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Dividing Line between Virginia and North Carolina

Catesby, Mark __Possibly by ||Bodleian Library
Place Made:
Oxford Great Britain
Date Made:
1740, 1988
ink –paper
Accession Number:
The plate from which this print was struck was probably prepared for an anticipated but never realized history of Virginia by William Byrd II (1674-1744). It depicts the boundary line between North Carolina and Virginia as well a examples of the flora, fauna, and Native people of the region. This plate was just one of the Virginia-related plates discovered in the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England, in the early 20th century. The best known plate from this cache depicts the public buildings of Williamsburg, Virginia.

William Byrd II was one of the commissioners appointed by Virginia to survey dividing line between Virginia and her southern neighbor. His manuscript account of the survey, “The History of the Dividing Line,” was published in 1841. Byrd also left a more scandalous account of the survey, entitled “The Secret History of the Line.”

REFERENCE: Pritchard and Sites, William Byrd II and His Lost History, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1993.
Wooldridge, Mapping of Virginia, 99-100.

Credit Line:
Gift of Robert Leath in honor of Frank H. and Carol C. Holcomb