The Finest Map of the Chesapeake Published in the 18th Century
Flawless uncolored example of the first edition, second state, of Anthony Smith's map of the Chesapeake.
Smith's map is a cartographic landmark, widely considered to be the finest map of the Chesapeake published in the 18th Century.
Both states of this first edition were published by Sayer and Bennett in London. It is a revision of the Walter Hoxton chart with additions and revised soundings. It became an important guide for both the English and French forces during the revolution.
Nothing is known of the actual authorship of this chart, although it is assigned to Anthony Smith of St. Marys. Nothing has been found on this man, who, to judge from the charts, must have been exceptionally well informed regarding the subaqueous and littoral characteristics of the Chesapeake Bay and its estuarine rivers.
Edition 1, State 2 of the chart has an indication in the upper right "Observations ..." that the work was done by the naval officer who employed Smith as his pilot. Such certainly was the arrangement in making a survey of the Potomac, although earlier less authentic but apparently no less accurate soundings had been made with considerable system. Apparently all the prominent houses visible from the water are indicated with a manifest effort to represent the shape, size and relative positions of the different structures, which are distinguished by the names of their owners. On the blank portions of the sheet are given sailing directions involving the mention of many of the buildings placed on the headlands, besides these features, there are many figures and lines showing the courses to be followed, the bearings of prominent landmarks, and the depth of water along the streams and bay." (Huntingfield Map Collection)