First state of Faden's map of New Jersey, based upon Bernard Ratzer's surveys in 1769.
William Faden's map of New Jersey is based upon Ratzer surveys in 1769, which were conducted to resolve a 100 year long boundary dispute between New York and New Jersey. Faden's map was the first to show New Jersey's northern border with New York, and also depicts the area as known to George Washington immediately prior to the battle of Monmouth and a fortified Valley Forge. The most important map of the area from the Revolutionary period, it was also the largest map of New Jersey that had ever been produced.
The map was the largest format and most detailed representation of the New Jersey colony made up to that time, taking in the entire breadth of the future State of New Jersey, as well as the Hudson Valley, most of Long Island, eastern Pennsylvania and all of Delaware Bay. It exhibits the state's rich topography, including the Jersey Highlands and the Palisades in the north and the broad Pine Barrens and coastal marshes in the south. The county divisions, major roads and towns are all carefully depicted, indicating that New Jersey was heavily populated, having over 120,000 inhabitants.
For this map, Faden has supplemented Ratzer's work with surveys of the northern part of the state made by Gerard Bancker. Bancker's surveys reached Faden via John Murray, the Earl of Dunmore and former governor of Virginia, who was given a draft by Bancker when he stopped in New York on his way back to London.
The two lines bisecting the state are the boundary lines between the archaic colonies of East and West Jersey. In 1664, Charles II granted the New Jersey charter jointly to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. Berkeley sold his share to John Fenwick, who in turn, passed it on to a consortium that included William Penn. The king elected to renew only Carteret's charter to the colony, and from 1676 the province was split into two colonies. One of the lines present on this map is "Keith's Line" referring to the 1687 demarcation of the boundary by surveyor George Keith. While the two colonies were reunited under a royal governor in 1702, certain private land ownership questions predicated on the partition necessitated that an internal line of division persist, which was re-demarcated as the "Lawrence Line" in 1743.
The Lawrence line was named for surveyor John Lawrence, who was commissioned to conduct the survey in 1743, and sought to offer final resolution to the division between the two proprietary colonies set out on the Quintipartite Deed (1676) which divided New Jersey by a straight line from "the Northernmost Branch of said Bay or River of De la Ware which is in forty-one Degrees and forty minutes of latitude…unto the most southwardly poynt of the East syde of Little Egge Harbour."
Following the death of his partner Thomas Jefferys, William Faden assumed sole control England's leading commercial map making establishment, with a reputation for the finest quality engraved maps and atlases. Faden's fine engravings, in fact, made him one of the greatest cartographers of the 18th century. Faden's talent for mapmaking was such that he was named official geographer to the king in 1775, two years before he produced this map, a landmark in the cartography of New Jersey.
The Province of New Jersey was included in Faden's North American Atlas, a large folio work that is the most rare and important cartographic record of the early years of the American Revolution. All of the maps contained in the atlas possessed a wealth of topographical detail based on information obtained by first-hand observation, a factor that makes them historical documents of great importance. Faden's map was much consulted during the Revolution, and represents the best state of knowledge regarding New Jersey in the 18th century.
A seminal Colonial American map.
William Faden (1749-1836) was the most prominent London mapmaker and publisher of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. His father, William Mackfaden, was a printer who dropped the first part of his last name due to the Jacobite rising of 1745.
Apprenticed to an engraver in the Clothworkers' Company, he was made free of the Company in August of 1771. He entered into a partnership with the family of Thomas Jeffreys, a prolific and well-respected mapmaker who had recently died in 1771. This partnership lasted until 1776.
Also in 1776, Faden joined the Society of Civil Engineers, which later changed its name to the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers. The Smeatonians operated as an elite, yet practical, dining club and his membership led Faden to several engineering publications, including canal plans and plans of other new engineering projects.
Faden's star rose during the American Revolution, when he produced popular maps and atlases focused on the American colonies and the battles that raged within them. In 1783, just as the war ended, Faden inherited his father's estate, allowing him to fully control his business and expand it; in the same year he gained the title "Geographer in Ordinary to his Majesty."
Faden also commanded a large stock of British county maps, which made him attractive as a partner to the Ordnance Survey; he published the first Ordnance map in 1801, a map of Kent. The Admiralty also admired his work and acquired some of his plates which were re-issued as official naval charts.
Faden was renowned for his ingenuity as well as his business acumen. In 1796 he was awarded a gold medal by the Society of Arts. With his brother-in-law, the astronomer and painter John Russell, he created the first extant lunar globe.
After retiring in 1823 the lucrative business passed to James Wyld, a former apprentice. He died in Shepperton in 1826, leaving a large estate.