1755 Thomas Jefferys Antique English Edition Map The Colonial American Colonies

Cartographer :Thomas Jefferys

  • Title : North America from the French of Mr. D Anville Improved with the Back Settlements of Virginia and Course of Ohio Illustrated with Geographical and Historical Remarks . . . Pub Thos. Jefferys..May 1755 . . .
  • Size: 22in x 19in (500mm x 465mm)
  • Condition: (A+) Fine Condition
  • Date : 1755
  • Ref #:  93343

A rare original 1st English edition of Thomas Jefferys map of the American Colonies, published in 1755 (dated) , after the French cartographer J B D Anville. This is one of the few maps published on North America from the British perspective at the time, as opposed to the French and German, published by D Anville and Homann.
This very important, scarce copper-plate engraved map was issued in the 1st 1755 edition of William Douglass A Summary Historical and Political of the first planting Progressive Improvements and Present State of the British Settlements in North America. 
The map is in excellent condition on clean sturdy paper, folds as issued and original outline colouring. A small tear has been professionally repaired to the right side of the map, no loss.

The map is extremely detailed particularly in the Back Settlements with the locations of forts, Indian villages, tribal territory, and mines. Earl Granvilles Property is shown extending to the Mississippi River. Various treaty boundaries and charters are shown. Below the large, decorative title cartouche is a lengthy explanation describing the English Title to their Settlements on the Continent and at upper left is a notation concerning the French Incroachments.

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Yellow, green, blue, pink
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 22in x 19in (500mm x 465mm)
Plate size: - 20 1/2in x 18 1/2in (510mm x 470mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Margins: - Small repair to right margin into image, no loss
Plate area: - Folds as issued
Verso: - Light soiling

Jefferys and the Mapping of North America
The English had made manuscript maps, charts, and surveys since their earliest settlements in Virginia and New England, but few of these cartographic productions were ever printed. Most, like John Smiths New England (1616), appeared as part of larger geographical texts; there were only a very few separately published maps, such as those printed on broadsides by William Penn to promote his colony. The steady expansion of settlement and of the Atlantic trade led to a sufficient demand to warrant the publication of charts (notably in the English Pilot, The Fourth Book of 1689) and increasingly specialized chorographic maps. This expansion paralleled the general rise of English print culture after Parliament allowed censorship to lapse in 1695.
The real spurt in demand for maps of the American colonies came only after 1748 and the realization that the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelles maintenance of the Anglo-French status quo in North America was only temporary. A more definitive resolution to the conflicting imperial claims was clearly looming and interest in the colonies climbed dramatically. At the same time, the existing maps of the American colonies lacked detail. The cartographic image of New England, for example, might be typified by the small-scale map of John Speed (1676) and the anonymous map in Cotton Mathers Magnalia Christi Americana (Mather 1702). There was a definite demand for large, highly detailed maps of all parts of the colonies.
Jefferys moved to take advantage of the increasing demand for maps of North America. Indeed, two of his maps both compiled by John Green are among the many highly significant maps of the colonies which first appeared in 1755. Once war was officially declared with France in 1756, Jefferys output of North American maps increased dramatically. Jefferys took a highly partisan line against the French and their territorial claims in North America. It is unnecessary to argue that he was being paid by the government to produce his cartographic and textual polemics; nor was he cynically meeting a demand created by the political tenor of the day. Rather, Jefferys sentiments were part of that political tenor. There were few, if any, dissenters who argued that the French policy of encircling and encroaching on the English colonies in North America did not pose a substantial threat.
First, Jefferys used existing French maps of North America. The critical geography of Guillaume de lIsle (1675-1726) and his successors Jean Nicolas Bellin (1693-1772), Jean Baptiste dAnville (1697-1782), and Philippe Buache (1700-1773) had coincided with the great amount of information generated by the French explorations along the interior waterways of North America to produce a number of large, detailed, and highly reputable maps of the continent. Jefferys sold many of these maps; he tipped advertisements announcing the availability at his shop of new maps from Paris into two works published in. More importantly, Jefferys also translated the French maps into English and published them anew. He did not pass off these copies as his own work. Instead, he prominently displayed the identities of their reputable authors, thereby stressing the maps accuracy and quality. An example of these maps is Jefferys North America From the French of Mr D Anville (London, May 1755), which was used as the frontispiece to the first (1755) London edition of Douglass (1749-52).
Jefferys did not restrict himself to stealing French maps. His second source of materials for North America were maps already printed either in the colonies, which did not enjoy copyright protection, or even other works printed in London. For example, in 1755, Jefferys directly pirated George Washingtons journal and map of his expedition to the Ohio in 1753.
Third, Jefferys followed the simple expedient of buying existing plates from other cartographers. Thomas Kitchin had in 1756, for example, pirated Lewis Evans General Map of the Middle British Colonies, in America (Philadelphia, 1755); Jefferys subsequently acquired this plate and reissued under his own name in 1758, against the opposition of Evans friend, Thomas Pownall. Again, Jefferys or perhaps more properly Sayer bought the plates of James Cooks surveys of Newfoundland, originally published at Cooks own cost and under his own imprint, and reprinted them in 1769 as part of a large collection of charts of the Canadian maritimes (Jefferys 1769) Those other charts reflect Jefferys other sources.
The fourth, and perhaps largest, set of source materials for Jefferys maps of North America were original manuscripts produced in the colonies and sent back to London. Some were sent back to London specifically to be engraved; Harley quotes a colonial advertisement in 1764 for a map that was explicitly to be engraved in London by Jefferys. Most of this category of maps, however, were published by Jefferys as a contractor to different government agencies. For example, the Board of Trade and Plantations in 1750 ordered the colonies to make maps of their territories (in order to get information to be used by John Mitchell for making his 1755 map of North America); Virginia directed Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson to make such a map, which they completed in 1751 and sent back to London; ultimately, the board passed it on to Jefferys to be published and the map eventually appeared in print, probably in 1754. Harley also quotes the boards records with respect to Jefferys printing in 1760 of a map of Halifax harbour.
Jefferys fifth source of publishable maps and pamphlets was in-house: he employed geographers to compile new maps and books which he could then publish. We know today of the identity of only one of these employees, John Green. Green seems to have gone to work for Jefferys at about the same time as Jefferys moved to Charing Cross; we know that he produced three, or perhaps four, maps and three books which appeared under Jefferys imprint; he also planned and perhaps constructed other maps which did not appear in print. After Green committed suicide in 1757, Jefferys apparently employed a new geographer, who wrote the Natural and Civil History of the French Dominions (Jefferys 1760). Reviewers of this work did not think it as perfect as it might have been, which Harley has interpreted as indicating the lesser qualities of Greens replacement. It might be thought that Jefferys employment of critical geographers was part of the sort of ambitious, larger scheme in which Jefferys would later engage when he mapped several English counties. The similarity of the titles of the Fry and Jefferson map (1754) and of the Jefferys-Green map of New England (1755) is suggestive in this regard. Telling against such a supposition is the lack of critical concern displayed by Jefferys in the rest of his cartographic business. Green (1753) had concluded, for example, that the famed voyage by Admiral de Fonte to the northern Pacific was in fact completely fictitious, yet Jefferys continued to publish maps showing the spurious geography of North-western America derived from that fiction . Jefferys hiring of Green and his anonymous successor was clearly a business investment. The geographers wages constituted an extra cost, but in return Jefferys got a quality product that would only enhance his reputation. From the sorts of maps which we know Green to have worked on, but which were never completed, it does not seem that Jefferys sought to have new maps created so as to provide complete cartographic coverage across all the English territories in North America. Jefferys did not have a larger agenda, such as the advancement of geographical knowledge, other than the generation of profit.

Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d Anville was the successor to Guillaume De l Isle and maintained the rigorous standard for accuracy that De l Isle had established. D Anville was the last French mapmaker to establish an international reputation, superior to all his contemporaries, with respect shown by the English and other cartographers and publishers during an era when England & France were often at conflict with one another.