March 3, 2016

An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina, with Their Indian Frontier

This hand-colored map of the Carolinas dating from 1775 is known as the “Mouzon map.” Henry Mouzon (circa 1741–circa 1807), mapmaker and civil engineer of Saint Stephen’s Parish, was appointed by Governor Lord Charles Greville Montague to survey South Carolina in 1771. Mouzon’s map is more detailed and accurate than any previous map of the Carolinas. Extending from the Atlantic Ocean westward to the Appalachian Mountains, the map was based on James Cook’s 1773 map of South Carolina and John Collet’s 1770 map of North Carolina. Inaccuracies in these earlier maps are corrected with details from recent surveys. The resulting map contained a better representation of the extension to the west in 1772 of the boundary between the two colonies. For North Carolina, it inserted the counties of Tryon and Pelham (later called Sampson) and added such geographical features as the “White Oak or Tryon Mountains” and “Kings Mountain.”  For South Carolina, it depicted rivers and Indian settlements west of the Cherokee Indian boundary. The territory in the southwestern part of the map is identified as the lands of the Creek Indians and part of Georgia. The map also identifies forts, parishes, Indian paths, and soundings on the Carolina coast. Inset maps in the lower right show “The Harbour of Port Royal” and “The Bar and Harbour of Charlestown.” Recent scholarship has questioned the attribution of the map to Mouzon and suggests that it was probably the work of Louis Delarochette (1731‒1802), a British cartographer, based on the Cook and Collet maps. Published in London by Robert Sayer and John Bennett, the map served as a principal source of knowledge about the geography of the Carolinas for American, British, and French forces during the American Revolution. The present copy, on which part of the title is missing, was owned by General Rochambeau. 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.

Sketch of the Engagement at Trenton, Given on the 26th of December 1776

This hand-colored map was submitted by Lieutenant Andreas Wiederholdt (circa 1752–circa 1805) as a part of his testimony at the Hessian Court of Inquiry on the Battle of Trenton, held in Philadelphia in April and May 1778. The map is an invaluable source of information about the battle, which took place on December 26, 1776. General George Washington and the Continental Army won a significant victory immediately after Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware River. The Hessians were German auxiliaries of the British in the American Revolutionary War. Wiederholdt was a Hessian officer in the Knyphausen regiment. He first enlisted as a private and quickly rose to the rank of sergeant major before being made an officer. After showing much dedication to his men, he was promoted to captain, the highest rank he achieved. Wiederholdt kept a record he called a Tagebuch, or journal, during the war. This personal memoir and the sketch of the town of Trenton and the surrounding countryside it contained were an important record of the planning before the battle. Wiederholdt was forced to surrender his journal before the court, and his sketch of the battle figured prominently in the inquiry. The three Hessian regiments were commanded by Colonel Johann Rall, to whom Wiederholdt incorrectly reported that Washington’s army had Trenton completely surrounded. Rall died from his wounds and almost 900 Hessians were taken prisoner. The unscaled map depicts Washington’s routes of attack and the Hessian and American troop positions during the battle. The town of Trenton is mapped in the northeast, the Delaware River to the south of the town, and surrounding routes for potential retreat in several corners of the map. Wiederholdt includes pictorial representations of rivers, ferries, and roads leading to Trenton, as well as vegetation and relief. The map is marked with notes on various landmarks and includes references. 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.

The State of New Hampshire. Compiled Chiefly from Actual Surveys

This map of New Hampshire was completed in 1794 by Samuel Lewis (1753 or 1754–1822), a Philadelphia draftsman and engraver, for inclusion in General Atlas for Carey’s Edition of Guthrie’s Geography Improved, published in Philadelphia in 1795. It shows the five counties of New Hampshire‒Cheshire, Grafton, Hillsborough, Rockingham, and Stratford‒with their boundaries, principal towns and settlements, roads and waterways, mountains, and islands. Much of the map’s northern region is blank, with a note across the top, “Indian carrying place” (canoe portage). Lewis identifies the present-day White Mountains as the White Hills, which he describes as appearing “many leagues off at Sea like White Clouds just rising above the Horizon." Dartmouth College, founded in 1769, is indicated on the left side of the map. James Smither of Philadelphia engraved the map. 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. 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.

A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America with the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements

This landmark map of North America published in 1755 shows British sovereignty over large parts of the continent at the outset of the French and Indian War (1754–63). It is perhaps the most well-known 18th-century map of North America. Created by John Mitchell, a native Virginian who moved to London in his mid-thirties, the map was compiled using information provided by governors of the British colonies. Although territories of other European powers are shown, the map is biased toward British interests. French claims in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys, as defined by the Treaty of Utrecht (1714), are not recognized and, instead, English colonial claims extending west of the Alleghenies to the Mississippi River are emphasized. In addition to providing a vast amount of geographic information, the map can be seen as an expression of English dominance in North America. This map was later used to establish the boundaries of the United States in the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The map is hand-colored, with relief shown pictorially. In the upper left is an inset map entitled “A new map of Hudson’s Bay and Labrador from the late survey of those coasts.” This map had a strong influence on Abel Buell in his Map of United States of North America (1784), the first map published in the independent United States. The influence can be seen in a comparison with the cartouche on the Buell map and in the way the colonial claims extending from the Atlantic coast on this map are similar to the state claims extending to the Mississippi on the 1784 Buell map. The map shows provinces, some counties, numerous towns and cities, frontier settlements, forts, roads, distances between major towns, rivers and lakes, portages, waterfalls, Indian villages and tribal territory, English "factories" among the Indians, mineral deposits, early routes of exploration, a few battlegrounds, and relief. Also shown are the fishing grounds in the North Atlantic and channels in the Saint Lawrence River and the Great Lakes.

North America, and the West Indies; A New Map, Wherein the British Empire and its Limits, According to the Definitive Treaty of Peace, in 1763, are Accurately Described, and the Dominions Possessed by the Spaniards, the French, and Other European States

Following the 1763 Treaty of Paris, which officially marked the end of the French and Indian War, the major European colonial powers divided North America. Article VII of the 1763 treaty, prominently displayed in the lower right corner of this map, established the boundary between French and British territory on the continent as “a line drawn along the middle of the River Mississippi.” The colonial boundaries shown on this map, as determined by the treaty, reflect the legally-recognized British possession of the territory east of the Mississippi River. Earlier maps, such as A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America, with the Roads, Distances, Limits, and Extent of the Settlements (made by John Mitchell in 1755), had asserted such claims, but at that time they still were contested by France and Spain. This map is hand-colored, with relief shown pictorially. It includes historical notes, “Extract of the treaties of peace, proclamations &c. relative to America & the West Indies,” and two inset maps of Canada: “A particular map of Baffin and Hudson's Bay” in the upper left, and “A map of the country between Montreal, Albany and Oswego” in the lower left. The map depicts provincial boundaries, towns and cities, Indian villages and tribal territories, forts, some roads, portages, waterfalls, and some industries. It also shows coastal shoals and banks, and routes of navigation and navigational hazards in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Elkins, West Virginia, 1897

This panoramic map shows Elkins, West Virginia, as it appeared in 1897. The city was developed as a railroad hub in the 1880s by two entrepreneurs and politicians: Henry Gassaway Davis (1823–1916) and Stephen Benton Elkins (1841–1911), with the city named after the latter. Both men served terms representing West Virginia in the U.S. Senate. The map shows the city of Elkins along the Tygart’s Valley River, with two bridges crossing the river—one for rail (adjacent to Railroad Avenue) and one for pedestrians and other transport (Davis Avenue). A train is seen on the far side of town, traveling on the West Virginia Central Railroad. The railroad enabled the success of industry involving the extraction of natural resources such as coal and timber. The index at the bottom of the map indicates points of interest, including the railroad hub, major industrial facilities, shops, schools, churches (Presbyterian, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist Colored, and United Brethren), and the opera house. The panoramic map was a cartographic form in popular use to depict U.S. and Canadian cities and towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Also known as bird’s-eye views or perspective maps, these works are representations of cities portrayed as if viewed from above at an oblique angle. Not generally drawn to scale, they show street patterns, individual buildings, and major landscape features in perspective. This map is by Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler (1842–1922), one of the most prolific makers of panoramic maps. Fowler was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, and fought and was wounded in the American Civil War. After working for an uncle who was a photographer, in 1870 he established his own panoramic map firm. Over the course of a long career, Fowler made panoramic maps of cities in 21 states and parts of Canada.