Vermont, from Actual Survey


This map of Vermont first appeared in General Atlas for Carey’s Edition of Guthrie’s Geography Improved, published in Philadelphia in 1795. 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). The map extends from the border with New Hampshire formed by the Connecticut River westward to the border with New York State, part of which is formed by Lake Champlain, and from the Canadian border in the north to the Massachusetts state border. The map includes the seven Vermont counties that existed before the 1790s: Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Orange, Rutland, Windham, and Windsor. Also featured are Vermont’s townships, rivers, lakes, ponds, roads, and mountains such as the “Range of the Green Mountains.” Dartmouth College, at Hanover on the Connecticut River, is prominently marked. Some natural features in New York are shown, including Lake George and “Hudsons River.” Longitude is measured in degrees east of Philadelphia. 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 of trees and shrubs around the title cartouche in the lower-right corner. Mathew Carey (1760–1809) was an immigrant from Ireland who worked as a publisher in Philadelphia, specializing in maps, atlases, other works of geography, Bibles, novels, and schoolbooks. In 1795 he issued the first atlas published in the United States, the American Atlas. International copyright agreements did not exist at the time, so early American publishers such as Carey were able to reuse European sources in order to print more extensive atlases and texts. Carey combined William Guthrie’s European maps, originally published in London after 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.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

M. Carey, Philadelphia


Title in Original Language

Vermont, from actual survey

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map ; 38 x 31 centimeters


  • Scale approximately 1:670,000


  1. Donald C. O’Brien, Amos Doolittle: Engraver of the New Republic (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press and the American Historical Print Collectors Society, 2008).
  2. Edward Smith, revised by Jason Edwards, “Carey, Mathew (1760–1839),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Last updated: August 10, 2017