Connecticut, from the Best Authorities
This map of Connecticut first appeared in General Atlas for Carey’s Edition of Guthrie’s Geography Improved, published in Philadelphia in 1795. The map was created “from the best authorities,” including information from William Blodget’s extraordinarily detailed map of 1791, the first official map of the state. Amos Doolittle (1754–1832), a copperplate engraver in New Haven, produced the map on a scale of 7.5 miles to one inch (12 kilometers to 2.4 centimeters). Largely self-taught, Doolittle was originally a jeweler and silversmith who first attempted engraving while fighting at Lexington and Concord during the American Revolutionary War. He went on to specialize in maps for atlases and illustrations for books. The map has a decorative scene in the lower-right corner with the Connecticut shield and motto, Qui transtulit sustinet (He who transplanted still sustains). Mathew Carey (1760–1839) was an immigrant from Ireland who worked as a publisher in Philadelphia, specializing in maps, atlases, and works of geography. In 1795 he issued the first atlas published in the United States, the American Atlas. Early American publishers such as Carey were not restricted by international copyright agreements and reused European sources to print extensive atlases and geography texts. Carey combined William Guthrie’s European maps, originally published in London in 1770, with updated maps of the United States to produce Guthrie’s Geography Improved. Doolittle developed a strong working relationship with Carey. The map is from the Rochambeau Collection at the Library of Congress, which consists of 40 manuscript maps, 26 printed maps, and a manuscript atlas that belonged to Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725‒1807), commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780‒82) during the American Revolution. Some of the maps were used by Rochambeau during the war. Dating from 1717 to 1795, the maps cover much of eastern North America, from Newfoundland and Labrador in the north to Haiti in the south. The collection includes maps of cities, maps showing Revolutionary War battles and military campaigns, and early state maps from the 1790s.
Title in Original Language
Connecticut, from the best authorities
Type of Item
1 map ; 31 x 38 centimeters
- Scale approximately 1:460,000
- “Amos Doolittle’s Battles of Lexington and Concord,” in From Revolution to Republic in Prints and Drawings (New York: New York Public Library, 2007). http://web-static.nypl.org/exhibitions/revolution/revolution1.html.
- Matthew Edney, “Mapping U.S. History in the Early Republic” (Portland, ME: Osher Map Library & Smith Center for Cartographic Education, University of Southern Maine: 2012). http://www.oshermaps.org/exhibitions/map-commentaries/maine-us-version-best-selling-european-historical-atlas-ca1800.
- Edward Smith, “Carey, Mathew (1760–1839),” revised by Jason Edwards, in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Last updated: March 3, 2016