Mid-19th Century Copy of Lewis Evans' seminal map of the region.
This may be the first map of Pennsylvania published in America. Evans followed this map with his more famous one of 1755, but this is an iconic map of the middle Atlantic and much copied, with English, German, and other editions.
The county of Lancaster was created in 1729 and is shown along with the founding counties of Philadelphia, Bucks and Chester. York County, created in 1749, is not shown although the town appears. This map originated the phrase 'Endless Mountains', which is still used as an advertising slogan.
The coverage of Pennsylvania ends just beyond the Susquehanna.
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.