Detailed map of South Africa revised to May 1, 1899.
Stanford's map of South Africa is noteworthy for the meticulous detail given by Stanford and effort to maintain the most up to date mapping of this region. We are aware of several earlier editions, including a map dated November 1, 1894 and June 18, 1895.
The areas under British control in various shades of pink, up a central corridor made up of South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, and up the east coast through Natal and Zulu Land. Around the British areas were the Germans (Namibia and Tanzania), Portuguese (Angola and Mozambique), the Belgians (Congo Free State) the French (Madagascar) and, of course, the Boers (Transvaal and Orange Free State).
The map identifies: Cape Colony, Natal, Zulu Land, Basuto Land, Orange River Free State, Transvaal, then the "Kalahari Desert," Bechuana Land Protectorat, British Bechuana (Crown Colony), British South Africa, British Central Africa and Nyassa Land Protectorate. From outside of the British borders, the map identifies: Portuguese East Africa (north part called Mozambique) and the south of "German East Africa" (including half of the Tanganijka Lake). To the west, the map identifies: Damara-Land with Great Namaqua Land ("German S.W. Africa", also the British enclave Walfish Bay), Angola (up to Loanda) and British Central Africa. The map also shows the south of the Congo Free State (Belgium) and most of the islands of Madagascar and Comoro.
Edward Stanford (1827-1904) was a prominent British mapmaker and publisher. A native of Holborn in the heart of London, Edward was apprenticed to a printer and stationer at the age of 14. After his first master died, he worked with several others, including Trelawny W. Saunders of Charing Cross. Saunders oversaw young Edward’s early career, ensuring that he became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Associations with the Society eventually brought Sanders much business and gave him a reputation as a publisher of explorers. As testament to this reputation, the Stanford Range in British Columbia was named for him by John Palliser.
Stanford briefly partnered with Saunders in 1852 before striking out on his own in 1853. He was an agent for the Ordnance Survey, the Admiralty, the Geological Survey, the Trigonometrical Survey of India, and the India Office. He also controlled the maps of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, another lucrative source of income. In 1857, Stanford founded his namesake Geographical Establishment, with Saunders and A. K. Johnston as engravers. Thereafter, Stanford was known for his “library maps”, particularly those of Africa and Asia.
Although he had authored many maps, the Harrow Atlas of Modern Geography and a similar volume on classical geography, Stanford is better remembered today as the leader of a successful map business. Ever in search of more inventory, he acquired the plates and stock of John Arrowsmith, heir of the Arrowmsith family firm, in 1874. By 1881 he employed 87 people at his premises at 6 Charing Cross Road, Saunders’ old address. As he aged, he phased in his son Edward Jr. to run the business. He died in 1904. The business survived him, and the Stanford’s shop is still a prominent London landmark today.