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Description

William Darby's Map of Florida is the earliest map of Florida following its acquisition by the United States in 1818 and the only map to show East and West Florida as part of the United States, prior to the merger of the two Floridas and creation of Florida Territory in March 1822.

The United States Government had previously acquired ownership of Florida by purchase from Spain on February 22, 1818, under the Adams-Onis Treaty, at a cost of $5 Million, however the official act for carrying the Treaty into affect was not approved by Congress until March 3, 1821. Congress officially authorized the taking of possession of East and West Florida in 1819 and the formation of a temporary government.

At the time of acquisition, East and West Florida were still separate political divisions, which were not officially merged until the establishment of Florida Territory in on March 22, 1822. The first maps of the new territory, continued to show both West and East Florida. William Darby's Map of Florida, published jointly by Darby and Benjamin Tanner in Philadelphia, was issued less than a month following ratification.

Darby's map was issued to accompany Memoir on the Geography, and Natural and Civil History of Florida, a promotional description of Florida . The annexation of Florida to the United States formally opened a large and potentially fertile land to American settlement. Darby, whose experiences on Jackson's topographical staff and as deputy surveyor of the United States earned him a reputation as the leading American cartographer of his day, capitalized on the opportunity, publishing a laudatory description of Florida.

Darby's map is among the rarest and most sought after of all 19th Century Florida maps. The map includes insets Pensacaola, Tampa Bay and Mobile Bay, including soundings. Near Miami, White Inlet is shown. No sign of settlements in the south and no roads are noted south of Ft. Poppa and St. Augustine. Massive Oke phanoke Swamp. The map includes some manuscript pencil notes on some early place names. A bit of offsetting and remargined on 3 sides, but generally a very nice example. An essential map for Florida collectors. Only the 2nd time we have ever had the map.

Reference
HOWES D64, "aa." DE RENNE I, p.374. STREETER SALE 1203. SABIN 18532. CLARK II:197. SERVIES 1061. DAB V, p.73.