|Thomas Jefferys. The American Atlas; or, a Geographical Description of the Whole Continent of America; Wherein are Delineated at Large its Several Regions, Countries, States, and Islands; and Chiefly the British Colonies.... London: Robert Sayer and John Bennett, 1776. 22 engraved maps, on 29 sheets, all with original outline color, expertly bound to style in 18th-century diced Russia gilt leather. A very fine and complete copy.|
The American Atlas was a superlative work, providing a comprehensive vision of the American colonies at the time of the War of Independence: “[with] the best available maps in the latter half of the eighteenth century ... it was, very likely, consulted by American, English, and French civilian administrators and military officers during the Revolution.” (Ristow)
A collection of separately produced maps by various engravers, The American Atlas was unmatched for accuracy and detail. Along with Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson’s A Map of the Most Inhabited part of Virginia, the best colonial map for the Chesapeake region, it contains numerous other significant works, including William Scull’s A Map of Pennsylvania, the first map of that colony to include its western frontier; Braddock Meade’s A Map of the Most Inhabited Parts of New England, the largest and most detailed map of New England that had yet been published; Samuel Holland’s The Provinces of New York and New Jersey; and Lt. Ross’s Course of the Mississipi, the first map of that river based on English sources.
Jefferys was the leading English cartographer of the 18th century. From about 1750, he published a series of maps of the English American colonies that were among the most significant produced in the period. As Geographer to the Prince of Wales, and after 1761, Geographer to the King, Jefferys was well placed for access to the best surveys conducted in America, and many of his maps held the status of “official work”. Jefferys died on November 20, 1771, and in 1775, his successors, Sayer and Bennett, gathered these separately-issued maps together and republished them in book form as The American Atlas. The present second edition, issued in 1776, includes A new Map of the Province of Quebec in place of Jefferys’ The Middle British Colonies and a second issue of Samuel Holland’s The Provinces of New York and New Jersey, published on December 20, 1775 - it is otherwise identical to the first edition.
|Location of Origin: England|
|Medium/Materials: 22 engraved maps, on 29 sheets, all with original outline color, expertly bound to style in 18th-century diced Russia gilt leath|
|Dimensions: The book with maps folded, 15¾ x 22¼ in.|
|Primary Classification: Antique Books, Manuscripts, and Maps : Maps, Views and Celestials|
|Secondary Classification: Fossils, Science, Natural History, and Rocks for Sale : Globes / Maps|
|The maps are as follows (many are on several sheets, and in the Index each individual sheet is numbered; the measurements refer to the image size):|
1. Braddock Meade (alias John Green). A Chart of North and South America, including the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Published June 10, 1775. Six sheets joined into three, 43 1/2 x 49 1/2 inches. This great wall map was chiefly issued to expose the errors in Delisle and Buache’s map of the Pacific Northwest, published in Paris in 1752.2. Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg. The Russian Discoveries. Published March 2nd 1775. One sheet, 18 x 24 inches.3. Bowen, E. and John Gibson. An Accurate Map of North America. Published July 2nd 1775. Four sheets joined into two, 43 x 47 inches.4. Thomas Jefferys. North America from the French of Mr. D'Anville, Improved with the English Surveys Made since the Peace. Published 10 June 1775. One sheet, 18 x 20 inches.5. Samuel Dunn. A Map of the British Empire in North America. Published 10 January 1774 . 1/2 sheet, 12 x 19 inches.6. Thomas Jefferys. An Exact Chart of the River St. Laurence from Fort Frontenac to the Island of Anticosti…. Published 25 May 1775. Two sheets joined into one, 23 1/2 x 37 inches.7. Sayer & Bennett. A Chart of the Gulf of St. Laurence…. Published 25th March 1775. One sheet, 19 1/2 x 24 inches.8. A Map of the Island of St. John in the Gulf of St. Laurence…. Published 6 April 1775. One sheet, 15 x 27 1/4 inches.9. James Cook & Michael Lane. A General Chart of the Island of Newfoundland…. Published 10th May 1775. One sheet, 21 1/2 x 22 inches. James Cook went on to gain renown for his Pacific exploration.10. A Chart of the Banks of Newfoundland…. Published 25 March 1775. One sheet, 19-1/2 x 26 inches. Based on the surveys of James Cook (see above), Chabert and Fleurieu.11. Braddock Meade (alias John Green.) A New Map of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island with the Adjacent Parts of New England and Canada…. Published 15 June 1775. One sheet, 18 1/2 x 24 inches. Originally published in 1755, at the beginning of the French and Indian War, this map “proved to be important in evaluating respective French and English claims to this part of North America”. (Ristow) England gained sole possession of the region by the Treaty of Paris, 1763.12. Braddock Meade (alias John Green.) A Map of the Most Inhabited Part of New England. Published November 29, 1774. Four sheets joined into two, 38 3/4 x 40 ¾ inches. The first large-scale map of New England. “The most detailed and informative pre-Revolutionary map of New England ... not really supplanted until the nineteenth century.” (New England Prospect, 13)13. Capt. [Samuel] Holland. The Provinces of New York and New Jersey, with Part of Pensilvania.… Published 20 Decr. 1775. Three insets: A plan of the City of New York, A chart of the Mouth of Hudson’s River, and A Plan of Amboy. Two sheets joined, 26 1/2 x 52 ¾ inches. An important large-scale map of the Provinces of New York and New Jersey, by Samuel Holland, Surveyor General for the Northern English colonies. With fine insets including a street plan of colonial New York City.14. A New Map of the Province of Quebec, according to the Royal Proclamation, of the 7th of October 1763. from the French Surveys Connected with those made after the War, by Captain Carver, and Other Officers…. One sheet, 19 1/4 x 26 1/4 inches.15. William Scull. A Map of Pennsylvania Exhibiting not only the Improved Parts of the Province but also its Extensive Frontiers. Published 10 June 1775. Two sheets joined, 27 x 51 ½ inches. The first map of the Province of Pennsylvania to include its western frontier. All earlier maps had focused solely on the settled eastern parts of the colony.16. Joshua Fry & Peter Jefferson. A Map of the Most Inhabited Part of Virginia, containing the Whole Province of Maryland ... 1775. [n.d.] Four sheets joined into two, 32 x 48 inches. “The basic cartographical document of Virginia in the eighteenth century ... the first to depict accurately the interior regions of Virginia beyond the Tidewater. [It] dominated the cartographical representation of Virginia until the nineteenth century.” (Verner)17. Henry Mouzon. An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina with their Indian Frontiers. Published May 30, 1775. Four sheets joined into two, 40 x 54 inches. “The chief type map for [the Carolinas] during the forty or fifty years following its publication. It was used by both British and American forces during the Revolutionary War.” (Cumming, 450)18. Thomas Jefferys. The Coast of West Florida and Louisiana ... The Peninsula and Gulf of Florida. Published 20 Feby. 1775. Two sheets joined into one, 19 1/2 x 48 inches. A large-scale map of Florida, based upon the extensive surveys conducted since the region became an English possession by the Treaty of Paris (1763).19. Lt. Ross. Course of the Mississipi.... Taken on an Expedition to the Illinois, in the latter end of the Year 1765. Published 1 June 1775. Two sheets joined into one, 14 x 44 inches. The first large-scale map of the Mississippi River, and the first based in whole or part upon English surveys.20. Thomas Jefferys. The Bay of Honduras. Published 20 February 1775. One sheet, 18 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches.21. J.B.B. D’Anville. A Map of South America…. Published 20 September 1775. Four sheets joined into two, 20 x 46 inches22. Cruz Cano [etc.]. A Chart of the Straits of Magellan. Published 1 July 1775. One sheet, 20-1/2 x 27 inches
References:Howes J-81Phillips Atlases 1165 and 1166Sabin 35953Streeter Sale I, 72 (1775 edition)Walter Ristow, ed. Thomas Jefferys The American Atlas, London 1776, facsimile edition, Amsterdam 1974New England Prospect, 13.
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