One of the Earliest Obtainable Colonial Georgia Maps -- The Salzburger Colony
Exceptional old color example of this important early town plan of New Ebenezer on the Savannah River, accompanied by a large map of the region from Charleston, South Carolina in the north to Saint Augustine, Florida, with a smaller inset map of the St. Simons River, and Great St. Simon's Island and Jekyll Isle. It also includes a detailed inset of the town's saw mill operation on an arm of the Savannah River.
The Salzburgers were a group of Lutherans who were exiled from their homeland in the Province of Salzburg, now part of Austria. Twenty thousand people fled: 16,000 to East Prussia, 200 to Holland, and 300 to the English colonies in North America, while the rest spread to other locales. The North American group came at the invitation of the Trustees of the Colony of Georgia. Reverend Samuel Urlsperger worked in Augsburg to send the Salzburgers to the colony with the support of the English Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. The Salzburgers went first to Augsburg, then to Rotterdam, where 37 families sailed to Dover, then on to America.
The Salzburgers arrived on March 5, 1734 near Charleston, South Carolina. They continued south and landed at Savannah, Georgia, where they were met by the colony's founder, General Oglethorpe. Their first settlement, on the Ebenezer River, proved inhospitable, so in 1736 they moved to the banks of the Savannah River, where they founded New Ebenezer. With Savannah, founded only three years earlier, as an example, New Ebenezer was laid out on a grid pattern, punctuated by open squares. The importance of Savannah as a model is underlined on the inset map, where Savannah's street grid is included.
New Ebenezer became a thriving town known for its silk trade. By 1741 it had a population of 1,200. The saw mill depicted on the map was built in 1735. The population was stimulated not only by prosperity, but also by more transports of religious exiles, with the last arriving in 1752.
During the Revolutionary War, the British burned the town. It never fully recovered despite some highlights such as a brief period as the capital of Georgia in 1782 and the fact that first governor of the new state, John Adam Treutlen, was from New Ebenezer. The town was abandoned in 1855. Today it is an archaeological site listed on the National Register of Historic Places; only the brick Jerusalem Lutheran Church and a few other buildings survive.
The map was prepared for Samuel Urlsperger's Ausfürhliche Nachrichten von den saltzburgischen emigranten by Matthäus Seutter in 1747. Matthäus Seutter was a brewer's apprentice turned engraver who established a mapmaking business in Augsburg. He became Imperial Geographer under Charles VI in 1732 and published until his death in 1757. Urlsperger, as previously mentioned, was the central organizer of the Salzburger's migration to America. From 1735 until 1752 he edited eighteen editions of Ausfürhliche Nachrichten von den saltzburgischen emigranten, or 'exceptional news of the Salzburger emigrants.' The 'exceptional news' came from the pastors of the communities, as well as reports from the Royal British Commissioner and a Hanoverian nobleman who accompanied with the emigrants.
Ritter, M. "Seutter, Probst and Lotter: An Eighteenth-Century Map Publishing House in Germany", Imago Mundi 53 (2001): 130–135.
Matthäus Seutter (1678-1757) was a prominent German mapmaker in the mid-eighteenth century. Initially apprenticed to a brewer, he trained as an engraver under Johann Baptist Homann in Nuremburg before setting up shop in his native Augsburg. In 1727 he was granted the title Imperial Geographer. His most famous work is Atlas Novus Sive Tabulae Geographicae, published in two volumes ca. 1730, although the majority of his maps are based on earlier work by other cartographers like the Homanns, Delisles, and de Fer.
Alternative spellings: Matthias Seutter, Mathaus Seutter, Matthaeus Seutter, Mattheus Seutter