FADEN, William (1750-1836)
The United States of North America with the British & Spanish Territories according to the Treaty
London: William Faden, 1783. Copper-engraved map, with full original colour. Sheet size: 21 1/2 x 26 1/2 inches.
The extremely rare second issue of one of the most important early maps of the United States.
Faden's sequence of maps of the United States represents one of the most important cartographic depictions of the newly independent republic. The present map is the second issue of the fourteen total appellations (including the parent plan and thirteen subsequent issues), and is one of the extremely rare first five appellations of this series which almost never appear on the market. The Faden sequence comprises a critical and fascinating series of historical documents regarding the political development of the United States, especially since each issue captures a distinct stage in America's process of transformative change. The present map depicts the United States with its original boundaries as settled at the very end of the Revolutionary War, as ratified at the Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3rd, 1783. The map is beautifully coloured to identify American, British, Spanish territories, and the coasts of Newfoundland in which the French were granted fishing rights. Curiously, it also shows the former boundaries of the Province of Quebec as extending down to the banks of the Ohio River. This map is in part based on John Mitchell's A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America (1755) that was used by delegates during the treaty process. While it included all of the territory from the Atlantic seaboard to the Mississippi River, settlement was then confined to the former Thirteen Colonies, and even then their western frontiers were undefined. What is now western New York was shown to be part of Pennsylvania, Vermont did not exist, and Maine was part of Massachusetts, and was divided between the "Main" and "Sagahadok" regions. Although there was the odd fort, all of the land west of the Appalachians was shown to be in the possession of the various native tribes. Curiously, the treaty defined the northwestern boundary of the United States as running from the Lake of the Woods to the source of the Mississippi River; however, this later proved to be the source of great confusion, as in reality the river's source was located far to the southeast. In the same treaty, Spain took back possession of Florida from Britain, and the vast Louisiana Territory from France. The composition is completed by an extremely fine title cartouche, which depicts scenes of commerce in the prosperous new nation.
Stevens & Tree, "Comparative Cartography," 80(c), in Tooley, The Mapping of America.