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An Important Early Sea Chart of the British Colonies in North America

A fine early sea chart of Colonial America, of the area from Cape Hatteras to the Cape Cod region, centered on "New Nederland," published by Gerard Van Kuelen.

The map includes an early copy of the Holme plan of Philadelphia (the first printed plan of Philadelphia) and an early plan of Boston Harbor, reflecting the Dutch interest in trade with its regional neighbors.

The map was originally issued by Hendrik Doncker circa 1688, with the plate later acquired and significantly reworked by Van Kuelen, including a new English Language cartouche and inset map of Boston Harbor. Van Keulen also added many new place names along the coast. In describing the map, Burden notes:

It appears that to incorporate the inset the Delaware River has been 'pushed' in a south-easterly direction, in the meantime influencing the shape of the colony of New Jersey. The Delaware River is dominated by Dutch toponyms, only Philadelphia and Penn-Sylvania bearing witness to the English presence.

The region of New Jersey is still prominently claimed for the Dutch, as is the territory stretching eastwards to Rhode Island. The cartography for much of the coastline is drawn from the charts of Arent Roggeveen published in 1675. This is particularly noticeable from the depictions of Cape Cod, Long Island and the Chesapeake Bay region. Boston is misplaced to the north of the River Charles.

The present example of the map is the second state, which adds Van Keulen's name and adds a plan of Boston Harbor.  The Boston plan is based upon Mount & Page's New Survey of the Harbour of Boston in New England. Because this second state incorporates scientific data from Edmond Halley, it is believed to date from after 1700.  Burden dates the map to 1706, based upon an edition of the map in the collections at Harvard University.


The map is rare on the market.  We note only 2 examples in dealer catalogs in the past 10 years.

Burden II, #644.