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Goin' to Carolina

If you wish you were goin' to Carolina -- or if you're already there -- you'll want to take at least one of these beautiful images home with you. We're delighted to offer the definitive 18th century maps of the Carolinas and three wonderful images painted there.

The 1770 and 1780 maps of North and South Carolina, respectively, are amazingly detailed and very large-scale, two-section maps from the Revolutionary era. Both were prepared by the British military to provide essential geographic and topographic information about these very important and rebellious colonies.

Half a century earlier, The Royal Society of London sent Mark Catesby to the colonies "to Observe the Rarities of the Country". Beginning in Charleston, he explored and mapped the Carolinas, Florida and the Bahamas. He created what may be the most wonderful image ever of the magnolia, his Laurel Tree of Carolina. And he painted the colorful -- and then plentiful -- Parrot of Carolina.

A century later, John James Audubon spent the better part of five years in the Carolinas, where he, too, painted the Carolina Parrot, noting in 1831, "Our Parakeets are very rapidly diminishing in number, and in some districts, where twenty-five years ago, they were plentiful, scarcely any are now to be seen." Though now extinct for more than a century, we have the great good fortune to have these two exquisite images of the Carolina Parrot.

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