Antique Map of the British Colonies in North America
An old colonial era map of eastern North America west to the Mississippi River. This is one of the earliest obtainable English maps to focus on the whole of the region, focusing on what would become the United States by the end of the 18th Century.
This map of the eastern part of North America features a prominent, entirely fictitious, mountain range extending from Michigan into Florida, connecting with the Appalachians along the way. The map is based on numerous Jesuit and French sources of information on the Great Lakes and Canada. The error was perpetuated on maps into the nineteenth century.
The English colonies are shown drawn on recent cartography such as the Hermann map of Virginia and Reed map of William Reed's manuscript map of New England, and the recent grants of Pennsylvania and West New Jersey.
The map is a close copy of the Morden & Browne map of the same name, issued in 1695, which is a great rarity on the market. The map includes a wonderful treatment of the Great Lakes, a fascinating transcontinental mountain range from Michigan to Florida, wonderful depiction of the Mississippi River and terrific detail in the British Colonies. Morden's map was an early example of English maps prepared to attack French claims to the lands in the interior parts of North America. Compiled during the War of the League of Augsburg, or King William's War (1689-97), Morden's original map showed the English extending westward, into the regions traditionally claimed by the French. In addition to the Midwest, much of Canada is shown as English. The English colonies along the Atlantic Seaboard are carefully delineated according to English sources, but Canada, the Mississippi Valley, and the Great Lakes are based on French sources, including the maps of Dablon (1672) and Thevenot (1681).
An inset map of Boston Harbor appears next to the title cartouche, based on Thomas Pound's A New Mapp of New England from Cape Codd to Cape Sables (1691).
John Senex (1678-1740) was one of the foremost mapmakers in England in the early eighteenth century. He was also a surveyor, globemaker, and geographer. As a young man, he was apprenticed to Robert Clavell, a bookseller. He worked with several mapmakers over the course of his career, including Jeremiah Seller and Charles Price. In 1728, Senex was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, a rarity for mapmakers. The Fellowship reflects his career-long association as engraver to the Society and publisher of maps by Edmund Halley, among other luminaries. He is best known for his English Atlas (1714), which remained in print until the 1760s. After his death in 1740 his widow, Mary, carried on the business until 1755. Thereafter, his stock was acquired by William Herbert and Robert Sayer (maps) and James Ferguson (globes).