement along the Savannah River (designated as the River May on the Gascoyne map), they sent hundreds of warriors in search of captives for the Indian slave trade. With firearms from Virginia, the Westos struck fear in the hearts of the Cusabos who had welcomed the Carolina colonists (Browne, “The Effects of Westo Slave Raids” 104-14; Browne, “Dr. Henry Woodward’s Role”). Initially, the English viewed the Westos as a threat. In 1673 this fear was made manifest in a short and bloody skirmish. But in 1674, a party of Westos arrived at the edge of the plantation zone to negotiate. When Carolina’s Indian agent, Henry Woodward, followed the Westos to their settlement, he saw with his own eyes that their town on the river was no chiefdom capital. Woodward referred to their leader as a chieftain, but the Westo town was far from a settled seat of power that Soto’s chroniclers had described. The chief’s house was not big enough to accommodate a diplomatic meeting, so they met outside. Woodward described the town as being built in a “confused man[n]er.” Its ramshackle longhouses bristled with poles that displayed the scalps of those that Westo fighters had killed, and the place was crowded with raiding canoes and young Indian slaves. The Westos were a power to be reckoned with, but this was a mobile, militarized encampment of slavers, not a venerable chiefdom (Shaftesbury 459-60).

47Gascoyne’s map represents four Native towns with the urban iconography that had populated American maps since the early sixteenth century. But as English Carolinians deployed a longstanding settlement sign on the second Lords Proprietors’ map, its meanings began to shift and diverge. “Cambahe” and “Westoh” appeared as cities, but by the early 1680s colonists understood that these were not the wealthy chiefdoms they had expected to find in Carolina. “Esaw” still had promise as a potential chiefdom. John Lederer believed the place he had called Ushery in 1670 was characterized by hierarchical authority, elaborate material culture, and the potential for mineral wealth – all of the traditional trappings of central capital town for a powerful chiefdom. Gascoyne erased all of the other towns that Lederer visited along his route and that had appeared on the first Lords Proprietors’ map, leaving Esaw to stand alone as a representative of his discoveries. At the same time, the mapmaker brought Cofitachequi back from the remote western rivers to which it had been relegated after the Spanish lost track of it at the end of the sixteenth century. Although they appeared on the map as potent polities of the Piedmont, this image of neighboring chiefdoms was likewise beginning to break down as a way to describe the variety of Native societies English Carolina encountered during its first generation of settlement.

48Henry Woodward undertook the colony’s first official diplomatic journey just weeks after first settlers arrived to establish Charlestown in 1670. He headed to the northwest, to make contact with Cofitachequi. After an overland journey of fourteen days, he claimed to have found it. A country “soe delitious, pleasant & fruitfull,” he wrote “[that] were it cultivated dou[b]tless it would prove a second Paradize.” The people here appeared bigger and stronger than the Kiawah Indians who welcomed the first Carolina settlers to Cusabo country. This was the place where “the Emperor resides,” he reported, and from which Cofitachequi ruled a host of smaller communities between its capital town in the Piedmont and the Atlantic coast (Shaftesbury 186-87). Aware of the looming threat of Westo raiders and Spanish forces from the South, Woodward “contracted a league with the Emp[orer] & all those Petty Cassekas betwixt us & them” that he believed were subject to Cofitachequi’s authority (Shaftesbury 334-35, 187; Browne, “Dr. Henry Woodward’s Role” 75).

49Woodward found evidence of pearls and silver at Cofitachequi. Lord Ashley cautioned Woodward to keep this news secret. He wrote to Woodward in 1671 with a proposed code for their correspondence: if he found more evidence of gold or silver he was to refer to “antimony” and “iron” in his letters to avoid creating a frenzy among colonists in search of precious metals should their private communication become public. Ashley recalled the folly of Soto and other Spanish conquistadors in the Southeast who had “marched into this Country in Search of Gold and Silver” and, in doing so, had guaranteed their own “certaine Ruine.” Although he and the other proprietors had designed Carolina to become a plantation colony, Woodward’s report sustained the hope they might also gain the fabled wealth that had eluded the Spanish in due time (Shaftesbury 220-21, 301, 316, 327-28).

50When Cofitachequi’s leader, with a hundred warriors in tow, made a formal diplomatic visit to Charlestown in 1672, the negotiations that Woodward had initiated continued, sealing a new alliance between the colony and the chiefdom. This defensive alliance with Cofitachequi sought to gather a formidable military force against the Westos. In 1681, the English and the Westos were at war and Lord Ashley ordered his officials to “send to the Cofitaciquis” for assistance. This was the last documentary reference to Cofitachequi in English records, and there is no record that anyone in Cofitachequi acknowledged or responded to this request. Although it lingered on in cartography for another decade or two, the chiefdom of Cofitachequi had otherwise vanished. Shortly after the English rediscovered Cofitachequi, it disappeared (Shaftesbury 388, 201).

51Early Carolina officials confused and conflated Esaw and Cofitachequi in their reports to the Lords Proprietors in England. As some ethnohistorians and archaeologists speculate, Cofitachequi once dominated the Souian towns along the Wateree River including Ushery/Esaw. Under the pressure of Westo slave raiding, refugees from Cofitachequi fled to towns along the Wateree River and helped form a new, coalescent Catawba confederacy. The Cofitachequi that Henry Woodward visited, by this interpretation, was the much-diminished remnant of a once great chiefdom. Others argue that Cofitachequi, like many other Native towns shattered by disease and warfare, had disappeared entirely by the time the English settled at Charlestown. If this was true, a local headman played the role of Cofitachequi’s emperor for Woodward, hoping to benefit from English confusion. Perhaps this Cofitachequi was in fact one of a dozen or more towns in the region that had reformed after the collapse of chiefdom society earlier in the century and had taken on refugees from Cofitachequi as its population dispersed. Perhaps this so-called emperor presided over the spiritually significant sites that had once figured at the center of chiefdom society (Waddell, “Cofitachequi” 346, 342; Proprietors 106; Browne, “The Effects of Westo Slave Raids” 109).

52Gascoyne’s New Map of the Country of Carolina painted a picture of the indigenous interior that helped the English grasp the emerging geopolitics of this fast-changing frontier region. The map, with these Indian towns spread out across so much space, visualized a kind of balance between indigenous powers. By the early 1680s, dreams of pearls, gold, and silver that the Proprietors might someday extract disappeared along with references to Cofitachequi. For Ashley, this meant working with newly acknowledged Indian leaders to forge a stable diplomatic order so Carolina could take root and grow. “Peace,” as he put it, was “the thing most requisite for Planters” (Proprietors 106). Ashley’s aspiration – to sustain a plantation society in the midst of an array of Native polities – adapted to the new knowledge about the indigenous interior that this map attempted to codify. As English Carolina cultivated Indian trading partners among the region’s most active slaving societies, however, such volatile alliances undermined this goal of achieving a lasting peace with Native peoples.

53Much had changed with Native society in the decades separating Soto’s encounter with Cofitachequi in 1540 and the creation of this map in 1682. The collapse of Mississippian society, already underway when the Spanish arrived in eastern North America, accelerated after Soto departed. As English Carolinians attempted to grasp the configuration of Native places on these maps, their presence, and particularly their commerce with Native hunters and slavers, intensified the breakdown of old social forms. In their place, new capitalist relations empowered individuals to arm themselves with imported guns with which they raided vulnerable communities, took captives, and sold them to English traders. As individuals bypassed the tributary hierarchies that had empowered the caciques, these societies stopped making the signature material objects by which chiefly power was displayed, including raised mounds and luxury objects. As conflict fragmented settlements, new societies coalesced that featured town councils and governance built on consensus rather than coercion and unitary authority. One of the “militarized slaving societies” that took advantage of this new, unmediated access to firearms and goods, the Westos, preyed upon Cofitachequi in its decline, enslaving some of its inhabitants as captives for the Indian slave trade, and driving others to take refuge in new, coalescent communities such as the Catawbas at Esaw (Ethridge and Shuck-Hall 38-40).

54As Cofitachequi’s presence faded, Carolina officials began learning about the actual people and places of the Southeastern interior. By 1715, a census counted some 30,000 Indians who lived within about 500 miles of Charlestown, including Yuchis, Savannahs, Apalachees, Pallachacolas, Yamasees, Catawbas, Cheraws, Congress, Creeks, Tallapoosas, Alabamas, and Cheokees (Oatis 112). Although some had ties to the ancestral chiefdoms, these societies were profoundly different from those that English colonists had expected to find some fifty years earlier. Traditional political economy in Mississippian chiefdoms depended on maintaining social hierarchies and exacting agricultural surpluses as tribute. In the new order, Native nations gained power and influence through deer hunting, slave raiding, and trade with Europeans. New Native towns were not built around long-standing religious sites that made manifest the authority of a priestly, leadership caste. Instead, political leaders lacked coercive authority and shared goods and power broadly. Many of these new polities were coalescent societies, formed by taking in refugees and absorbing those whose societies had been shattered by infectious diseases and unending warfare. To reckon with this newly revealed indigenous reality, Carolina colonists could no longer view the region through Spanish narratives and images. They had to forget Soto and erase the idea that undiscovered chiefdoms awaited intrepid English explorers. They had to give up on the idea that it was possible to gain gold, silver, and the labor of Indian subjects the way the Spanish had in Mexico and Peru. In short, when Carolinians stopped searching for Cofitachequi, they were forced to come to terms with realities of Native life in the region. The very idea of what Carolina was as a colony and what it could become changed in this moment of adjustment.

55In the 1670s and 1680s, Native people in the Southeast knew what English colonists and officials did not: that the Lords Proprietors were searching for Cofitachequi and that it no longer existed as a powerful interior chiefdom. They responded, in part, by reshaping the human geography of Carolina by presenting themselves to English Carolinians as allies and trading partners and forcing the English to add their towns to revised maps. The Westos turned up one day in 1674 at Lord Ashley’s private plantation on the edge of space controlled by the colony. They invited Henry Woodward to accompany them on a trip to their central town on Savannah River and, in doing so, urged the English to revise their geographic conceptions of Native peoples in the region. Until war between them undid their partnership, the Westos and English engaged in an expansive trade that encouraged extensive slave raiding in the Piedmont and the mission towns in Florida. When the proprietors revised their map, they made a place for Westo power and presence.

56The leader English officials called the “emperor” welcomed Woodward at Cofitachequi and made a show of force by leading a hundred warriors on a diplomatic visit to Charlestown. As a result of these visits, the proprietors reinstated Cofitachequi on their second official map of the region, and its leaders sustained the illusion of chiefly power until the Carolinians could no longer find anyone there to negotiate with. In 1685, the Muskogean towns along the Chattahoochee, Flint, and Apalachicola Rivers sought access to English trade goods. Several resettled along a branch of the Ocmulgee River to bring them closer to Carolina. Because the English could now find them along Ochese Creek, they became the “Creek Indians.” After making themselves visible to Carolina, they became a presence on new English maps. Like the Westos and the Savannas before them, the Yamasees drew closer to English Carolina by inhabiting the Savannah River Valley, an area that Soto experienced as a depopulated desert. By moving toward Charlestown and encouraging further contacts and communication, each of these Indian groups opened a diplomatic path that linked their societies to Charlestown and made themselves accessible and mappable (Waselkov et al.). Native Americans discerned this English mode of orienting their survey of Native space by fixing on a single, particular power as an indigenous ally and, it appears, worked to make use of this understanding of “what an Englishman really wants,” as literary scholar Mary Fuller put in in reference to Virginia, and “manipulate that understanding” for their own ends (Fuller 95-96).

57As English traders sought slaves and deerskins from Native partners, they fostered a pattern of colonial engagement with the indigenous interior that was highly disruptive to any system of geopolitical order. The widespread Indian slave trade promoted warfare and captive taking. Trade with British merchants meant debt peonage, material dependence, and internecine competition for trade goods. The world after Cofitachequi was politically volatile as well as inexpressibly violent. As South Carolina’s Indian traders pressed their advantages, Native societies pushed back. During the Yamasee War of 1715 a confederation of Creek, Yamasee, Catawba, and other Native groups attacked the colony from all sides. Their attacks demonstrated that the settled plantation countryside around Charlestown was only as secure as those in the interior permitted it to be. Raiders from the North and the South forced settlers and slaves to flee behind Charlestown’s walls. They killed hundreds, slaughtered their cattle, and put plantations to the torch. As South Carolina rebuilt after the devastation, the Crown took the colony over from the Proprietors, putting a final end to their schemes. To stabilize Britain’s southern continental frontier, the new royal government built new forts, ended the Indian slave trade, and sought to forge new alliances with these Native adversaries.

58Native Americans broke through Carolinians’ image of a southeastern world of contending chiefdoms, forcing them to reckon with societies that were mobile, decentralized, and town-based. As Cofitachequi vanished from new European maps of the region, English mapmakers registered the existence and locations of Yamasees, Creeks, Cherokees, Catawbas, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and many others. These new images omitted Cofitachequi and the route of Soto’s entrada, but they inscribed the Native path network that linked coalescent nations to one another and to Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. In place of urban icons, the maps signified indigenous homelands with clusters of Native houses, imagined as generic wigwams or tent-like shelters. The urban iconography of previous maps marked the locations of cheifdoms by depicting a single, fortified, and developed town; these new icons emphasized arrays of settlements, keyed to population. On Indian Commissioner Thomas Nairne’s influential 1708 map, for example, the Cherokees’ mountainous homeland, with its “3000 men,” displays 34 separate house icons, while the settlement at Chattahoochee in Creek Country, with only 80 men, merits merely ten (Cumming 22, 40-44) (Figures 29 and 30).

Fig. 29: Thomas Nairne, “A Map of South Carolina Shewing the Settlements of the English, French, and Indian Nations,” in Edward Crisp, A Compleat description of the Province of Carolina in 3 parts (London, 1711).

Fig. 29: Thomas Nairne, “A Map of South Carolina Shewing the Settlements of the English, French, and Indian Nations,” in Edward Crisp, A Compleat description of the Province of Carolina in 3 parts (London, 1711).

From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Fig. 30: Details from Thomas Nairne, “A Map of South Carolina Shewing the Settlements of the English, French, and Indian Nations,” in Edward Crisp, A Compleat description of the Province of Carolina in 3 parts (London, 1711).

Fig. 30: Details from Thomas Nairne, “A Map of South Carolina Shewing the Settlements of the English, French, and Indian Nations,” in Edward Crisp, A Compleat description of the Province of Carolina in 3 parts (London, 1711).

From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

59Other maps struggled to synthesize new and old forms of representation, sometimes including both as if the old world of chiefdoms and the new world of coalescent nations shared the region as contemporaneous societies. Guillaume D’Lisle’s early eighteenth-century maps, for example, retained “Cutifachiqui” alongside this revised human geography of Native towns (Figures 31 and 32).

Fig. 31: Detail from Guillaume de L'Isle, Carte du Mexique et de la Floride des Terres Angloises et des Isles Antilles (Paris, 1703).

Fig. 31: Detail from Guillaume de L'Isle, Carte du Mexique et de la Floride des Terres Angloises et des Isles Antilles (Paris, 1703).

From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Figure 32: Detail from Guillaume de L'Isle, Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississipi (Paris, 1718).

Figure 32: Detail from Guillaume de L'Isle, Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississipi (Paris, 1718).

From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Long after Cofitachequi’s inhabitants abandoned the chiefdom, its marker lived on in maps, documenting European confusion about demography, society, and culture in the Southeast.

60English Carolina began from a single, modest point in the 1670 with the settlement of Charlestown. For the next few decades, colonists settled plantations along rivers within the coastal plain. These were so close to the ocean that their waters rose and fell with the pulse of the tide. But instead of picturing the interior as an empty space into which this new plantation society might expand, early maps of the continental interior pictured a world dense with indigenous cities. Spanish accounts prepared English colonists to make contact with powerful Indian chiefdoms in the interior. The realization that the landscape of chiefdoms observed by Soto and Pardo no longer existed prompted English Carolinians to express negative cultural judgements about their new Native neighbors and partners. Rather than investing in grand structures and beautiful objects, these societies appeared crude and materially unsophisticated to English observers. They raided weaker towns and took captives to sell as slaves in Charlestown, practices of violence that enriched Indian traders but that seemed to them more savage than noble.

61When John Locke wrote in the Second Treatise of Government that, “in the beginning, all the world was America,” he was not referring to the chiefdoms he and other colonial officials expected to find in Carolina. Instead, his judgment that Native North Americans lived within the state of nature drew from this new knowledge of Native societies that stressed their transience, lack of strong executive authority, and communal possession of property (Armitage). Societies emerged from the state of nature, according to Locke, when they “incorporated, settled themselves together, and built cities” (Locke, Second Treatise of Government 24). His meditations on Native American states and property took shape after he learned that the Cofitachequi that Soto encountered was no more. As mapmakers replaced urban icons with images of scattered wigwams to represent the coalescent nations of the Native Southeast, such negative appraisals of Native society came into focus for English colonizers. These new characterizations provided a cultural rationale for dispossession. They also encouraged English traders and officials that their indigenous allies and partners were less civilized states than mobile bands.

62English Carolina began differently from other North American colonies, because its founders understood they were entering a Native world rendered legible by Spanish spatial and ethnographic knowledge. In Spanish hands, the process of naming and locating Indian cities fit well with Spain’s mode of colonization in the Americas. It was one that valued ruling over semi-autonomous Indian communities, converting Natives to Catholicism, extracting mineral wealth, and conscripting labor. The best maps of newly encountered places therefore put a premium on describing where Native souls, gold, and bodies might be found. That this appreciation for the presence of Indian chiefdoms should matter to the English in Carolina is surprising. England’s approach to colonization placed more value on the land than the indigenous people who occupied it. Its colonial mission involved bringing over settlers and slaves in large numbers, pushing indigenous people off the land, and establishing agricultural settlements that produced commodities for the Atlantic marketplace.

63As Eliga Gould has emphasized, the English colonized American within a profoundly entangled Atlantic world (Gould). This essay has demonstrated how English colonizers attempted to integrate Spanish knowledge and conceptions of the region into their understandings and how these understandings shaped their ideas and actions. Such connections make it more difficult to assert strong imperial distinctions in ideas about Native society and people. When the Lords Proprietors looked at their map of the Southeast, they saw their colonial settlement alone in a volatile space long dominated by Spanish soldiers and missionaries. By reaching out to powerful chiefdoms in the interior, they imagined a way to project English power as their colony grew. In the tension between “Spanish precedents and English attempts at imitation,” as Mary Fuller has argued, Carolina’s founders worked in print and image to reconcile their “infinite expectations” for territorial growth and dominion with the “catastrophic results” of volatile encounters with Native Americans. Unlike the fictive utopias that populated the imaginations of other early modern European writers, those who attempted to map out the people and places of the early Southeast understood that these were real places that could be understood and approached (Fuller 15, 21).

64This examination of the representation of Cofitachequi has emphasized the many ways in which the English believed they were entering a space mediated by Spanish colonial history. Spanish explorers in the sixteenth century wandered through a political landscape of chiefdoms, and they bequeathed this idea in maps and texts to the English colonizers that followed them in the seventeenth century. By the time the English arrived on the scene, the chiefdoms were gone, but their image – conveyed in maps and texts – lingered to define this space. Images of Native cities generated by Spanish mapmakers and chroniclers shaped English assumptions about the kind of place Carolina could become. English ideas of the region were fantasies perpetuated by maps and texts, but they were fantasies drawn from ethnographic evidence that had real-world consequences. English Carolina began not with the assumption that the bounds of its charter marked off a legally vacant space, but rather that this was a region of settled chiefdoms that colonists would need to come to terms with to establish a new plantation colony south of Virginia and north of Florida.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1: Map of Tenochtitlán and the Gulf of Mexico ([Nuremberg], [1524]).
Crédits From JCB Map Collection. Original in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 669k
Titre Fig. 2: From Benedetto Bordone, Libro Di Benedetto Bordone, nel qual si ragiona de tutte l'isole del mondo […] (Venice, 1528).
Crédits Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 1,1M
Titre Fig. 3: Giovanni Ramusio, La Carta Uniuersale Della Terra Ferma & Isole Delle Indie Occide[n]Tali ([Venice], 1534).
Crédits From JCB Map Collection. Original in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 1,5M
Titre Fig. 4: Details from Giovanni Ramusio, La Carta Uniuersale Della Terra Ferma & Isole Delle Indie Occide[n]Tali ([Venice], 1534).
Crédits From JCB Map Collection. Original in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 161k
Titre Fig. 5: Giacomo Gastaldi, “Nueva Hispania Tabula Nova,” from La Geografia di Claudio Ptolomeo Alessandrino (Venice, 1548).
Crédits The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries Special Collections, Gift of Dr. Jack Franke.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-5.png
Fichier image/png, 1,6M
Titre Fig. 6: Detail from Giacomo Gastaldi, “Nueva Hispania Tabula Nova,” from La Geografia di Claudio Ptolomeo Alessandrino (Venice, 1548).
Crédits The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries Special Collections, Gift of Dr. Jack Franke.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-6.png
Fichier image/png, 594k
Titre Fig. 7: Alonso de Santa Cruz, “Mapa del Golfo y costa de la Nueva España : desde el Río de Panuco hasta el cabo de Santa Elena [...]” [ca. 1540s?].
Crédits Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-7.png
Fichier image/png, 594k
Titre Fig. 8: Detail from Alonso de Santa Cruz, “Mapa del Golfo y costa de la Nueva España : desde el Río de Panuco hasta el cabo de Santa Elena [...]” [ca. 1540s?].
Crédits Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-8.png
Fichier image/png, 559k
Titre Fig. 9: Abraham Ortelius, “Americae Sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio,” from Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Antwerp, 1570).
Crédits From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-9.png
Fichier image/png, 1,0M
Titre Fig. 10: Detail from Abraham Ortelius, “Americae Sive Novi Orbis, Nova Descriptio,” from Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Antwerp, 1570).
Crédits From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-10.png
Fichier image/png, 535k
Titre Fig. 11: Abraham Ortelius, Peruuiae avriferæ regionis typus [Antwerp, 1584].
Crédits From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-11.png
Fichier image/png, 1,9M
Titre Fig. 12: Detail from Abraham Ortelius, Peruuiae avriferæ regionis typus [Antwerp, 1584].
Crédits From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-12.png
Fichier image/png, 844k
Titre Fig. 13: Detail from William Wood, The south part of New England as it planted this yeare, 1634 (1634).
Crédits Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center, Boston Public Library, Boston, Mass.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-13.png
Fichier image/png, 797k
Titre Fig. 14: John Smith and William Hole, Virginia ([London], [1624]; orig. 1612).
Crédits From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-14.png
Fichier image/png, 1,3M
Titre Fig. 15: Detail from John Smith and William Hole, Virginia ([London], [1624]; orig. 1612).
Crédits From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-15.png
Fichier image/png, 1,0M
Titre Fig. 16: John Ogilby and John Moxon, “A New Discription of Carolina By Order of the Lords Proprietors,” in Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World ([London], [ca. 1672]).
Crédits From JCB Map Collection. Original in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-16.png
Fichier image/png, 1,5M
Titre Fig. 17: Title page, John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).
Crédits From David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-17.png
Fichier image/png, 1,8M
Titre Fig. 18: Title illustration, John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).
Crédits From David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-18.png
Fichier image/png, 1,8M
Titre Fig. 19: English Carolina, Native Florida, and Piedmont Chiefdoms on the Ogilby-Moxon Map. Source: John Ogilby and James Moxon, “A New Description of Carolina,” in John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).
Crédits From David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-19.png
Fichier image/png, 1,4M
Titre Fig. 20: Charlestown, Jamestown, and Areas of English Geographic Knowledge on the Ogibly-Moxon Map. Source: John Ogilby and James Moxon, “A New Description of Carolina,” in John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).
Crédits From David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-20.png
Fichier image/png, 1,5M
Titre Fig. 21. St. Augustine, Native Mission Towns, Port Royal, and Charlestown on the Ogilby-Moxon Map. Source: John Ogilby and James Moxon, “A New Description of Carolina,” in John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).
Crédits From David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-21.png
Fichier image/png, 833k
Titre Fig. 22: Charlestown, Piedmont Chiefdoms, and John Lederer’s Route on the Ogilby-Moxon Map. Source: John Ogilby and James Moxon, “A New Description of Carolina” in John Ogilby, America, Being an Accurate Description of the New World (London, 1671).
Crédits From David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-22.png
Fichier image/png, 1,3M
Titre Fig. 23: John Locke, “Map of the south eastern part of North America and part of South America,” 1671.
Crédits MPI 1/11, UK National Archives, Richmond, U.K.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-23.png
Fichier image/png, 1,6M
Titre Fig. 24: Port Royal, Ashley River, and Ushery. Detail from John Locke, “Map of the south eastern part of North America and part of South America,” 1671.
Crédits MPI 1/11, UK National Archives.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-24.png
Fichier image/png, 1,5M
Titre Fig. 25: Joannes de Laet, Florida, et Regiones Vicinae (Leyden, 1630).
Crédits From Florida Map Collection, University of South Florida, Tampa Library and Studies Center Gallery.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-25.png
Fichier image/png, 2,0M
Titre Fig. 26: Cofitachequi and Port Royal. Detail from Joannes de Laet, Florida, et Regiones Vicinae (Leyden, 1630).
Crédits From Florida Map Collection, University of South Florida, Tampa Library and Studies Center Gallery.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-26.png
Fichier image/png, 967k
Titre Fig. 27: Joel Gascoyne, A New Map of the Country of Carolina (London, 1682).
Crédits From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-27.png
Fichier image/png, 2,1M
Titre Fig. 28: Sewee Settlement, Cambahe, Westoh, Cafitaciqui, and Esaw. Detail from Joel Gascoyne, A New Map of the Country of Carolina (London, 1682).
Légende From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-28.png
Fichier image/png, 1,6M
Titre Fig. 29: Thomas Nairne, “A Map of South Carolina Shewing the Settlements of the English, French, and Indian Nations,” in Edward Crisp, A Compleat description of the Province of Carolina in 3 parts (London, 1711).
Légende From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-29.png
Fichier image/png, 1,3M
Titre Fig. 30: Details from Thomas Nairne, “A Map of South Carolina Shewing the Settlements of the English, French, and Indian Nations,” in Edward Crisp, A Compleat description of the Province of Carolina in 3 parts (London, 1711).
Crédits From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-30.png
Fichier image/png, 406k
Titre Fig. 31: Detail from Guillaume de L'Isle, Carte du Mexique et de la Floride des Terres Angloises et des Isles Antilles (Paris, 1703).
Légende From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-31.png
Fichier image/png, 766k
Titre Figure 32: Detail from Guillaume de L'Isle, Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississipi (Paris, 1718).
Crédits From Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7383/img-32.png
Fichier image/png, 561k
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S. Max Edelson, « Searching for Cofitachequi: How English Colonizers Mapped the Native Southeast before 1700 »XVII-XVIII [En ligne], 78 | 2021, mis en ligne le 31 décembre 2021, consulté le 28 novembre 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/1718/7383 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/1718.7383

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Auteur

S. Max Edelson

S. Max Edelson is Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Plantation Enterprise in Colonial South Carolina (Harvard University Press, 2006) and The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence (Harvard University Press, 2017)

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