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A New Voyage to Carolina Paperback – September 28, 1984


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Lawson, explorer, surveyor, and naturalist, was from the Yorkshire region of England. He arrived in the Carolinas in 1700 and soon after began the first of a series of travels in the region. Eventually, he took up residence in present-day Bath, North Carolina, and in 1708 became the official surveyor for the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. In the late summer of 1711, on another trip to explore the interior of the region, Lawson was captured and put to death by Tuscarora Indians.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 359 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; Reprint edition (September 28, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807841269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807841266
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #588,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
Young John Lawson describes his adventure canoing and hiking through the Carolina Coastal Plain and Piedmont in the winter of 1700. Lawson's descriptions are detailed, especially of the many generous Native Americans who helped him on his way. His journey started in Charleston, continued through the Charlotte area, then east to Okeneechee Village on the Eno River (now Hillsborogh) and on to the coast near New Bern. This book is an unknown classic.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Karen Hall on November 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Lawson is my immigrant ancestor, and a legend in my family, and yet I was 52 years old before I knew this book was still in print. I was thrilled to find out, and gave it to my siblings and cousins for Christmas. Reading the book was an amazing experience to me, because I felt I was reading it from the inside out. I understand John Lawson so well, and he gave me the gift of understanding myself better.

For people who don't have a personal stake in the story, it's still an amazing read. Lawson was an excellent writer, a keen observer and his sensibilities are such that he was able to see all that was admirable about the native Americans without losing sight of all that was horrific. He was a victim of that paradox, as he was burned alive by the people he so admired.

He is known as one of the nation's first humorists, I learned, and in my own generation I see his dry wit. It's also interesting to me that in my generation, there are two professional writers and one humor columnist, and we all recognized our own voices in his.

He was a man who left a very comfortable life in London to come and trek through North Carolina before it existed. He chose to begin his trip at the end of December -- a fact that I find astounding -- and he describes life-threatening incidents as if they were minor inconveniences. The courage and love of adventure that define his spirit shine through on every page. Regardless of my lack of objectivity, he was a remarkable man; he wrote a remarkable book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KB on June 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lawson writes of the native Americans he encountered on his journey to North Carolina. He listed characteristics of the land animals, birds, and fishes. The first-hand account of the differences among the Indian villages and the thoughtful reflection on the native cultures and their contrast with Europeans was most interesting to me.
The introduction by Lefler provided a needed overview as some of the words and phrases used by Lawson were different form todays American English. Lefler also provided a valuable overview to clarify some of Lawson's omissions or sequence of events.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sean on January 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you live in eastern NC, and are interested in its history, this is a good start. Lawson explored the colony and documented what he saw, heard, and tasted. Its written in the 1700's so, reading it does require a little translation into today's terms. But its interesting to see place names and spellings. also to read his accounts f animals in the area that aren't here anymore. We had buffaloes. Also french colonists were in the area of the Trent river. Never knew that before. Most interesting is his interactions with the Natives. He had respect for them and their way of life which is quite a change from what we here of early explorers. Its even more astonishing when considering he died at their hands. All in all an interesting read and I learned a little of my history
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard V. Tieken on April 26, 2013
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The King of England and the European world did not know what America was like because no one with literary skills
described it. John Lawson set out to America in 1700 to do just that. He explored most all the rivers from the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina by canoe. His interest in the American Indians, the wild life to include all the animals, flowers, trees, the terrain, and everything eatable are with a magnifying glass detail. The book has also been translated into German shortly after it was first published.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alice A. Paulson on August 5, 2013
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It is a remarkable story in language of the day with beautiful descriptions of the territory and of the people who lived in that day. I highly recommend the book to folks who love our country and its history.
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