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Extremely rare separately issued chart of the coast of Georgia, which was later bound in to Laurie & Whittle's North American Pilot, published in London in 1795 and later. The map is includes a highly detailed treatment of the region south of Port Royal to Matanza Inlet in Florida, with a marvelous treatment of the Georgia Coastline and Hilton Head. Includes three insets plans of the Mouth of the Nassau River, Mouth of the St. Mary's River, and St. Augustine Harbor. Laurie & Whittle reference N. Holland as the maker of the map. In fact, there was no N. Holland, and this is likely a pseudonym for Samuel Holland. Holland and Gerard William DeBrahm were the two primary colonial surveyors for the British Colonies prior to the American Revolution. It is known that a number of the early colonial surveyors sold information to private publishers after the Revolution, using the information they gathered to make up for some of the lost compensation associated with their displacement. While Holland may well have been the source, his assignment was the Northern British Colonies, making it more likely that the source of information for the map would have been DeBrahm, Bernard Romans, and the contemporary charts of Des Barres, Normal and Clark. A finely engraved and highly detailed map. Minor restoration in the blank margins, else an exceptional example of this rare map. Only two examples have appeared in dealer catalogues in the past 25 years (Arader 1989 and Lan 1996, the latter being a heavily restored example of the 1809 edition).

Richard Holmes Laurie Biography

Richard Holmes Laurie (1777-1858) was the son of mezzotint engraver Robert Laurie, who had taken over Robert Sayer's publishing house with James Whittle in 1794. Richard Holmes Laurie joined in a partnership with Whittle when his father retired in 1812. The name of the firm then switched from Laurie & Whittle to Whittle & Laurie. Whittle died in 1818, leaving Richard Holmes to continue publishing alone as R. H. Laurie.

When the Hydrographic Office opened in 1795, it was tasked with creating and producing all the nautical charts for the Royal Navy so as to wean the Navy off dependence on foreign charts. By the 1820s, private publishers were augmenting HO charts and competing with them, including Richard Holmes Laurie. Richard gave up publishing anything except nautical materials by 1830. He also sold charts to Trinity House, the lighthouse and maritime safety fraternity. He died in 1858. 

The firm continued to print under the name R.H. Laurie even after 1858. Later, the firm was managed by Laurie’s draughtsman, Alexander George Findlay, and, later, Daniel and William Kettle.

James Whittle Biography

James Whittle (1757-1818) was a British engraver and map printer. Whittle was employed by Robert Sayer (ca. 1725-1794). Together with Robert Laurie (1755?-1836), he took on Sayer’s business when the older man died in 1794. The two traded together as Laurie & Whittle until 1812, when Laurie retired. They had specialized in sea charts and maritime atlases. Whittle then partnered with Laurie’s son, Richard Holmes Laurie, until he died in 1818.