Philadelphia at the Conclusion of the French & Indian War
An excellent map of the island of Philadelphia and environs, from Bellin's Petit Atlas Maritime.
The map is based upon Scull & Heap's rare separately published map of Philadelphia, first issued in 1752.
The map indicates Philadelphia’s original boundaries, from river to river and from South to Vine Streets – the extent of the city until its consolidation with Philadelphia County in 1854.
Perhaps the most famous map of Philadelphia, the Scull & Heap map went through many editions beginning in 1752. The Holme's grid plan for the city lies at the center of the map, with an open Centre Square and the Court House the only indicated features.
Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772) was among the most important mapmakers of the eighteenth century. In 1721, at only the age of 18, he was appointed Hydrographer to the French Navy. In August 1741, he became the first Ingénieur de la Marine of the Dépôt 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 Dépôt was the one of the most active centers for the production of sea charts and maps in Europe. Their output included a folio-format sea atlas of France, the Neptune Francois. He also produced a number of sea atlases of the world, including the Atlas Maritime and the Hydrographie Francaise. These gained fame and distinction all over Europe and were republished throughout the eighteenth and even in the nineteenth century.
Bellin also produced smaller format maps such as the 1764 Petit Atlas Maritime, containing 580 finely-detailed charts. He also contributed a number of maps for the 15-volume Histoire Generale des Voyages of Antoine François Prévost.
Bellin set a very high standard of workmanship and accuracy, cementing France's leading role in European cartography and geography during this period. Many of his maps were copied by other mapmakers across the continent.