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Scarce map of the Southern British Colonies compiled by Bernard Romans for the American Military Pocket Atlas, the primary atlas carried into battle by British Officers during the American Revolution. The map extends north to the Carolinas and the confluence of the Ohio & Mississippi Rivers and is based primarily upon the surveys of de Brahm, Collet, Mouzon and the contemporary hydrographical surveys of the coast of Florida by Bernard Romans.

The American Military Pocket Atlas, commonly known as the Holster Atlas, was a 6 map pocket atlas created for use by British Military Officers during the American Revolution. It includes insets of Plans of St. Augustine and Charleston. The map is probably most noteworthy for its inclusion of details along Coastal Florida, derived from the Hydrographic Surveys of Bernard Romans between 1771 and 1773, one the important pre-Revolutionary War surveys of the region.

Includes excellent detail and interesting notes throughout the map. The notes on Indian Tribes and Villages are also excellent. Shows early roads, towns, forts, rivers, mountains, mining regions, islands and a host of other details. Six precincts (counties) named in South Carolina. An essential map for collectors of the region, bringing together for the first time the surveys of de Brahm, Collet, Mouzon and Romans in a single map. Second title across the top is Seat of the War in the Southern British Colonies. Old fold splits, supported on the verso with archival tape, but generally a good example with good margins.

Condition Description
Old fold splits, supported on the verso with archival tape. Good margins. Overall a nice example.
Robert Sayer Biography

Robert Sayer (ca. 1724-1794) was a prominent London map publisher. Robert’s father was a lawyer, but his older brother married Mary Overton, the widow of prominent mapmaker Philip Overton and the proprietor of his shop after his death. Mary continued the business for roughly a year after her marriage and then, in early 1748, it passed to Robert. Robert became a freeman of the Stationers’ Company later that year; his first advertisement as an independent publisher was released in December.

Sayer benefited from Overton’s considerable stock, which included the plates of John Senex. In the 1750s, Sayer specialized in design books and topographical prints, as well as comic mezzotints. In 1753, he, along with John Roque, published a new edition of Thomas Read’s Small British Atlas, the first of several county atlases that Sayer would publish.  

Sayer’s business continued to grow. In 1760 he moved further down Fleet Street to larger premises at 53 Fleet Street. In 1766, he acquired Thomas Jefferys’ stock when the latter went bankrupt. In 1774, he entered into a partnership with John Bennett, his former apprentice. The pair specialized in American atlases, based on the work of Jefferys. They also began publishing navigational charts in the 1780s and quickly became the largest supplier of British charts in the trade.

Bennett’s mental health declined, and the partnership ended in 1784. As Sayer aged, he relied on his employees Robert Laurie and James Whittle, who eventually succeeded him. He spent more and more time at his house in Richmond. In 1794, he died in Bath.   

John Bennett Biography

John Bennett (fl. 1760-d. 1787) was a London printer best known for his role in the successful partnership of Sayer & Bennett. In 1760, Bennett became a servant of Robert Sayer (ca. 1724-1794), the prominent print and map seller, and was apprenticed to him in 1765. In 1774, Bennett became a free journeyman and entered into a partnership with Sayer. They issued joint advertisements and publications. In 1777, Bennett owned 1/3 share in the business. The partnership was likely to continue fruitfully, but in 1781 Bennett began to show signs of mental illness. In 1783, he was admitted to an asylum for nine months and, in 1784, Sayer filed papers to dissolve their business partnership. Bennett died in 1787.