2010/11 Winter Catalogue, William R. Talbot Fine Art, Antique Maps & Prints Home

2010/11 Winter Catalogue > 8. LARGE MAP of NORTH AMERICA with the NEWLY-FORMED UNITED STATES


Richard Holmes Laurie and James Whittle. “A New Map of North America, with the West India Islands. Divided according to the Preliminary Articles of Peace, Signed at Versailles, 20 Jan. 1783. Wherein are particularly Distinguished the United States and the Several Provinces, Governments &ca which Compose the British Dominions; Laid Down according to the Latest Surveys, and Corrected from the Original Materials of Gover.R Pownall, Mem.BR of Parlia.MT.” (London: Laurie & Whittle, 1794). Published in A General Atlas. Copperplate engraving with original outline hand color on four sheets joined as two. Each image: 19 3/4 x 45 1/4" at neat line. Each double sheet: 21 1/2 x 47." Inset at u.l.: “A Particular Map of Baffin and Hudson’s Bay.” Inset at l.l.: “The Passage by Land to California Discover’d by Father Eusebius Frances Kino.” Large Rococo title cartouche with natives and animals at u.r. Extensive scale of miles and leagues at l.r. with key to symbols. Issued folding. Minor tide mark at u.r. of lower sheet; a few minor marginal fold separations; several minor marginal chips; a few very minor voids, scattered; five tears without losses, ranging from a 3/4" marginal to 4" at the u.r. and u.l. of top sheet, all apparently repaired (presently shrink-wrapped). A fine and clean impression, overall very good.

Price: SOLD.

Laurie and Whittle’s map of North America illustrates the terms of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which determined the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War. The many concessions that were negotiated for a peace eventually gave to the newly-formed United States not only title to the traditional boundaries of the former thirteen colonies, but also to lands through to the Mississippi River. Boundaries shown here for the states of Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia extend through to the Appalachian Mountains and remain open to the west. Meanwhile, Great Britain retained its hold on Canada, while returning Florida to Spanish possession.

The extraordinary detail in this map makes it an outstanding source of information on the early American period. The quantity of detail in this large map is superb, and includes towns, forts, Indian tribes and villages, roads, trading paths, portages, mines, mountains, lakes, rivers, much important early colonial information, and textual annotations of the articles of the Paris Treaty. Notes on tribal territories reflect the movement and conquests of eastern tribes, as well as early treaties.

This 1794 map of North America was probably the first issued with the Laurie & Whittle imprinture. Laurie and Whittle were successors to the Robert Sayer mapmaking firm, who had issued the map to show the political divisions established by the 1783 Treaty of Paris. The Sayer map was largely drawn from the map of North America by Bowen and Gibson, first issued to illustrate the French and Indian War, and later revised according to the 1763 Treaty of Paris. The name of Governor Pownall first appears on the 1777 edition, in acknowledgement of the new source material he provided.

Thomas Pownall was born and educated in Great Britain. He served in the Office of the Lord’s Commission of Trade and Plantations before going to America in 1853. Eventually he became Governor of Massachusetts and was influential in the matter of the war with the French. His political standing was diminished when he became unwilling to implement England’s repressive policies towards its colonists. After returning to England, Pownall became famous with his publication titled Administration of the Colonies.

Refs.: Phillips no. 4300; Lowery, 657; Rumsey nos. 0411.040, 0411.041; Wheat, 196 (1783 ed.)

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