One of the Earliest Maps to Focus on the British Colonies in North America
Scarce map extending from the Chesapeake to New England, St. Johns and Port Royal, and showing a single Great Lake "Lake of Herekoys ou Lac des Iroquois."
While the map title is in French, the nomenclature is nearly all in English.
Nice detail in the Chesapeake and around Long Island, including a very early use of the name New York and Manhattans Island. New Haven, Connecticut, New London, Fisher's Island, Pymoth, Boston, Marblehead, Salem, Cape Ann, Cape Cod, York, and a handful of other early English placenames also appear, as does a very early appearance of Maryland on the map.
The map is drawn directly from Richard Blome's rare Draught of the Sea Coast and Rivers of Virginia, Maryland, and New England . . .
Blome's highly important map of the British Colonies in North America, "the first English map to illustrate the middle and north-eastern colonies." (Burden).
Blome's map provides a foundation for understanding the dramatic expansion within the British Colonies over the next several decades and the remarkable evolution of printed maps of the region over the next decade. The present example is offered with a complete copy of the original 1672 text of Blome's work.
First issued in 1672, Blome's map provides one of the earliest looks at the new British Colonies in America. Burden states "it is important as it illustrates the region just prior to the great expansion of cartographic knowledge which would commence with the Augustine Herman VIRGINIA AND MARYLAND map of 1673 and the John Seller map of New England in 1676." Among other noteworthy features is that the map shows the Chesapeake running in a northerly direction, without the usual English depiction of a "hook" at its head.
The map provides a number of early place names along the coastline from the Chesapeake to the Port Royal and St. Johns Harbor, centered on the region between New York City and Cape Cod. This first edition of the map can be distinguished from the equally rare 1678 edition by the new more northerly border between Virginia and New England, the re-engraved latitude numbers on the left side of the map, the original placement of the James River (which was moved to the south in the second edition of the map) and the short river extension above the Chesapeake Bay, which was lengthened significantly in the second state.
Blome's map appeared in the 1672 edition of his A Description of The Island of Jamaica . . . which despite its title was one of the best general promotional tracts of the period. The book's title reflects the patronage of Sir Thomas Lynch, Governor of Jamaica and Colonel Thomas Modyford, a large land owner on the island. The map bears an elaborate dedication to Lord Calvert, Absolute Lord & Proprietary of ye Maryland & Avalon, and includes a large engraving of the Calvert Coat of Arms and Motto, Fatti Maschij Parole Femine.
The map appeared in Henri Justel's Receuil De Divers Voyages Faits En Afrique Et En L'Amerique, published in Paris in 1674, which included a translation of Richard Blome's A DESCRIPTION OF THE ISLAND OF JAMAICA (1672), from which this map derives. The original Blome work is now virtually unobtainable.
Henri Justel (1620-93), a book collector and scholar, was a secretary of Louis XIV, fleeing France before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. He settled in England, and was appointed Keeper of the King's Library at St. James Palace.