|John Lawson explores the|
Most of us remember history lessons about Lewis and Clark whose expedition in the early 1800s explored and mapped territory from Missouri westward to the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, a major part of their task was to study and sketch plants, animals and geography.
|Lawson's journey began in Charleston, SC, in 1700.|
Enter John Lawson, who was commissioned by colonial authorities to learn more about the interior of the colony. Although the coastal areas were being explored in depth, the Europeans knew little about the region farther inland.
|Describing animals, plants and natives|
was the mission of Lawson and his party.
Perhaps Lawson is the first person we can credit with recording the enjoyable outdoor life of North Carolina. The climate is “healthful,” and the “Land is very fruitful,” he writes. Because the soil is rich, the inhabitants “live an easy and pleasant Life.” Lawson also describes more than 70 varieties of seafood in the Carolina waters and pronounces catfish as being “very plentiful.” He identifies more than 25 “beasts” that can be hunted, proclaims that bear meat is “very good” and enjoys a “curious ragoo” made with venison and possum.
|Lawson's book, published in 1709,|
attracted many in immigrants.
Unlike Lawson, Huler is not waiting nine years to publish his account. To share his observations, he is documenting his journey online. His blog The Lawson Trek is updated with posts, images, sound, and video. On Twitter (@LawsonTrek), Huler is also tweeting images and thoughts – routine and unusual – about his adventures and has observed that he often is “walking along a sand road that has probably been trodden by human feet for a thousand years or more.”
Check out Huler’s posts and images, and follow him as he shares a historical perspective of the Carolina outdoor life.
Note: This post appeared originally in the April 2015 issue of OutreachNC, a monthly magazine distributed in 10 counties of central North Carolina. Click here to see the article as it appeared in print.