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Herman Moll:  A New and Exact Map of the Dominions of the King of Great Britain on ye Continent of North America . . . [Beaver Map]

Maps of the United States

Title: A New and Exact Map of the Dominions of the King of Great Britain on ye Continent of North America . . . [Beaver Map]

Map Maker: Herman Moll

Place / Date: London / 1715 (1731)

Coloring: Hand Colored

Size: 40 x 24 inches

Condition: VG

Price: SOLD

Inventory ID: 0011jh


Moll's map of the British Colonies is the first large-scale map to show English developments in North America and the first to show the American postal routes.

Moll's map was the first and one of the most important illustrations of the ongoing dispute between France and Great Britain over boundaries separating their respective American colonies..  Pritchard notes that "The map was the primary exponent of the British position during the period immediately following the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713."  All territory south of the St. Lawrence River and eastern Great Lakes is shown as British. Numerous notations relating to territorial claims, Indian tribes, the fur trade, and the condition of the land cover the face of the map. This map shows the early eighteenth century postal routes in the British colonies, and is frequently called the first American postal map. 

Moll's "Beaver Map" is one of the most accurate of the period.  It is notable for being among the first and most important cartographic documents relating to Anglo-French disputes over the boundaries separating their respective American colonies. Even the insets are of great importance, most notably Indian Agent Thomas Nairne's important and early map of South Carolina, along with a map showing the English, French and Indian settlements in the Carolinas and a plan of Charleston Harbor.

The most striking feature of Moll's map is the vignette showing Niagara Falls with beavers at work. The view of Niagara Falls, without the beavers, was first published in Utrecht in 1697, as part of Louis Hennepin's Nouvelle decouverte d'un tres grand Pays Situe dans l'Amerique. In 1713, Nicholas de Fer, cartographer to the French King, copied Hennepin's view and added the famous beavers on his "Carte de La Mer du Sud & de La Mer du Nord." Beaver pelts were a significant part of a highly successful American fur trade, an industry that was used to promote settlement in America. The industrious nature of beavers, moreover, symbolized the notion that control of the land, and the wealth created therefrom, was brought about by hard work.

Moll was one of the most well-known cartographers in England of his generation. Moll emigrated from the Netherlands to England around 1680, settling in London, where he established his own shop in 1689. Moll's style grew increasingly distinctive as his career progressed, and his maps remain noted for their elaborate design and clarity of lettering. He was also known for including numerous legends on his maps that give historical information about the geography, inhabitants and general features of the areas shown.

Condition Description: Minor restorations to margins and several tears, reinforced on verso. Folds flattened and reinforced. In all, a nice example.

Related Categories:
Maps of the Mid Atlantic (Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington D.C., West Virginia)
Maps of New England (Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire)
Maps of the Northeast (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey)
Maps of Southeast America (Virginia Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina)
Maps of the United States

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