Extremely Rare German Edition of Lewis Evans' Landmark 1749 Map
Fine example of the German edition of Lewis Evans' important map, A map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York, and the three Delaware Counties, published on March 25, 1749 in Philadelphia. Evans' map is generally considered to be the first printed map of Pennsylvania made in America and his work was influenced by Benjamin Franklin.
Evans's map was one of the most important Colonial American maps of the middle of the 18th Century and was compiled utilizing information obtained by Evans in his travels and from a number of colonial American sources, many of whom never published printed examples of their maps, making this map a fascinating conduit for the work of several early surveyors whose work is no longer extant.
This Frankfurt edition, published in 1750, was meant to encourage German immigration to Pennsylvania and is extremely rare. Only 2 surviving examples of this map are known to exist.
Lewis Evans, Benjamin Franklin, and the 1749 Map
Little is known about Lewis Evans (1700-1756) before he appeared in Benjamin Franklin's shop on November 27, 1736. He bought a copy of Edward Cocker's Arithmetick, which was recorded in Franklin's shop notebook and gives the first indication of Evans' interests and location. His will reveals that he was born in Llangwnadl, Wales, but he also traveled widely in Europe as a young man. In 1738, he executed one of his earliest cartographic works, A Map of that Part of Bucks County, released by the Indians to the Proprietaries of Pensilvania in September 1737.
Evans trekked extensively throughout the American colonies, working as a surveyor. In 1743, Evans accompanied John Bartram and Conrad Weiser on a trip to Lake Ontario. Some of his wanderings are evident on this map, for example in the length and detail of the Susquehanna River and in the area around Shamokin. On these trips, Evans gathered geographic information from indigenous peoples and the few Europeans who lived on the then frontier of America.
As noted by Evans in a letter published in The New-York Weekly Post-Boy, dated May 15, 1749, the map was drawn from Henry Popple's famous map of the British Empire in North America, but with significant improvements. A second, revised edition was printed in July 1752. The original 1749 Evans map last appeared at auction in 1991 at Sothebys, which described it as follows:
. . . one of the first maps printed in the English colonies south of New York and the first printed map by Lewis Evans, America's greatest eighteenth-century cartographer. Very little is known about this map apart from the information provided in Evans's extensive legends, which include many notes on weather conditions as well as geography. It was long thought that the map had been printed in New York by James Parker, but Lawrence Wroth has shown that it must have been printed in Philadelphia and that Benjamin Franklin and David Hall-who printed the 1755 Evans map for inclusion in his Geographical, Historical, Political, Philosophical and Mechanical Essays-were probably the printers of this map.
Lingelbach agrees that Franklin and Hall are the likely publishers of the map. Evans had first advertised the subscription for the map in Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette in March 1748/9 and the two men frequently conversed about matters of natural philosophy, particularly electricity.
It is probably due to Franklin's influence that Evans was able to include conjectures about the movement of storms and about the nature of lightening on the map, observations which Franklin was also sharing with friends in the late 1740s. Evans also includes a discussion of eclipses as they relate to the measurement of longitude in the hopes that readers with astronomical interests might be able to help to better pinpoint the longitude of American cities.
Additionally, it is known that the copy of the original Evans map held by the American Philosophical Society was presented by Benjamin Franklin to Dr. John Mitchell, whose 1755 map of North America is generally considered the most important American map of the eighteenth century, along with Popple's map and Evans' own 1755 map of the Middle British Colonies.
Evans' sources and references
Franklin was not the only natural philosopher to help bring the Evans map to fruition. Another source Evans mentions is James Alexander. Alexander (1691-1758) was a lawyer, politician, and mathematician who had fled Scotland after the failed Jacobite Rebellion in 1715. He held offices in New York and New Jersey simultaneously and later became Attorney General of New Jersey from 1723 to 1737. As a lawyer, he gathered and commissioned a collection of maps that were used in his cases. An early member of the American Philosophical Society, founded by Franklin, he corresponded with the savant. On August 15, 1745, Franklin wrote to Alexander, "I return you herewith your Draughts, with a Copy of one of them per Mr. Evans and a few Lines relating to it from him." Evans was clearly corresponding with Alexander well before the 1749 map was published.
The "whole of New York Province" as shown in the Evans map owes a debt to Cadwallader Colden, as Evan acknowledges. Colden (1688-1776) was a natural philosopher, physician, and politician. Born in Ireland, he studied in Edinburgh and London, and then started a medical practice in Philadelphia. In 1717, he relocated to New York and in 1720 he became that colony's Surveyor General, hence his expertise on the province as referenced by Evans. Colden went on to serve as lieutenant governor and acting governor of New York in 1760-61, 1763-5, 1769-70, 1774-5. Colden corresponded with Franklin and encouraged him to found the American Philosophical Society; Colden's own interests were in cartography and calculus, specifically in correcting perceived errors on the part of Isaac Newton.
In addition to Alexander and Colden, Evans names several other gentleman in a text box in the lower left corner who gave him access to their own map collections for reference. These include Nicholas Scull II (1687-1761), surveyor and cartographer who served as the Surveyor General of Pennsylvania from 1748 to 1761, and John Lydius, who is possibly the colonial official and trader John Henry Lydius (1694-1791) who lived in upstate New York but who also did business in Pennsylvania. Isaac Norris (1701-1766), merchant, who served in the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, worked closely with Benjamin Franklin to develop the colony. His library was famous in Philadelphia. Evans also thanks Nicholas Stilwil, Joseph Reeves, and George Smith for use of their collections.
Evans also mentions two specific maps as references, although he was not acquainted with their makers. Among these are "Mr. Lawrence's new Division of Jersey", which divided the province of New Jersey into East and West Jersey. The line was created by John Lawrence, a surveyor, in 1743 and settled a dispute that had been raging since the 1670s.
Next, Evans references "Mr. Noxon's Map of the Three lower Counties." Thomas Noxon (d. 1743) was a landowner with holdings in the Middle Colonies and the West Indies. He was elected to the Assembly of the Three Lower Counties, which is now the state of Delaware. Pennsylvania had jurisdiction over the Lower Counties, and Noxon surveyed the area with Benjamin Eastburn in order to clarify the boundary line between the two. He had learned to survey while in the West Indies.
As mentioned, Evans' 1755 map was accompanied by a geographic treatise, printed by Benjamin Franklin, which also had editorial comments about the state of the colonies. In particular, Evans thought the British government too lenient toward French encroachment in the Ohio River Valley. Other of Evans' writings went farther, hinting at the collusion of the British government with the French. Unsurprisingly, these comments upset the colonial administration. Evans was imprisoned for libel of Pennsylvania's governor, Robert Hunter Morris. He died in 1756 in New York, just three days after he was released from prison.
The Frankfurt Edition
Klinefelter explains that this Frankfurt edition was the "highest compliment" ever paid abroad to the 1749 Evans map. A newly commissioned comparison of the English and German text reveals small, yet interesting, differences. First, certain of the anecdotal notes have been moved when the text was reordered and placed in numbered blocks. Text block 6, which discusses where indigenous peoples, by their own tradition, found corn, tobacco, squash, and pompions, has been moved from a geographic location (near the Onwganixom Mountains) to be justified with the left border. Other changes include an explanation of English terms, such "the tide runs to" and "the time of high water", and the conversion of English miles to German miles via equatorial degrees.
The largest change is an additional block of text not found on the English original. It describes the post road system that existed between New York, Philadelphia and other sizeable towns. The German text, block 21, reads:
Message from the newly erected post offices in North America, to which Philadelphia belongs: Since the creation of the general postmaster office in North America, the mail from West America leaves Philadelphia every Friday; the mail for Burlington and Perth Amboy is being delivered [along the way] and [the rest] arrives Sunday night in New York, the road between Philadelphia and New York is about 106 English Miles. From New York the mail goes further up east every Monday morning and arrives Thursday noon in Seabrook. This makes 150 Miles. In that very place, the mail leaves at the exact same time again for Boston and, like the New York mail is sent back with the mail from the east, this one returns with the mail from the west. The parcels are deposited in North London, Stormington, Rhodes Island and Bristol; the mail from Boston to Piscataway, a distance of about 70 miles, delivers letters to Ipswich, Salem, to Marblehead and Newberry. The Offices are established in Burlington, Perth Amboy in New Jersey, North London und Stormington in Connecticut, on Rhodes Island, in Bristol, Ipswich, Marblehead and New Berry. The three main offices are in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, from where the royal post master prints the books, Benjamin Fränklin.
Some of the information for this additional text comes from another map, Herman Moll's New England, New York, New Jersey and Pensilvania (London, 1729), which is generally considered to be the earliest American map to show post roads. Also known as the post road map, Moll's map contains "An account of ye Post of ye continent of Nth. America as they were Regulated by ye Postmasters Genl. of ye Post House." In the lower right corner, a text box covers the same locations and distances as the Frankfurt edition.
The German text in the Evans map goes on to discuss Benjamin Franklin and identifying him as the Royal Post Master in the Colonies, showing the author was aware of current events and providing the map with yet another Franklin connection.
This map was most likely reprinted quickly in Frankfurt as an encouragement to the already thriving German immigration to the British American colonies, and particularly to Pennsylvania. The additional post office text would appeal to prospective immigrants. It would give them some idea of the distances involved, the towns, but also reassure them that the whole of the country was connected and that mail could keep families in touch over the miles.
The first German settlement in the colonies was Germantown, established in 1683 by Quakers and Mennonites escaping religious persecution in their homelands. They chose Pennsylvania thanks to the preaching of William Penn in the Rhine Valley. Others came because their lands had been destroyed during the Thirty Years War and other conflicts. More settlements followed, for example Skippack in 1702 and Oley and Conestoga in 1709. These colonists came mainly from the southwest of Germany, areas then known as the Rhineland, Palatinate, Wurtemberg, Baden, and German Switzerland.
Roughly 65,000 German immigrants arrived in Philadelphia between 1727 and 1775; even more came through other ports. The largest wave of immigrants arrived between 1749 and 1754, precisely when this map was printed in Frankfurt.
Identity of the Publisher
But who published this map? Frankfurt was home to several map publishers at the time, but the most likely candidate is Heinrich Ludwig Broenner. Active from 1735 to 1779, Broenner was prolific. Included in his output, in 1750, was a book on Nova Scotia and the British and French colonial politics in the region. Clearly, Broenner thought there was a German market interested in the American colonies. He would later copy Samuel Holland's map entitled The Provinces of New York, and New Jersey . . .
Additionally, in 1748, Broenner published "Ausfurhliche Nachricht von Zinzendorfs Unternehmungen in Pennsylvania 1742-43," or "A detailed account of Zinzendorf's operations in Pennsylvania 1742-43." Zinzendorf refers to Nicolaus Ludwig, Reichsgraf von Zinzendorf und Pottendorf (1700-1760), a bishop in the Moravian Church. Interested in missionary work from the 1730s, in 1739 Zinzendorf himself travelled to St. Thomas in the West Indies to visit his mission there.
Next, Zinzendorf traveled the American colonies on the mainland, where he met with Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. In 1741, along with fellow Bishop David Nitschmann, Zinzendorf founded a small mission in Pennsylvania that was supposed to convert indigenous peoples and German-speaking immigrants already in the area. They named their mission Bethlehem and the settlement is now the sixth largest city in Pennsylvania.
Broenner's tapping of an interest in the Pennsylvania mission, and a wider interest in the American colonies, makes him the most likely candidate as publisher of this map.
The map is of the utmost rarity. The only confirmed copies are held by the Library of Congress (acquired in or before 1929) and the University Library Johann Christian Senckenberg in Frankfurt. The original 1749 Evans has appeared only twice on the market in the past fifty years (Sothebys 1991: $30,800 and Streeter 1967: $5,500).
Translation of the German text, with differences from the English edition in italics
Special land map of Pensilvania, New Jersey, New York and of the three counties along the Delaware River
In America printed in English A[nno] 1749. In Europe published in German in Frankfurt am M[ain]. A[nno] 1750.
- Published by Ludwig Evans on the 25th of March 1749, licensed by a parliamentary act
- At Philadelphia, after several years of observations, the extreme degrees on the barometer were v. 28.b.59. and v. 30.b.78. degree. Also, observations in several years to find the highest heat and cold, according to the small Fahrenheit thermometer, showed an increase from 14° b. to 84 degree.
- All our great storms begin from below, from the side towards/against the wind. A north-easterly storm is said to be a day earlier in Virginia than in Boston. There are similar changes here, particularly strange, in regards to the degrees of heat and cold, which occur in Philadelphia every third or fourth day, but not so often northwards. The navigation in Philadelphia is obstructed almost every winter by the ice for two or three months and, even though the North River is longer frozen than the Delaware River, North York allows for better winter navigation due to its proximity to salt water. The Delaware Bay as well as the North York bay are completely free of ship worms. The land winds raise at good weather the thickest fogs, and are drawing the humidity from the rivers and coasts. They come into collision in such a great amount that they, until they are dispersed by the sun or other causes, obstruct the shimmering movement of the light in direct lines. After the fogs have lifted, we have the strongest heat and very often thunderstorms and downpours towards the evening.
- The thunderstorms do not arise without reason but due to the contact of sea and land clouds. The sea clouds are coming from the sea charged with electricity or an electricity attracting power and when they are met by others they do break each other off so that the equilibrium or the balance is restored through the cracks of thunder after the lightning; and the cracking thunderclaps are the more dreadful the more opposing the winds and the larger and thicker the clouds are. Thus suddenly deprived of the general element or reason of the counteracting substance, the sea clouds are compressed and the water falls down in heavy downpours.
- The land winds, which blow over a broad, shadowy (and very often still frozen) solid soil (on both sides of the mountains), are therefore always dry and cold; the sea winds, however, are wet and warm, the north-east wind is a constant high mountain wind and mostly wet and the south-west wind is uncertain and unsteady, the hottest weather is accompanied by a south wind and a silent sea; the coldest is linked to a north-west wind, the snow comes from north- and north-east wind, the rainy and stormy weather from north-east and east wind, and the high dry wind comes from west. The land winds are blowing for three quarters of the year.
- This country has been admirably looked after by the mountain; and the country's inhabitants are now enjoying the fruits of the burdens of their first settlement and plantation, the country roads are also very well accommodated, the comfortable and required pieces or material are never missing here to furnish the Industrious with abundance. This is also a country of liberty and good laws, where justice is administered without harshness or partiality.
- The Indian corn, tobacco, beans, melons (squashes and pompions) were first invented [planted] by the inhabitants according to their traditions.[ placed in a different spot than on the English edition]
- Indian town where the general assembly of the confederate republic of six nations meets.
- Even though the Susquehana River is the widest within the English territory, it does not allow for sea navigation because of its lower waterfalls and the rocks and sands at its mouth. But where it meets, with the length and breadth of its branches, the areas on the [other] side of the mountain, there it changes for the convenience of Indian navigation with their canoes. From the lakes at the origin of this branch, until the waterfall below Wioming, there is no obstruction, and from there to Paxton are five or six waterfalls, which one can pass fairly safely at fresh/high water.
- Indian Canoes may well go from this lake to Pennsylvania, this is with the fresh waters.
- This mountain range is a continuation of the Allegany mountains.
- The dotted or dashed line shows the path the author had to take anno 1743 from Pennsylvania to Oswego in order to make this chart.
- In this area a mine was found with excellent millstones.
- The frontier of Pennsylvania according to royal patent.
- The Endless Mountains
- Station Post Cushixtunk Var 6:35 1746 8:___ 1719.
- The Cayuga branch is almost as wide as Schuylkill, Tohicon
- A road to Shamokin, very badly to pass
- Explanations of some main symbols: There are provinces, counties, 'comities' [probably meaning county as well] or earldoms towns or villages - fields - camps - houses - forts - place to carry [anchoring berth] fares, duties &c. - Indian villages, T.B. "The tide runs to" [in English], when low tide is at one place, or the six hourly recede of the water following the lunar orbit, and the Roman or Latin figures and numbers. "The time of high water" [in English]: the high tide or full influx of the sea or currents of water. Here, I have to inform the reader that I had to use small marks for the towns in order to better secure their precise location or position and [I had] to indicate their merit through different sort of symbols; the other towns, if not as precise and noteworthy, are not as firmly drawn.
- Message from the newly erected post offices in North America, to which Philadelphia belongs: Since the creation of the general postmaster office in North America, the mail from West America leaves Philadelphia every Friday; the mail for Burlington and Perth Amboy is being delivered [along the way] and [the rest] arrives Sunday night in New York, the road between Philadelphia and New York is about 106 English Miles. From New York the mail goes further up east every Monday morning and arrives Thursday noon in Seabrook. This makes 150 Miles. In that very place, the mail leaves at the exact same time again for Boston and, like the New York mail is sent back with the mail from the east, this one returns with the mail from the west. The parcels are deposited in North London, Stormington, Rhodes Island and Bristol; the mail from Boston to Piscataway, a distance of about 70 miles, delivers letters to Ipswich, Salem, to Marblehead and Newberry. The Offices are established in Burlington, Perth Amboy in New Jersey, North London und Stormington in Connecticut, on Rhodes Island, in Bristol, Ipswich, Marblehead and New Berry. The three main offices are in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, from where the royal post master prints the books, Benjamin Fränklin.
- This branch here is encompassed and surrounded by branches of the Allegeney river and a northern branch of the Potomack. It is about 40 miles, convenient regarding conduct and tariffs, and from there till Shamokin merchants require commonly seven days to come down with fresh water [high water/floods]. There is only one waterfall along the road.
- Only a temporary boundary, "temporaru" so came to an end A. 1739
- Remarks on endless constant mountains These mountains reach in length about 900 miles and are on the back Pennsylvania's from 70 to 100 miles cutting athwart and across each other so that scarcely an acre ["morgen"], so generally 720 feet in length, can be erected that does not reach the mountains within 10 miles. The same [mountains] are also not disorderly scattered in a way that here and there they are fragmented into high peaks, one in front of the other, but they spread out with constant peaks. I have also scarcely see them [running] ½ mile in perpendicular direction in any place. They give a constant reason for the different ways of explaining the creation of the world and its view, but for me the known system is that this world took its shape through the destruction of another, since the creation. Legs [probably meaning bones] and shells, which escaped the fate of the substances of alien [in the sense of foreign/unknown] animals and remain, we [ can find - verb missing in this phrase] mixed with the old materials and in delicate condition in the loose stones and rocky grounds of the very highest peaks. These mountains existed in their currently high erected height already before the fall / original sin, but not as now with their current low soily ground. The most distant ridge of these high peaks, which are the most widest and elevated, come gradually from their slope to their lowest height at the sea and find parts of a rich country, plain and level on the water, whereas the valleys on this side seem swept of all their soil. This height made them without a doubt less exposed to the other general devastations and preserved them undamaged, but since then their soil and the loose parts of their lower hills and lower valleys has been moved back and forth through the large prevalence of water and it has been raised and swept away, through the pounding of the thrashing waves, and hereafter been thrown downwards, "in stratis" or layers of different sorts as the big water waves roll up from different parts, as in our lower lands, they seem to come without movement northwards and westward of Rariton and of the Delaware River towards us. But in New Jersey, however, on the other side of these rivers, the land was created by an accumulation of sands of the great Ocean. If one digs here 18 feet deep, and removes the sand, one reaches a stratum or a layer of sea mud mixed with all sorts of shells and useless stuff drifted together. Also, in several places one finds vast layers of shells of all sorts, broken up or complete, even 30 miles away from the sea. Doctor Woodward wants to discover and show, using countless examples, that this world had been in a state of dissolution or disintegration. However, the power he ascribes to the waters of the deluge is similarly too much of a miracle or wonder to believe in. We have clear signs of a flood also of much more recent time, which the county of Britain might not have and which might have not entered the doctor's mind.
- I am almost not bold enough to admit that the specified longitude is not as exact as one would wish for since several eclipses we observed and calculated according to the spreadsheets, result in different distances from the meridian in London. In this respect the following 'occultations' or concealments of the Jupiter or Mars were noticed, and perhaps they were also observed in Europe so they may bring correctness and order into this issue. 13 March 1740 o I.O.S. p. Tem. Aeq. it was observed with a 12 foot telescope by T.G.& L.E. how Jupiter touched the moon at 7h:5':35'', immersed at 7h:7':30'', came back into vision at 8h:2':20'' and finally became completely free at 8h:4':10'' pm. The Mars was seen, with naked eye, as completely obfuscated by the dark side of the moon, about one inch from its upper limbo or level on 27 March 1745, at 8'41'pm p. Tem aeq. by T. Gottfrid.
- Var. 5°25W, the variation thus diminished by 1° in 18 or 20 years in this Lat. for the past 70 years.
- 69 English miles equal one equatorial degree according to this mile index
- One German mile consists of 5000 geometrical steps, others say 4000, generally one counts 15 German miles to one equatorial degree
- I have omitted nothing at my disposal to publish this chart as complete as possible. Even though no distance could be measured precisely, at least not by true measurement, the forests being so thick, but I can attest that they are more meticulous and complete as could be well expected that I would achieve it. But this deserved laudation is beyond my own. To fulfil the duty to complete the areas to which our plantations and discoveries do not yet extent, I have added diverse myself or received it from others. I have, for example, received several useful comments from physics or from our commerce. Otherwise justly deserving my obedience, thank, and debt are several noblemen due to their mild generosity, particularly Mr. Nich. Scull, Joseph Reeves, Ge. Smith, John Lydius & Nich Stilwil in assisting me with their thoughts and discoveries. I have, furthermore, received assistance from several other gentlemen, with whom I was not directly acquainted, from whom I received extracts, manuscripts, and printed charts from the northern mountains. Mr Laurentü's division line from Jersey, and Mr. Noxon's chart of the three lower counties were particularly noteworthy. I also received great help from the collections of Isaac Norris and James Alexander, both knights as they were possessing diverse ground plans I could not find elsewhere. Similarly is the largest part of the county of New York is owed to the admirable knight Cadwallader Colden.
- The use of this table is as follows: Look for the numbers of the towns, of which you wish to know the distance, then you will find the answer in the corner or panel of their meeting. And when you add together the intermediate or in-between lying distances, which are added to the chart, you will hardly miss the distance of any place contained therein.
- Necessary interpretation of some English words, abbreviated and partially translated are: [word-for-word of most words for geographic places, like beach and fort] The English chart has been augmented with some new and additional z. Ex. V. d. of the English Post Offices in North America, and explained with these words.
Evans, Lewis. Geographical, Historical, Political, Philosophical and Mechanical Essays. Philadelphia: B. Franklin and D. Hall, 1755.
Franklin to Alexander, 15 August 1745, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-03-02-0012
Gipson, Lawrence Henry. Lewis Evans. Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1939.
Hallock, Thomas. “Between Accommodation and Usurpation: Lewis Evans, Geography, and the Iroquois-British Frontier, 1743–1784.” American Studies 44, no. 3 (2003): 121–46.
Lingelbach, William E. “Franklin and the Lewis Evans Map of 1749.” Library Bulletin of the American Philosophical Society for 1945 (1945): 45–55.
Klinefelter, Walter. “Lewis Evans and his Maps.” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 61, no. 7 (1971): 3-65.
Tiedemann, Joseph S. “Interconnected Communities: The Middle Colonies on the Eve of t
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.