Sign In

Forgot Password Create Account
Description

One of the earliest obtainable maps of New York Harbor, from Bellin's Le Petit Atlas Maritime.

The map shows Manhattan, Staten Island, western Long Island with the city of Gravesend, now a district of Brooklyn, as well as the cities of Neversink (Navesink), Ambois (Perth Amboy), Woodbridge, Elizabeth , Middletown and Newark.

The plan is taken from the Petit Atlas maritime, one of the most interesting and complete atlases of the eighteenth century, based on documents from the Depot des Cartes de la Marine. Announced in the Journal de Trévoux in January 1765, it was published thanks to the contribution of the Duke of Choiseul who covered a large part of the expenses.  

Jacques Nicolas Bellin Biography

Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772) was among the most important mapmakers of the eighteenth century. In 1721, at age 18, he was appointed hydrographer (chief cartographer) to the French Navy. In August 1741, he became the first Ingénieur de la Marine of the Depot des cartes et plans de la Marine (the French Hydrographic Office) and was named Official Hydrographer of the French King.

During his term as Official Hydrographer, the Depot was the single most active center for the production of sea charts and maps, including a large folio format sea-chart of France, the Neptune Francois. He also produced a number of sea-atlases of the world, e.g., the Atlas Maritime and the Hydrographie Francaise. These gained fame, distinction, and respect all over Europe and were republished throughout the 18th and even in the succeeding century.

Bellin also came out with smaller format maps such as the 1764 Petit Atlas Maritime, containing 580 finely detailed charts. He also contributed many of the maps for Bellin and contributed a number of maps to the 15-volume Histoire Generale des Voyages of Antoine François Prévost or simply known l'Abbe Prevost.

Bellin set a very high standard of workmanship and accuracy, thus gaining for France a leading role in European cartography and geography. Many of his maps were copied by other mapmakers of Europe.