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Description:This large scarce, original lithograph early antique map of Chesapeake Bay and Maryland by Alexander Dallas Bache (great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin) in 1855 - dated - was published by the official chart-maker of the United States, the office of The US Coast Survey.The Office of the Coast Survey, founded in 1807 by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of Commerce Albert Gallatin, is the oldest scientific organization in the U.S. Federal Government. Jefferson created the Survey of the Coast, as it was then called, in response to a need for accurate navigational charts of the new nation\\\'s coasts and harbors.
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: -Colors used: -General color appearance: -Paper size: - 36in x 24 1/2in (915mm x 615mm)Plate size: - 36in x 24 1/2in (915mm x 615mm)Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - NonePlate area: - Folds as issued, small repair to top foldVerso: - Some folds re-enforced with archival tape
Background: In 1524, Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, (1485–1528), in service of the French crown, (famous for sailing through and thereafter naming the entrance to New York Bay as the Verrazzano Narrows, including now in the 20th century, a suspension bridge also named for him) sailed past the Chesapeake, but did not enter the Bay. Spanish explorer Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón sent an expedition out from Hispaniola in 1525 that reached the mouths of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. It may have been the first European expedition to explore parts of the Chesapeake Bay, which the Spaniards called Bahía de Santa María (Bay of St. Mary) or Bahía de Madre de Dios.(Bay of the Mother of God) De Ayllón established a short-lived Spanish mission settlement, San Miguel de Gualdape, in 1526 along the Atlantic coast. Many scholars doubt the assertion that it was as far north as the Chesapeake; most place it in present-day Georgias Sapelo Island. In 1573, Pedro Menéndez de Márquez, the governor of Spanish Florida, conducted further exploration of the Chesapeake. In 1570, Spanish Jesuits established the short-lived Ajacan Mission on one of the Chesapeake tributaries in present-day Virginia.The arrival of English colonists under Sir Walter Raleigh and Humphrey Gilbert in the late 16th century to found a colony, later settled at Roanoke Island (off the present-day coast of North Carolina) for the Virginia Company, marked the first time that the English approached the gates to the Chesapeake Bay between the capes of Cape Charles and Cape Henry. Three decades later, in 1607, Europeans again entered the Bay. Captain John Smith of England explored and mapped the Bay between 1607 and 1609, resulting in the publication in 1612 back in the British Isles of A Map of Virginia. Smith wrote in his journal: Heaven and earth have never agreed better to frame a place for mans habitation. The new laying out of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, the United States first designated all-water National Historic Trail, was created in July 2006, by the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior following the route of Smiths historic 17th-century voyage. Because of economic hardships and civil strife in the Mother Land, there was a mass migration of southern English Cavaliers and their servants to the Chesapeake Bay region between 1640 and 1675, to both of the new colonies of the Province of Virginia and the Province of Maryland.The Chesapeake Bay was the site of the Battle of the Chesapeake (also known as the Battle of the Capes, Cape Charles and Cape Henry) in 1781, during which the French fleet defeated the Royal Navy in the decisive naval battle of the American Revolutionary War. The British defeat enabled General George Washington and his French allied armies under Comte de Rochambeau to march down from New York and bottle up the rampaging southern British Army of Lord Cornwallis from the North and South Carolinas at the siege of Battle of Yorktown in Yorktown, Virginia. Their marching route from Newport, Rhode Island through Connecticut, New York State, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to the Head of Elk by the Susquehanna River along the shores and also partially sailing down the Bay to Virginia. It is also the subject of a designated National Historic Trail under the National Park Service as the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route.The Bay would again see conflict during War of 1812. During the year of 1813, from their base on Tangier Island, British naval forces under the command of Admiral George Cockburn raided and plundered several towns on the shores of the Chesapeake, treating the Bay as if it were a British Lake. The Chesapeake Bay Flotilla, a fleet of shallow-draft armed barges under the command of U.S. Navy Commodore Joshua Barney, was assembled to stall British shore raids and attacks. After months of harassment by Barney, the British landed on the west side of the Patuxent at Benedict, Maryland, the Chesapeake Flotilla was scuttled, and the British trekked overland to burn the U.S. Capitol in August 1814. A few days later in a pincer attack, they also sailed up the Potomac River to attack Fort Washington below the National Capital and demanded a ransom from the nearby port town of Alexandria, Virginia.There were so-called Oyster Wars in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Until the mid-20th century, oyster harvesting rivaled the crab industry among Chesapeake watermen, a dwindling breed whose skipjacks and other workboats were supplanted by recreational craft in the latter part of the century.In the 1960s, the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant on the historic Calvert Cliffs in Calvert County on the Western Shore of Maryland began using water from the Bay to cool its reactor.
U.S. Coast Survey (Office of Coast Survey)The Office of Coast Survey is the official chart-maker of the United States. Set up in 1807, it is one of the U.S. governments oldest scientific organizations. In 1878 it was given the name of Coast and Geodetic Survey (C&GS). In 1970 it became part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).The agency was established in 1807 when President Thomas Jefferson signed the document entitled An act to provide for surveying the coasts of the United States. While the bills objective was specific—to produce nautical charts—it reflected larger issues of concern to the new nation: national boundaries, commerce, and defence.The early years were difficult. Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler, who was eventually to become the agencys first superintendent, went to England to collect scientific instruments but was unable to return through the duration of the War of 1812. After his return, he worked on a survey of the New York Harbor in 1817, but Congress stepped in to suspend the work because of tensions between civilian and military control of the agency. After several years under the control of the U.S. Army, the Survey of the Coast was reestablished in 1832, and President Andrew Jackson appointed Hassler as superintendent.The U.S. Coast Survey was a civilian agency but, from the beginning, members of the Navy and Army were detailed to service with the Survey, and Navy ships were also detailed to its use. In general, army officers worked on topographic surveys on the land and maps based on the surveys, while navy officers worked on hydrographic surveys in coastal waters.Alexander Dallas Bache, great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, was the second Coast Survey superintendent. Bache was a physicist, scientist, and surveyor who established the first magnetic observatory and served as the first president of the National Academy of Sciences. Under Bache, Coast Survey quickly applied its resources to the Union cause during the Civil War. In addition to setting up additional lithographic presses to produce the thousands of charts required by the Navy and other vessels, Bache made a critical decision to send Coast Survey parties to work with blockading squadrons and armies in the field, producing hundreds of maps and charts. Bache detailed these activities in his annual reports to Congress.Coast Survey cartographer Edwin Hergesheimer created the map showing the density of the slave population in the Southern states.Bache was also one of four members of the governments Blockade Strategy Board, planning strategy to essentially strangle the South, economically and militarily. On April 16, 1861, President Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring the blockade of ports from South Carolina to Texas. Baches Notes on the Coast provided valuable information for Union naval forces.Maps were of paramount importance in wartime:It is certain that accurate maps must form the basis of well-conducted military operations, and that the best time to procure them is not when an attack is impending, or when the army waits, but when there is no hindrance to, or pressure upon, the surveyors. That no coast can be effectively attacked, defended, or blockaded without accurate maps and charts, has been fully proved by the events of the last two years, if, indeed, such a proposition required practical proof.— Alexander Dallas Bache, 1862 report.Coast Survey attracted some of the best and brightest scientists and naturalists. It commissioned the naturalist Louis Agassiz to conduct the first scientific study of the Florida reef system. James McNeill Whistler, who went on to paint the iconic Whistlers Mother, was a Coast Survey engraver. The naturalist John Muir was a guide and artist on Survey of the 39th Parallel across the Great Basin of Nevada and Utah.The agencys men and women (women professionals were hired as early as 1845) led scientific and engineering activities through the decades. In 1926, they started production of aeronautical charts. During the height of the Great Depression, Coast and Geodetic Survey organized surveying parties and field offices that employed over 10,000 people, including many out-of-work engineers.In World War II, C&GS sent over 1,000 civilian members and more than half of its commissioned officers to serve as hydrographers, artillery surveyors, cartographers, army engineers, intelligence officers, and geophysicists in all theaters of the war. Civilians on the home front produced over 100 million maps and charts for the Allied Forces. Eleven members of the C&GS gave their lives during the war.Alexander Dallas Bache 1806 – 1867 was an American physicist, scientist, and surveyor who erected coastal fortifications and conducted a detailed survey to map the mid-eastern United States coastline. Originally an army engineer, he later became Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey, and built it into the foremost scientific institution in the country before the Civil War.Alexander Bache was born in Philadelphia, the son of Richard Bache, Jr., and Sophia Burrell Dallas Bache. He came from a prominent family as he was the nephew of Vice-President George M. Dallas and naval hero Alexander J. Dallas. He was the grandson of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Dallas and was the great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin.Bache was a professor of natural philosophy and chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania from 1828 to 1841 and again from 1842 to 1843. He spent 1836–1838 in Europe on behalf of the trustees of what became Girard College; he was named president of the college after his return. Abroad, he examined European education systems, and on his return he published a valuable report. From 1839 to 1842, he served as the first president of Central High School of Philadelphia, one of the oldest public high schools in the United States.In 1843, on the death of Professor Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler, Bache was appointed superintendent of the United States Coast Survey. He convinced the United States Congress of the value of this work and, by means of the liberal aid it granted, he completed the mapping of the whole coast by a skillful division of labor and the erection of numerous observing stations. In addition, magnetic and meteorological data were collected. Bache served as head of the Coast Survey for 24 years (until his death).