Mapping the New World
Maps made in the 1500s were very crude. Mapmakers could draw land, but they had a hard time mapping the ocean. This kept most sailors from exploring far from the coastline.

In the early 1500s when explorers and mapmakers learned about "longitude" and "latitude," they were able to make maps that showed both land and seas. These maps opened the door for explorers to travel to all parts of the globe.


Surveyors and mapmakers
The English government sent surveyors to the Carolinas to measured the size, shape and boundaries of land and water. The surveyors measured hills, valleys, lakes, stream, mountains and Native American villages so mapmakers could draw maps. Early explorers and settlers needed new maps to travel in the uncharted new world.

Often early maps were works of art. Artists illustrated the maps with sea creatures and images of plants and animals. In a day when travel was limited, many people viewed maps as a way to see the world.

John Lawson - Surveyor General to the Colony of Carolina
In addition to writing Voyage to Carolina, John Lawson was the surveyor general of the Carolina colony. Before his death, he was instrumental in founding the town of Bath and New Bern, North Carolina's two oldest towns, and was authorized to lay out their plans.



Who "owns" the New World
Surveyors measured land to determine the borders of where one person's property begins and where another's ends.


The idea of determining the ownership of land led to conflicts between the settlers and the Native Americans.

Early Native American view of land ownership
Land was for all people to use. Land should not be owned by individuals. Whoever happened to be living on the land, had the right to use it. If that person moved away or died, someone else could use it.

The settlers view of land
The new world was unclaimed country. People could claim land and own it.

This led to conflicts between the European Settlers and Native Americans who were living in the New World.