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The Extremely Rare First Edition of The First Map of the Island of Martha's Vineyard. From an Exceedingly Important Revolutionary-War Era Text that Inspired More Europeans to Move to the Newly Created United States than Any other Book (Vail).

Fine example of the earliest obtainable map of Martha's Vineyard, published in 1782 as part of Michel Guillaume St. Jean de Crevecoeur's Letters from an American Farmer. This is the first time that we have offered this English first edition of the map.

The map focuses on Martha's Vineyard, the Elizabeth Islands, Chapoquidick Island, Vineyard Strait, and part of the coast of Cape Cod. The Vineyard is depicted in considerable detail, including topographical features, roads to the island's towns and villages, and meeting houses. There are numerous interesting notations throughout.

Letters from an American Farmer

The epistolary novel Letters from an American Farmer, published by the French immigrant St. Jean de Crevecoeur, describes the lifestyle of farming on the island of Nantucket in the period immediately preceding the Revolutionary War. Written from the point of view of someone corresponding with an English gentleman, the book was only moderately popular in the US but proved a success in Europe, so much so that it is credited with spurring a wave of French migration.

Several of the work's letters deal with the island of Nantucket, describing the politics and customs of the island, focusing on its Quaker society.

Publication History

The map was first published in 1782 as part of Letters from an American Farmer. It was later re-engraved with a French title by Tardieu in 1785, but this edition was not published until 1787, alongside a later edition of Crevecoeur's Lettre d'un Cultivateur Americain. This is one of two important maps that appeared in the Letters, with the other being an extremely early and detailed map of Nantucket, visible here in the French edition. All editions of all maps are scarce, although the 1782 first edition maps are particularly rare.

Condition Description
Lower ½ inch of paper (including bottom neatline) expertly reinstated. Inconspicuous archival leafcast support to the back of the original folds.