Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres. "A Chart of Delawar [sic] River from Bombay Hook to Ridley Creek, with soundings &c. taken by Lt. Knight of the Navy . . ." with a second panel entitled "A Plan of Delawar [sic] River from Chester to Philadelphia. Shewing the Situation of His Majesty's Ships &c on the 15th. Novr. 1777 surveyed and sounded by Lieutenant John Hunter of the Navy." Prepared for The Atlantic Neptune. London: Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, 1 June 1779. Etching. 30 1/4 x 21 7/8. Nebenzahl, 136. Sellers & VanEa, 1370; National Maritime Museum Cat.: 320: 130-31; Snyder, 85. This later and mostly complete state has the advantage of showing soundings plus shading to render topography and town plans.
After the French & Indian War, the job of surveying and mapping the American coastline fell upon J.F.W. DesBarres, who had commanded the mapping of the coasts of present-day eastern Canada. The resulting atlas, The Atlantic Neptune, was called by A.P. Loring, "the first great marine atlas of the eastern seaboard." Loring quotes Obadiah Rich who called it, "the most splendid collection of charts, plans and views ever published." This is an excellent example of the maps from this important atlas.
It is a chart of the Delaware River to as far as Philadelphia in two panels. As stated on the chart, it was "Composed and Published for the use of Pilotage by J.F.W. DesBarres Esqr," so the focus of detail is on the nature of the river itself. The coastline, mouths of creeks, shoals and sand bars, and soundings are shown with careful precision, and rhumb lines are used to help with navigation of a ship up this relatively narrow river. Inland information is sparse because it is limited to that which was visible sight from navigable waters. An occasional higher elevation is shown and a basic town plans for New Castle, Chester, and Philadelphia are present. Conventional symbols for swamps and waterways are shown for as much as a few miles inland in places. In the inset map showing from Chester to Philadelphia shows the situation of the British ships off Philadelphia in mid-November, 1777. $7,500
"Map of Hudson's River, with the adjacent Country." From Gentleman's Magazine. London: David Henry & Francis Newbery, January, 1778. 11 5/8 x 8 3/8. Engraving. 3/8-1/2 horizontal loss of map expertly filled and in-painted. Else, good condition. $225
Beginning in 1731, monthly news magazines made their appearance in Britain. One of their most popular, and historically important, features was the inclusion of prints and maps to accompany their articles. During the American Revolution, these magazines issued a large number of maps in response to the great interest in the turbulent events in the colonies. This map, issued at the beginning of 1778, shows the region of most of the activity in the war during 1777. This map would undoubtedly have been studied avidly by its readers.
The area shown extends as far south as Philadelphia, to which Howe had moved in 1777, and as far north as Fort Ticonderoga, where Burgoyne had made a deceptively promising start to his great campaign down the Hudson from Canada. The Mohawk River is shown, down which a British support wing had attempted and failed to link up with Burgoyne. Of particular note is the insertion of a caption stating "Scene of Action on the Surrender," at Saratoga where Burgoyne's campaign came to its disastrous end. The map shows good information of towns, rivers, lakes, and other such features. This map would have fascinated the eighteenth century reader separated from the events of the conflict by many miles. So too this map fascinates the modern reader similarly separated from the events, though by many years rather than miles.
Anon. "Principal Events in the life of George Washington in this States that lie between the Hudson and Savannah." New York: General Drafting Company, ca. 1932. 26 x 17 1/2. Color lithograph. With folds as issued. Paper loss in lower left hand margin corner, not affecting image. Else, fine condition.
A detailed pictorial map associated with the important events and sites in the life of George Washington. This map was produced by the General Drafting Company and distributed by Standard Oil to its customers for the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth. $150
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