JEFFERYS, Thomas (1719-1771)
The American Atlas: or, a geographical description of the whole continent of America: wherein are delineated at large its several regions, countries, states, and islands; and chiefly the British Colonies.
London: Printed and sold by R. Sayer and J. Bennett, 1776. Folio. (21 3/4 x 16 1/4 inches). Letterpress title and index leaf, otherwise engraved throughout. 22 engraved maps on 29 sheets, all hand-coloured in outline.
Expertly bound to style in half eighteenth century russia over contemporary marbled paper covered boards, spine with raised bands in seven compartments, brown morocco label in the second compartment, the others with a repeat decoration in gilt
The most important 18th century atlas for America: a "geographical description of the whole continent of America, as portrayed in the best available maps in the latter half of the eighteenth century ... as a major cartographic reference work it was, very likely, consulted by American, English, and French civilian administrators and military officers during the Revolution" (Ristow).
As a collection, the American Atlas stands as the most comprehensive, detailed and accurate survey of the American colonies at the beginning of the Revolution. Among the distinguished maps are; Braddock Meade's A Map of the Most Inhabited Parts of New England, the largest and most detailed map of New England that had yet been published; a map of The Provinces of New York and New Jersey by Samuel Holland, the Surveyor general for the northern American colonies; William Scull's A Map of Pennsylvania, the first map of that colony to include its western frontier; Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson's A Map of the Most Inhabited part of Virginia, the best colonial map for the Chesapeake region; and Lt. Ross's Course of the Mississippi, the first map of that river based on English sources.
Jefferys was the leading English cartographer of the 18th century. From about 1750, he published a series of maps of the English American colonies, that were among the most significant produced in the period. As Geographer to the Prince of Wales, and after 1761, Geographer to the King, Jefferys was well placed to have access to the best surveys conducted in America, and many of his maps held the status of "official work." Jefferys died on 20th November 1771, and in 1775, his successors, Robert Sayer and John Bennett, gathered these separately-issued maps together and republished them in book form as The American Atlas. The present second edition, issued in 1776, includes A new Map of the Province of Quebec (a significant addition) in place of Jefferys' The Middle British Colonies and a second issue of Samuel Holland's The Provinces of New York and New Jersey, published on 20 December 1775.
The maps are as follows (many of the maps are on several sheets, the measurements refer to the image size):
1-3. Braddock Meade (alias John Green). "A Chart of North and South America, including the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Published 10 June 1775. Six sheets joined into three, 43 1/2 x 49 1/2 inches. Stevens & Tree 4(d). This great wall map was chiefly issued to expose the errors in Delisle and Buache's map of the Pacific Northwest, published in Paris in 1752.
4. Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg. "The Russian Discoveries". Published March 2nd 1775. One sheet, 18 x 24 inches.
5-6. Thomas Pownall after E. Bowen. "A New and Correct map of North America, with the West India Islands . Published 2 July 1775. Four sheets joined into two, 43 x 47 inches. Stevens & Tree 49(d). Drawn up after the end of the French and Indian War.
7. Thomas Jefferys. "North America from the French of Mr. D'Anville, Improved with the English Surveys Made since the Peace". Published 10 June 1775. One sheet, 18 x 20 inches. Stevens & Tree 51(c)
8. Samuel Dunn. "A Map of the British Empire in North America". Published 10 January 1774 . 1/2 sheet, 12 x 19 inches. Stevens & Tree 53(a).
9. Thomas Jefferys. "An Exact Chart of the River St. Laurence from Fort Frontenac to the Island of Anticosti". Published 25 May 1775. Two sheets joined into one, 23 1/2 x 37 inches. Stevens & Tree 76(d).
10. Sayer & Bennett. "A Chart of the Gulf of St. Laurence." Published 25th March 1775. One sheet, 19 1/2 x 24 inches.
11. Capt. [Samuel] Holland. "A Map of the Island of St. John in the Gulf of St. Laurence". Published 6 April 1775. One sheet, 15 x 27 1/4 inches.
12. James Cook & Michael Lane. "A General Chart of the Island of Newfoundland". Published 10th May 1775. One sheet, 21 1/2 x 22 inches. Lieutenant and later Captain James Cook went on to gain renown for his three exploratory voyages in the Pacific.
13. James Cook and others. "A Chart of the Banks of Newfoundland". Published 25 March 1775. One sheet, 19 1/2 x 26 inches. Based on the surveys of James Cook (see above), Chabert and Fleurieu.
14. Thomas Jefferys. "A New Map of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island with the Adjacent Parts of New England and Canada. " Published 15 June 1775. One sheet, 18 1/2 x 24 inches. Stevens & Tree 66(c). Originally published in 1755, at the beginning of the French and Indian War, this map "proved to be important in evaluating respective French and English claims to this part of North America" (Ristow). England gained sole possession of the region by the Treaty of Paris, 1763.
15-16. Braddock Meade (alias John Green.) "A Map of the Most Inhabited Part of New England". Published November 29, 1774. Four sheets joined into two, 38 3/4 x 40 ¾ inches. Stevens & Tree 33(e). The first large-scale map of New England. "The most detailed and informative pre-Revolutionary map of New England ... not really supplanted until the nineteenth century" (New England Prospect, 13).
17. Capt. [Samuel] Holland. "The Provinces of New York and New Jersey, with Part of Pensilvania". Published 12 June 1775. Three insets: A plan of the City of New York, A chart of the Mouth of Hudson's River, and A Plan of Amboy. Two sheets joined, 26 1/2 x 52 ¾ inches. Stevens & Tree 44(c). An important large-scale map of the Provinces of New York and New Jersey, by Samuel Holland, Surveyor General for the Northern English colonies. With fine insets including a street plan of colonial New York City.
18. Captain Carver and others. "A New Map of the Province of Quebec, according to the Royal Proclamation, of the 7th of October 1763. from the French Surveys Connected with those made after the War, by Captain Carver, and Other Officers". One sheet, 19 1/4 x 26 1/4 inches. Stevens & Tree 73(a).
19. William Scull. "A Map of Pennsylvania Exhibiting not only the Improved Parts of the Province but also its Extensive Frontiers". Published 10 June 1775. Two sheets joined, 27 x 51 ½ inches. The first map of the Province of Pennsylvania to include its western frontier. All earlier maps had focused solely on the settled eastern parts of the colony.
20-21. Joshua Fry & Peter Jefferson. "A Map of the Most Inhabited Part of Virginia, containing the Whole Province of Maryland ... 1775". [n.d.] Four sheets joined into two, 32 x 48 inches. Stevens & Tree 87(f). "The basic cartographical document of Virginia in the eighteenth century ... the first to depict accurately the interior regions of Virginia beyond the Tidewater. [It] dominated the cartographical representation of Virginia until the nineteenth century" (Verner.)
22-23. Henry Mouzon. "An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina with their Indian Frontiers". Published May 30, 1775. Four sheets joined into two, 40 x 54 inches. Stevens & Tree 11(a). "The chief type map for [the Carolinas] during the forty or fifty years following its publication. It was used by both British and American forces during the Revolutionary War" (Cumming, 450).
24. Thomas Jefferys. "The Coast of West Florida and Louisiana ... The Peninsula and Gulf of Florida." Published 20 Feby. 1775. Two sheets joined into one, 19 1/2 x 48 inches. Stevens & Tree 26(a). A large-scale map of Florida, based upon the extensive surveys conducted after the region became an English possession following the 1763 Treaty of Paris.
25. Lt. Ross. "Course of the Mississipi.... Taken on an Expedition to the Illinois, in the latter end of the Year 1765". Published 1 June 1775. Two sheet joined into one, 14 x 44 inches. Stevens & Tree 31(b). The first large-scale map of the Mississippi River, and the first based in whole or part upon English surveys.
26. Thomas Jefferys. "The Bay of Honduras". Published 20 February 1775. One sheet, 18 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches.
27-28. J.B.B. D'Anville. "A Map of South America." Published 20 September 1775. Four sheets joined into two, 20 x 46 inches
29. Cruz Cano and others. "A Chart of the Straits of Magellan". Published 1 July 1775. One sheet, 20 1/2 x 27 inches.
Howes J-81; cf. Phillips Atlases 1165 and 1166; Sabin 35953; cf. Streeter Sale I, 72 (1775 edition); cf. Walter Ristow (editor) Thomas Jefferys The American Atlas London 1776, facsimile edition, Amsterdam 1974.