A portion of the 1760 Kitchin map. The village of Evanga is indicated where the Little Tennessee and the Tuckasegee Rivers meet.
Last August, I shared a look at one of the first published maps to display the Tuckasegee Valley in any detail – Thomas Kitchin’s New Map of the Cherokee Nation (1760).
The Kitchin map identifies several villages located along the Tuckasegee River as Kittewano (Kituwah), Cunnawiskee and Tuckeseegee (Tuckasegee). Villages on the Oconaluftee include Newni, Cunnulrasha, Tuckereche. The section of the Kitchin map show above includes the Little Tennessee River villages of Cowee and Ihoree.
Only recently, I managed to get my hands on George Hunter’s 1730 map of the Cherokee country. Hunter accompanied the eccentric Sir Alexander Cuming on his mission from Charleston, SC to the mountains and mapped the entire route of the trip.
This portion of the Hunter map lists some of the villages that reappear on Kitchin’s map thirty years later.
A settlement is shown at the forks of the Tuckasegee and Little Tennessee, although it is not named on the Hunter map. The villages on the Oconaluftee are listed as Newni and Tocoreche, while Kattewa (Kituwah), Stecoe, Connnutra (?), Connawisia (?) and Tucosegee (Tuckasegee) are shown along the Tuckasegee. Hunter lists many of the towns on the Little Tennessee, such as Cowe and Ihoree.
The dotted line paralleling the Little Tennessee and turning west at Ihoree, from where it goes on across the Nantahalas, was a well-known trading path.
The documentary record for this period in the region is relatively slim, but this map is a reminder that white traders were already familiar with the area from buying deerskins and selling trade goods to the Cherokees.
Unfortunately, George Hunter’s 1730 is not among them, and I’ve been unable to find it available online. If you visit the Oconee Heritage Center in Walhalla, SC, though, a nice framed copy hangs by the entrance to the museum.