The Man Behind the Maps: Exchange w/ Expert, William Cawood

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T.S. Eliot

One who understands the sense of journey and place is Rome, Georgia-based dealer, Mr. William Cawood of Heritage Antique Maps.  For the past few years, we have grown very fond of Mr. Cawood and are so excited that he will be returning with his wide array of collectors maps to share with us at his booth in 2014 Art & Antiques Show.

Many who have had the pleasure to meet Mr. Cawood can attest that he has such a breadth of knowledge when it comes to collecting maps.  His expertise extends from when he started collecting these vintage and antique relics 30 years ago.  We were not timid in asking him questions about his collection; for his masterful and organized displays are enticing and effortless to parade through. His enthusiasm for both novice and seasoned collectors is infectious.  We highly encourage Show participants to visit Mr. Cawood at his booth this year.

We called Mr. Cawood and asked him some simple suggestions to collecting and to learn a bit more about the man behind the maps.

Q: How long have you been a dealer at the Art & Antiques Show?

A: This is my 3rd year.

Q: What would you say to an eager and early collector of antique maps?

A: The more you spend, the more value of a map.  Take pride in your map.   It should send a message to others about you.  People purchase maps for a wide variety of reasons: life experience, a place closest to your heart, a favorite place, a sense of meaningful family heritage.

Q: When we met you last year, you were explaining a bit about what to look for in maps.  How do we know what to look for in a good map?

A:  American maps are relatively new because America is a newer country.  American maps became more readily available after the civil war during the mid 1800’s. Pre-civil war maps are more rare.  There were three well known mapmakers during this time of government commissioned work and they include Johnson, Colton and Mitchell.  These names are prevalent to the average map collector.

Things to look for in earlier maps are the hand coloring maps and attractive borders.

Look for the dates on maps, they are the official copyright.

Q:  What can we look forward to in your booth this year?

A: There will be a number of maps of Southeastern United States, early Jacksonville, North Florida, South Georgia and the St. Johns River.

Here is a sneak preview:

cawood florida

Florida, 1864 by Johnson

cawood england

England, 1609 by Mercator

cawood france

France, circa 1590 by Ortelius

cawood ireland

Ireland, 1584 by Ortelius

cawood british isles

British Isles 1749, by Homann Heirs

Finally, we wanted to share some short stories from local Jacksonville residents who have purchased maps from Mr. Cawood and we asked them to share why their purchase is important to them or the loved one they gave the map to.

St. John’s River

D Wallace map

St. John’s River, 1856. Purchased for Mr. John Wallace.

Attached is the map I purchased last year for John, an avid fisherman.  It’s a map of The St. John’s River from 1856 and includes the City of Jacksonville from that time.  John loves it because it details some of his favorite fishing spots in Jacksonville.  While the city has changed and grown in remarkable ways since 1856, the river is the same now as it was over a century and a half ago! – Mrs. Deena Wallace

Map of the Carolina’s

NC SC map

Johnson’s Map of North & South Carolina, 1865

nc sc johnson

Purchased for Mr. Michael J Young

While searching for Christmas gift for my husband that was unique and something he could treasure for many years, I kept hearing the buzz about the Antique Map booth while volunteering at the 2013 A&A Show.  Earlier maps from Mr. Cawood’s collection did not show the county for which Michael spent his adolescence and early adulthood, Davie County, NC.  Mr. Cawood was able to find this beautiful, colorful map from 1865 that included Davie, places where my family heritage dwelled and lived, as well as the town for which my husband and I met while living in North Carolina. We both love the detailed original border and the mini vignettes’ of Carolina that surround the states. – Mrs. April Blackwood Young

Graham Family Collection

Graham GA FL

Map of North Florida & S. Georgia, Gulf of Mexico, 1864. Purchased for Mr. Alex Graham.

 There is rarely a friend or family member that my husband and I cannot find the perfect map or chart for when visiting Mr. Cawood’s booth. Since 2012 we have found maps for two of our sons’ Godparents, my husband, and our oldest son. One was a map of west Florida and the Gulf of Mexico that included Dog Island. The Godparents of our youngest son, Adams, have a family home there and it is a treasured area for all of us. It turned out that they collected antique maps of the area! Two were maps of railroad lines for the Godfather of our oldest son, Luke. He had recently taken a job with Union Pacific. One was an 1864 map of North Florida and North Georgia where my husband grew up hunting and fishing with his father and grandfather and will soon continue the tradition with our sons.

Graham celestial map

Celestial Map from 2013 Young Collectors Booth.

I also often remember the maps I did not purchase! In 2012 my husband and I spied beautiful celestial maps in Mr. Cawood’s booth. To my surprise they were still with him in 2013 and we jumped at the opportunity to display them in the Young Collectors Booth. A waiting list of patrons anxious to purchase them quickly formed and not only did they sell, but another set sold as well. I hope that he will bring more this year and just maybe I won’t pass up the opportunity again!

Graham national emblems

Johnson’s Chart of National Emblems, 1868. Purchased for Mr. Luke Graham.

We found the chart for our oldest son, Luke. It is Johnson’s Chart of National Emblems from 1868. Luke has a mind that will lend itself to memorizing these flags and we are sure many discussions about the world will stem from this map… once we actually have it framed. – Mrs. Caroline Graham

Weber Family Collection

Last year I bought a few maps from William Cawood.  My favorite purchase was the map of Spain that I gave my husband as a Christmas gift. He lived in Spain for several years while his father was serving in the United States Marine Corps. We have this map proudly displayed on our wall in our family room as a reminder of his time abroad and all the wonderful memories his family shared. When friends come over to our house, we are able to point to map and show them exactly where he lived. Please support Wolfson’s and add one of his beautiful maps to your collection! – Mrs. Patton Ellis Weber

Weber maps

Weber Family Collection of Maps

spain map

Map of Spain purchased for Mr. Larry Weber

Visit Mr. William Cawood’s website at and stop by the 2014 Art & Antique to share and exchange with the man himself!


2 thoughts on “The Man Behind the Maps: Exchange w/ Expert, William Cawood

  1. Jane says:

    What information is there on …map of Shiloh battlefield first day… Which was carried by N YPrice thru the whole civil war

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