A nice example of the second edition of Evans' map, corrected and extended by Pownall.
Along with Mitchell's map issued in the same year, the Evans is considered the most important American map of the 18th Century. Both maps were intended to spur western expansion into the Trans-Allegheny, Ohio Valley and regions westward and in response to French Encroachments. Evans map became the standard for nearly 50 years, being re-issued in this and a number of pirated editions by Jefferys, Sayer Kitchen, Bowles and others.
The map is a milestone both for its political significance and extension of cartographic knowledge in the region. Unlike the pirated editions, Pownall's map is issued from the original Evans plate, with and addition of New England and a group of tables, naming townships in the Colonies. It bears Evans Tribute of Gratitude… in the upper left corner. Pownall had been a great supporter of Evans and pledged the proceeds from the map to Evans' daughter.
Lewis Evans was a land surveyor and map maker who produced one of the most influential American maps of the eighteenth-century, “A general map of the Middle British Colonies” (1755). Evans was born near Pwllheli, Caernarvonshire, Wales and emigrated to the North American colonies in 1731. He found work in Philadelphia as a clerk to no less than Benjamin Franklin, who also published several of his works including the cartographic memoir that accompanied the 1755 map and a 1749 map of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware. Evans was outspoken and politically active, a combination that landed him in prison in New York for libel against the Governor of Pennsylvania, Robert Hunter Morris. He died there on June 12, 1756, leaving behind a daughter, Amelia.
Amelia’s godmother was Franklin’s wife, Deborah, who raised the girl after Evans’ death. Part of Amelia’s inheritance was the plate of the 1755 map. The rest of his maps and instruments were sold at auction in early 1760. Benjamin Franklin later arranged for the plate to be sent to John Almon for reprinting in an attempt to support Amelia. This resulted in the 1776 Pownall edition of the map; however, sales were not as expected, leaving Amelia short of funds.