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Fine example of the first edition of Cary's map of the Southern United States and Bahama Islands, extending the East Coast to the Mississippi River and from Tennessee and the Carolinas to Florida, the Bahamas and the Gulf Coast.

A massive Georgia extends from the Atlantic to the Mississippi River, as it existed immediately prior to the creation of Mississippi Territory (created in 1798, but not widely depicted on maps for another decade). Many remarkable notes are present, including the hunting grounds of the Western Party and Six Villages along the Mississippi and the Eastern Party due east thereof, between the Yasoo and Tombechbe Rivers, notes regarding the destruction of Chatchioomas and Fort Francois in 1736 and 1729 respectively, and a host of other interesting notes in Western Georgia. The region controlled by the Chickasaws and Upper Creeks names dozens of villages and other places and includes early roads. The Cherokee region is also well depicted. Many roads are shown in the Carolinas and some in Tennessee as well. Many early forts are depicted.

The map provides an excellent treatment of East and West Florida, the latter of which was still under Spanish control until 1812, although claimed as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. In Florida, Fort St. Marks, Apalacha Fort, and the roads across from St. Augustin are shown, with a note that the Apalachees Villages are now deserted. Southern Florida is Ancient Tegesta and The Promontory. A Lake and River system connects Mayaco Lake with the St. Johns River.

John Cary Biography

John Cary (1755-1835) was a British cartographer and publisher best known for his clean engraving and distinct style which influenced the entire map industry. Born in Wiltshire, John was apprenticed to an engraver in London. He started his own business by 1782 and moved to several premises before settling at 86 St James’s Street in 1820.

Cary had several significant collaborations during his career. John Wallis and Cary diversified Cary’s business to include broader publishing projects. Brother William and John made globes together, while brother Francis participated in the company’s engraving work. Finally, geologist William Smith and Cary developed and sold geological maps, some of the first of their kind. The pair also produced a notable series of county maps starting in 1819. Cary’s atlases, of English counties and the world, were the standard texts of the early nineteenth century. He was appointed surveyor of roads to the General Post Office in 1794, which led to the New Itinerary, first published in 1798.  

John trained his son, George, in engraving and George and his other son, John Jr., took over the business in 1821. It was then known as G. and J. Cary and continued in trade until 1850. The firm’s materials were then acquired by George Frederick Cruchley and then Gall and Inglis. By the time John died in 1835, Cary was the authoritative name in private map publishing and his business was a leader in the field throughout the first half of the nineteenth century.