Books (Jump to Currency, or Maps)

With the excitement of New Bern's Bicentennial Celebration in 1910 came a renewal in the writing of the history of New Bern. While some of the included books were written just before the Bicentennial, most were penned especially for the Bicentennial or shortly thereafter.

Shortly after the Bicentennial Celebration other books about New Bern appeared enticing business men to locate to this "Most Temperate Climate in the World."

The following titles are located in the Craven County Digital History Exhibit, complete with text and images.

1893 New Berne Business Directory
One of New Bern's earlier city directories, this volume includes detailed information about the city's businesses and citizens. With the absence of the 1890 federal census, this book constitutes the largest printed listing of the residents of New Bern for that period.
Craven County, North Carolina And New Bern, Its Capital (1913)
This document is an early Chamber of Commerce booklet to entice investors and "home seekers" to locate in New Bern and Craven County.
Illustrated City of New Bern (1914)
This profusely illustrated volume includes detailed information about almost every business located in New Bern during 1914.
Life of a Confederate Soldier by John B. Ernul (1909?)
This short volume describes the experiences of a Craven County resident while in a northern prison camp during the latter part of the Civil War.
New Bern North Carolina Founded by De Graffenried in 1710 by Emma H. Powell (1905)
An early, illustrated history of New Bern that also includes information on several New Bern businesses in 1905.

Presentation of a Flag, February 27, 1896
A transcription of the speeches delivered in 1896 upon the presentation of a Flag to the City of New Bern by the Swiss Minister to the U.S.

Programme and Souvenir of New Bern (1910)
The official program and schedule of events for the New Bern Bicentennial Celebration and the State Firemen's  Convention in July 1910.

"North Carolina Revisited" by William Garrison Reed (1887)
William Garrison Reed was a soldier in the 44th Massachusetts Regiment stationed in New Bern during 1862-1863. In 1884, he with other veterans revisited Eastern North Carolina and photographed sites that held significance to the 44th Massachusetts. An account of his visit in 1884 is found in Record of the Service of the Forty-Fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia in North Carolina, August 1862 to May 1863 (Boston: Privately Printed, 1887), p. 223-232. The following site is a reprint of that visit along with a series photographs taken by Reed that were not included in the original version of "North Carolina Revisited."
Short Historical Sketch of Christ Church Parish by Dita Roberts (1911)
An early history of New Bern's oldest church.
Souvenir of New Bern (1910)
A history of New Bern produced for the Bicentennial Celebration in 1910, this volume also includes illustrations of many of New Bern's attractions and businesses.

North Carolina Paper Currency (Return to Books or Jump to Maps)

During the Colonial Period, the scarcity of specie (coin) in North Carolina constituted a major problem. Settlers arrived with little hard currency and the limited trade of the province brought in inadequate amounts of coin. Since little or no gold, silver or copper (the raw materials for coins) was mined in the colony, the chief form of exchange for most of the Colonial Period was the barter of commodities—tobacco, corn, wheat, tallow, skins, pitch, whale oil, pork and beef, etc

Paper currency was treated with some suspicion. During the Colonial Period, it was frequently issued to finance or pay off debts incurred by military expeditions. The 1748 issue, for example, paid for constructing forts at Cape Fear and Ocracoke for protection of the coastal area from Spanish attacks. Unlike specie, paper currency was subject to counterfeiting, depreciation of face value and inflation. It wasn’t easy to convince Americans to accept the early paper currency. To encourage them, famous and respected men were recruited to sign the front of the bills by hand. The signatures on the reverse often signified a guarantee of payment.

The individual most closely associated with North Carolina currency was New Bern printer James Davis (1721-1785). Born and trained in Virginia, Davis came to North Carolina in 1749 to fill the post of public printer, an office created that year by the Assembly to print a revisal of the colony’s laws. Davis opened a print shop in New Bern, first on Pollock Street and later on Broad Street. His first job was printing currency for the province—probably the Bills of Credit authorized by the Assembly on April 4th, 1748. In his capacity as  public printer for North Carolina, Davis printed the succeeding issues of currency (1754, 1757/58, ______1774). While much of his work was of an official nature, Davis is credited with publishing the first North Carolina imprint. During his nearly thirty-three years  as public printer, he printed at least one hundred titles. He also published a variety of other material including North Carolina’s first newspaper, The North Carolina Gazette. In 1782 he relinquished his position as public printer to his son Thomas.

Browse by Denomination:
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Maps (Return to Books or Currency)

Maps, Plans and Surveys in the Collection of Tryon Palace Historic Sites & Gardens

From the first sightings of land in the West Indies through the end of the eighteenth century, there was a constant demand for maps of the newfound lands on the western Atlantic. Until the early decades of the nineteenth century, most maps were the products of English and Continental (Dutch, German and French) cartographers and engravers, who often based their maps on explorer’s reports and mariner’s charts. Beyond their use for navigation, commerce and military affairs, maps had other functions. They recorded the progress of the European settlement of North America. They documented the borders between the colonies. And they provided a relatively inexpensive means of household decoration.

Newspaper advertisements for the colonial period indicate that maps were available in single sheets or bound in atlases or occasionally in magazines. Before the eighteenth century, private ownership of maps and charts implied a learned and accomplished status that was usually limited to men of wealth and power involved in trade, government or education. After 1700, there was greater economic diversity in map ownership. Maps can be found in the inventories and personal papers of colonial American mariners, millwrights, tradesmen, merchants, plantation owners, clergy, government officials, military officers and tradesmen.

The map collection at Tryon Palace Historic Sites & Gardens focuses on printed maps of the new world, with a special emphasis on maps depicting the Carolinas from the period of discovery to the Revolutionary War. This group includes examples of the work of some of the most important British and Continental cartographers and engravers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. There are maps by William Janszoon Blaeu and Nicolas Sanson of Amsterdam, Jean Baptiste Homann of Nuremberg, and John Senex, Herman Moll, J. or T. Hinton, Thomas Jefferys, John Collet, Thomas Kitchin and Henry Mouzon of London. A second, smaller group of maps records changes in county boundaries in the State of North Carolina from the late eighteenth century to the Civil War. The collection also contains a number of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century surveys and topographical maps of New Bern and Craven County.

Catalog entries include both a short title reference and the full title including any dedication. Size is given in inches for paper, plate and image (measured from the outer edge of the neat line); measurements are always taken along the left edge and bottom of the print. Insets are treated in the same manner as the primary image. Significant features are noted in the description. Biographical information on the cartographer or engraver is included when possible.

Maps and Charts in the Digital Collection (Chronological Order):

Maps of New Bern and Craven County Maps of North Carolina
Maps of North America Maps of the West Indies
Maps of Europe Maps of Asia
Maps of the World

Book descriptions by Victor T. Jones, Jr. Currency and Map narratives written by Nancy Richards of Tryon Palace.

Last updated on December 17, 2008.

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