A New Map of the Whole Continent of America, Divided into North and South and West Indies, wherein are exactly Described the United States of North America as well as the Several European Possessions according to the Preliminaries of Peace signed at Versailles Jan 20.1783. Compiled from Mr. d'Anville's Maps of that Continent, with the addition of the Spanish Discoveries in 1775 to the North of California & Corrected in the several Parts belonging to Great Britain, from the Original Materials of Governor Pownall, MP
By: Robert Laurie and James Whittle
Date: 1794 (dated) London
Dimensions: 41 x 47 inches (104 x 119 cm)
This is an important map of the Americas originally published by Sayer & Bennett, this example updated and published by Laurie & Whittle. Originally published on four sheets which have been joined, the map came about at an important time of international treaty and discovery.
Cartographic Myths Dispelled and Upheld
The most recent information from George Vancouver's expeditions is presented in the Pacific Northwest as Puget Sound appears for the first time, even predating Vancouver's atlas "A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and round the World…" which was first published in 1798. Additionally, while previous editions note only the mythical Chinese colony of Fousang, this edition details Vancouver and Queen Charlotte Islands, Puget Sound, Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood and two mountain ranges, those being the Cascades and Northern Rocky Mountains that are described as mountains of bright stones.
While this map dispels cartographic myths in the Pacific Northwest, it upholds others, such as the still River of the West shown here as R. de Los Delores, a hopeful waterway that could connect British territorial claims to the Pacific and thus trade with Asia. Additionally, the map notes the approximate location of the fabled golden city of Quivira, named by explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1541.
Examining the Cartography of South America
South America is rendered quite accurately and with great detail. The whole of the continent is presented under the rule of Spain and Portugal with smaller portions of Guyana belonging to France and to the Dutch. While the Amazon is mapped extensively with many of its tributaries beginning in the Andes mountains, there still a large portion of the interior that remains blank and will continue to be considered terra incognita for over 100 years. Still today, according to BBC Science Focus there are parts of the Amazon rainforest remain unexplored. One final cartographic detail worth noting is the Galapagos Islands, duly named the Inchanted Islands.
Territorial Claims Old and New and the Northwest Passage
European territorial claims are noted in a table and color coded throughout the map along coastlines and rivers. An extensive table provides the names of states, countries and islands belonging to such European powers as well as the new sovereign nation of the United States. Additionally, along the 30° west meridian, one can find the demarcation line set by Pope Alexandre VI in 1500 that gave all lands east of that line to Portugal and all lands west to Spain. This proclamation was of course denounced by all those nations not named Span or Portugal.
In the lower left corner, a supplemental inset map provides the most recent cartographic information pertaining to Baffins and Hudsons Bays. The area would be the focus of many future British expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage, including that of Ross, Parry, Beechey, and the ill-fated Sir John Franklin.
Condition: This map is in B condition with original outline coloring on four sheets that have been professionally joined. Foxing, offsetting is apparent in several sections of the map. A few minor breaks and holes in the paper from oxidation has been stabilized with archival materials on the verso.
1200 W. 35th Street #425 Chicago, IL 60609 | P: (312) 496 - 3622