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Item #26259 Manuscript Map of the Kennebec River in Maine, from its Mouth Extending to a Point North Approximately 100 Miles above Fort Western. Sir Francis BERNARD, after, John SMALL, Francis MILLER, c.

Manuscript Map of the Kennebec River in Maine, from its Mouth Extending to a Point North Approximately 100 Miles above Fort Western

New England: 1765. Pen-and-ink with grey and light green wash, on two joined sheets of laid paper, with an unlettered cartouche in the upper right corner in yellow wash, a compass rose additionally decorated in green, red, and yellow, period ink inscription on verso: "Kennebec River by Capt. Small." Provenance: Sir Francis Bernard, Colonial Governor of Massachusetts (1712-1779); by descent to Robert Spencer Bernard, Nether Winchendon House, Buckinghamshire, England. Sheet size: 33 3/4 x 18 3/4 inches.

The earliest known survey of the upper Kennebec River, here in manuscript.

In November 1969, noted historian of cartography William P. Cumming discovered in the family home of Sir Francis Bernard, "a collection of maps that, in purpose and type, differed so markedly from the more usual military, coastal, and general colonial maps of the time that it stands out in both interest and importance." [Cumming] The present manuscript map, done on a scale of approximately 4 1/2 miles to the inch, shows much of the length of the Kennebec, from its mouth to a point approximately 100 miles north of Fort Western, with its various tributaries and islands depicted. At the bottom of the map, the coast of Maine is shown in much detail, depicting the numerous small islands and inlets from Penboscot Bay in the north to Cape Elizabeth in the south. Numerous forts along the coast are shown, including George's Fort, Brunswick Fort, and Pemmaquid Fort; a church is depicted at the mouth of Royall's River near North Yarmouth. West of the Kennebec, a portion of the "Sagadehock" or "Amorescoggin" River is shown. Along the lower Kennebec, Fort Francfort, Fort Western, and Fort Halifax are identified. Toponyms north of Fort Halifax include "Norridge Walk" and "An Indian Carrying Place" (i.e. portage route) which is drawn via hachured line. Bernard became the Colonial Governor of Massachusetts in late 1759, shortly after British troops were victorious in the Battle of Quebec. That decisive French and Indian War victory opened a vast region for renewed English settlement and trade, thus necessitating the need for more accurate surveys of the roads and inland waterways. The present manuscript map was surveyed and drawn by the talented military mapmaker Francis Miller in 1765 for Bernard, the details of which are recounted by Bernard in a 1766 letter to Lord Barrington: "I am desired to certify to your Lordship, that at the beginning of the Year 1764 Genl Gage at my Request, gave Leave to Ensign Francis Miller of the 45th regiment, then stationed in Newfoundland to come to Boston to assist me in some Works of Public Surveying, which I had undertaken in pursuance of resolutions of the general Assembly and partly by Orders from England. Mr Miller being then at an outpost and not easily relieved did not arrive at Boston till Nov in that Year, when the Season for actual Surveying was over. He was employed that Winter and Spring following in protracting the Surveys made that Summer, among which was a compleat Route from Fort Pownal on the River Penobscot to Quebec [i.e. Chadwick's surveys], and some other curious explorations of the Eastern parts of New England hitherto unknown to Englishmen: of which, elegant Maps drawn by Mr. Miller have been transmitted to the Board of Trade." [Bernard to Barrington, 11 January 1766, quoted in The Barrington-Bernard Correspondence, p. 103, emphasis added.] The present map based on the surveys of little known Maine surveyor John Small would appear to have been among these "curious explorations." Small (c.1722-1761), learned surveying from his father Samuel Small of Scarborough, Maine, and actively engaged surveying in that region from a young age. In 1745, he was commissioned in the Army, serving at the first expedition against Louisburg and again in 1757-58 in Upstate New York, including action at Ticonderoga. In 1758-59, he served as a surveyor on Pownall's Expedition to the Penobscot River and the construction of Fort Pownall, and was commissioned as captain in 1759 for service in Amherst's march on Montreal. "At the expiration of his military duties, January 12, 1761, Captain John Small returned to his home in Scarborough. This contest [i.e. the French and Indian War] had been greatly protracted by the nature of the country. The problem of moving troops encumbered with baggage and artillery was most difficult. Massachusetts realized this need of roads to the utmost; and soon after the conquest of Canada, a highway was projected by the government to connect Maine with that country by way of the Kennebec and Chaudiere rivers. Captain John Howard, with a party of fifteen men, was sent out from Fort Western on the Kennebec River to explore the immediate country, ascertain the disposition of the Indians, and survey the proposed road. Small joined these scouts on September 1, 1761 as First Surveyor. Three weeks later while in the almost impenetrable forests of northern Maine, Captain Howard shot at what he supposed to be a bear, and was horrified to find that he had taken the life of one of his own men -- his first surveyor. At the death of Small, since Captain Howard, the commander of the expedition, was entirely unfit to carry on the work, the project for constructing a military road to Quebec was abandoned -- never to be resumed." [Underhill] Besides the inscription on verso indicating that the map was protracted after Small's surveys, the map itself includes the inscription to the left of Fort Halifax, "Here begins Capt. Small's Survey," as well as an inscription in the upper left corner, "Here Capt. Small was killed."

Barrington-Bernard Correspondence, p.103. Cumming, British Maps of Colonial America, pp.29-30, Appendix A. Underhill, Descendents of Edward Small of New England Vol. 1, 164-213 pp.

Item #26259

Price: $39,500.00

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