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Description

Rare large format map by Sotzmann prepared for Christopher Ebeling's Erdbeschreibung von Amerika.

Sotzmann's map include an immense amount of information. The state's natural geography is shown in surprising detail, including not only lakes and rivers, but relatively minor streams and even waterfalls. Political boundaries are shown, with county and town boundaries differentiated by varying widths of dotted line. Sotzmann meticulously plots the roads, industrial establishments such as mills and iron works, and public buildings such as court and meeting houses.

The map drew heavily upon William Blodget's New and Correct Map of the State of Connecticut (1791). The newest town identified by both Blodget and Sotzmann is Brookfield in Fairfield County, established in 1788, though several towns were established in the intervening period prior to the publication of Sotzmann's map. There are some new additions in Sotzmann's map. Within the bounds of Norwalk, Sotzmann names a village of "New Canaan," and he identifies a number of hills, ridges and streams that are shown but not named on the Blodget map.

Ebeling was a German scholar who undertook an exhaustive study of America. After studying the work of a number of engravers he selected Sotzmann to engrave a set of maps of the states of the United States. Unfortunately, due to an extended illness, Ebeling did not finish the project and only 10 of the maps were published. However, his Atlas of America has become the most celebrated of works. Walter Ristow states that only a handful of North American institutions have examples of all ten maps, making the series among the rarest cartographic Americana for the closing decade of the 18th Century.

An essential map of Connecticut collectors.

Condition Description
A bit toned.
Reference
Phillips, p.247; Rumsey, #2746; Thompson, Maps of Connecticut, #39. Background from Ristow, American Maps and Mapmakers, pp.169-178.