A fine chart containing the soundings and navigational information surrounding Amelia Island and the mouths of the Nassau and St. Mary's rivers in Florida.
The natural deep harbor on the north end of Amelia Island was an important anchorage for all kinds of sailing vessels including smugglers, pirates, and slave ships. The two charts on the right were made from surveys of Captain William Fuller. The plan of Amelia Island is noted as being taken from William De Brahm's monumental large format map of South Carolina & Georgia, published in 1757. A prospective view of the entrance to St. Mary's River is inset at upper right. Dedicated to the Right Honorable John Earl of Egmont.
The largest map, A Chart of the Entrance into St. Mary's River, features the northern end of the island and the waterway that runs in between it and Cumberland Island, Georgia. The plan notes numerous depth soundings and the locations of the shifting shoals that posed a great threat to mariners. The map also illustrates the "New Settlement," with its ordered grid of streets planned by the British, shown near the northern tip of Amelia Island.
Across the river on Cumberland Island, the outlines of the abandoned Fort William are depicted. Founded in the 1740s by Georgia governor James Oglethorpe, the Fort was built to guard the southern approaches of the colony from the Spaniards, who were based in nearby St. Augustine. This map also features a fine navigator's view of the entrance of the river, in the upper right corner. The map below, A Chart of the Mouth of the Nassau River, shows a significant amount of hydrographical information, along with sailing instructions for mariners. The Chart shows the waterway that runs past the southern tip of Amelia Island, in between it and Talbot Island. It is today the location of the main shipping lane leading into the port of Jacksonville.
Thomas Jefferys (ca. 1719-1771) was a prolific map publisher, engraver, and cartographer based in London. His father was a cutler, but Jefferys was apprenticed to Emanuel Bowen, a prominent mapmaker and engraver. He was made free of the Merchant Taylors’ Company in 1744, although two earlier maps bearing his name have been identified.
Jefferys had several collaborators and partners throughout his career. His first atlas, The Small English Atlas, was published with Thomas Kitchin in 1748-9. Later, he worked with Robert Sayer on A General Topography of North America (1768); Sayer also published posthumous collections with Jefferys' contributions including The American Atlas, The North-American Pilot, and The West-India Atlas.
Jefferys was the Geographer to Frederick Prince of Wales and, from 1760, to King George III. Thanks especially to opportunities offered by the Seven Years' War, he is best known today for his maps of North America, and for his central place in the map trade—he not only sold maps commercially, but also imported the latest materials and had ties to several government bodies for whom he produced materials.
Upon his death in 1771, his workshop passed to his partner, William Faden, and his son, Thomas Jr. However, Jefferys had gone bankrupt in 1766 and some of his plates were bought by Robert Sayer (see above). Sayer, who had partnered in the past with Philip Overton (d. 1751), specialized in (re)publishing maps. In 1770, he partnered with John Bennett and many Jefferys maps were republished by the duo.