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“D” is for De Brahm, William Gerard (1718-1799)

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“D” is for De Brahm, William Gerard (1718-1799). Military engineer, surveyor, cartographer. Born in Germany where he had a successful career in the Bavarian army. After converting to the Lutheran Church, he was selected to lead a contingent of 156 German-speaking emigrants bound for Georgia. Arriving in 1751 he was quickly recognized in both Georgia and South Carolina for his talents as a surveyor and engineer. In1752 he was commissioned to design fortifications for Charleston and in 1755 was appointed South Carolina’s interim surveyor general of lands. In 1757 De Brahm’s fortunes rose with the publication of his cartographic magnum opus, “A Map of South Carolina and a part of Georgia.” William Gerard De Brahm’s elegant and precedent-setting 1757 map was employed as evidence by both South Carolina and Georgia concerning their twentieth-century boundary dispute in the lower Savannah River.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.