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Description

Highly detailed map of the Province of Upper Canada, originally published by David William Smyth and periodically revised over time.

Fine map of Upper Canada, showing detailed information on the counties, districts, townships, transportation systems, place-names and northern Ontario ('Great Tract of Wilderness') &c. It also includes portions of Quebec, Michigan Territory, New York, Pennsylvania. The 1838 issue includes additional rivers, lakes, place-names, roads and a railway from London to Hamilton.

First issued in 1800, with credits to David William Smyth, this is one of the most enduring maps of Canada. Smyth was the first Surveyor General of Canada and in 1799 wrote "A Short Topographical Description of His Majesty's Province of Upper Canada, In North America" which was sold with the map.

This map is the 1838 edition of the "Smyth Series" which went through 13 separate editions to 1858. Smyth's name was dropped from all editions after 1835. Faden published the map until 1818; Wyld published it after 1831. Longest publishing history of any map of the region (Farrell).

Condition Description
Dissected and laid on linen. Some minor loss near folds. A few crudely repaired marginal tears. One fold reinforced with tape on the frontice. Minor offsetting and soiling.
Reference
Farrell, Explorations in the History of Canadian Mapping, pp152-154; Sabin 85205
James Wyld Biography

James Wyld Sr. (1790-1836) was a British cartographer and one of Europe’s leading mapmakers. He made many contributions to cartography, including the introduction of lithography into map printing in 1812.

William Faden, another celebrated cartographer, passed down his mapmaking business to Wyld in 1823. The quality and quantity of Faden’s maps, combined with Wyld’s considerable skill, brought Wyld great prestige.

Wyld was named geographer to His Majesty George IV and William IV, as well as HRH the Duke of York. In 1825, he was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was one of the founding members of the Royal Geographical Society in 1830. Also in 1830, his son, James Wyld Jr., took over his publishing house. Wyld Sr. died of overwork on October 14, 1836.

James Wyld Jr. (1812-87) was a renowned cartographer in his own right and he successfully carried on his father’s business. He gained the title of Geographer to the Queen and H.R.H. Prince Albert. Punch (1850) described him in humorous cartographic terms, “If Mr. Wyld’s brain should be ever discovered (we will be bound he has a Map of it inside his hat), we should like to have a peep at it, for we have a suspicion that the two hemispheres must be printed, varnished, and glazed, exactly like a pair of globes.”