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WFU professor available to explain importance of auctioned Winston-Salem historical documents


November 1, 2007

A set of seven survey maps of Western North Carolina, which led to the first Moravian settlement at Wachovia known as Bethabara, were auctioned Oct. 31 by Bloomsbury Auctions of New York. 

Craig Atwood, John Comenius Visiting Professor of Moravian Studies at the Wake Forest University Divinity School, is available to explain the significance of these manuscripts and the challenges faced by Bishop Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg as he sought the perfect home for the new Moravian community.  Atwood has written about Spangenberg’s experience in America in an article to be published in the spring of 2008.  Atwood also serves as theologian in residence at Home Moravian Church.

In September, 1752, Spangenberg and five others arrived in North Carolina where they were joined by the surveyor William Churton.  The Bloomsbury Web site describes the items auctioned and includes this note: 

"According to Spangenberg's diary (quoted in Fries, Records of the Moravians in North Carolina), surveying began on 3 November 1752 -- the exact date of the first survey present here.  This archive of seven surveys constitute four different tracts being considered for settlement. Besides a map of the tract with a detailed description of the boundaries below, each survey is signed by Churton and includes a listing of the names of the chain carriers who assisted him.”          

Spangenberg named the area Wachovia, after the Wachau Valley in Austria.

Press Contacts:

Audrey Fannin
(336) 758-5237


Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237


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