This Map of the Peninsula between Delaware and Chesapeake Bays, with the Said Bays and Shores Adjacent Drawn from the Most Accurate Surveys


John Churchman (1753–1805), a Quaker surveyor and cartographer from Nottingham, Pennsylvania, produced this hand-colored map for the American Philosophical Society in order to support the proposed construction of a canal between the Delaware and Chesapeake bays. The mapped area covers the Delmarva Peninsula, Chesapeake Bay, and Delaware Bay. It presents in particular detail the anchorages and navigational hazards along the shoals and sandbanks of the Chesapeake and Delaware waters. Churchman shows counties, towns and cities, roads, industries, rivers, swamps, ferries, and the Cape Henlopen lighthouse. This map was one of only seven separately-issued maps produced in America during the American Revolution. No identifying date or place-name appears on the map, which was probably published about 1778. The name “West New Jersey,” which appears in top right-hand corner, denotes a division in New Jersey that was not completely superseded until 1790. Churchman signed an agreement on June 30, 1779, with engraver Daniel Few or Tew, who was to prepare the copper plate for the map. Churchman then presented the map to the American Philosophical Society on July 23, 1779. A committee of the society examined the map and recommended it for publication. 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.

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

This map of the peninsula between Delaware & Chesopeak Bays, with the said bays and shores adjacent drawn from the most accurate surveys

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : color ; 57 x 43 centimeters


  • Scale approximately 1:650,000


  1. A. Day Bradley, “John Churchman, Jr. of Nottingham,” Bulletin of Friends’ Historical Association 43.1 (Spring 1954): 20-28.
  2. Maryland Geographical Survey, volume 2 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press 1898).
  3. John R. Sellers and Patricia Molen Van Ee, compilers, Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750‒1789: a Guide to the Collections in the Library of Congress (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1981).

Last updated: March 3, 2016