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German map of the British Colonies in the midst of the American Revolutionary War.

Detailed map of the British Colonies in North America, published at the height of the American Revolution. Published in 1777, this detailed map was created to inform the German public regarding the Theater of War in America between the British (as supported by their primarily German Protestant allies under the Diplomatic Revolution of 1756) and the American Colonists (who would shortly thereafter be supported by the French in 1778).

The map is based on the cartography of J.B.B. D'Anville, although the political boundaries are British leaning, based upon Thomas Jefferys' map of the British Colonies published in 1755 for the political detail.

In the margins, there are early annotations in German regarding the contents of the map. The map depicts the various British colonial claims, including:

  • Bounds of Hudson Bay by the Treaty of Utrecht
  • North Limits of New England by Charter of 1620 (to the west of Lake Superior)
  • Boundary between Virginia & New England
  • Boundary between Carolina & Virginia
  • Boundary of South Carolina by Charter of 1663

The map notes many British and English Forts, a well as other points of interest, including Walker's Settlement on the Cumberland or Shannowens River. Many Indian Tribes are also located.

The map is annotated with an historical overview of the English occupation of North America dating back to Cabot in 1497, with a brief historical account of each of the British Colonies. In the top left, a similar account of the French history in North America is given, referencing Cabot, Verazzano (1527), Crozat (1712) and others.

Walker's Settlement

Walker Settlement was established in 1750 by Dr. Thomas Walker (1715-1794), a physician and explorer from Virginia who led an expedition to what is now the region beyond the Allegheny Mountains area of British North America in the mid-18th century. He was responsible for naming what is now known as the Cumberland Plateau and by extension the Cumberland River for the hero of the time, the Duke of Cumberland. His party were some of the first Englishmen to see this area. Previous white explorers were largely of Spanish and French origins. Walker explored Kentucky in 1750, 19 years before the arrival of Daniel Boone.

Homann Heirs Biography

Homann Heirs was a German publishing firm that enjoyed a major place in the European map market throughout the eighteenth century. Founded in 1702 by Johann Baptist Homann, the business passed to his son, Christoph, upon Johann’s death in 1724. Christoph died in 1730, aged only 27, and the firm was inherited by subsequent Homann heirs. This altered the name of the company, which was known as Homann Erben, or Homann heirs. The firm continued in business until 1848.