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The First Map of The Complete Province of the Pennsylvania

Finely engraved map of the Province of Pennsylvania by Thomas Kitchin, Geographer, and printed by R. Baldwin for the London Magazine, 1756.

A fine example of this scarce map of Colonial Pennsylvania. This is the first map of Pennsylvania itself, rather than the Philadelphia or Mid-Atlantic regions. It pre-dates the larger and better known 1759 Scull map by three years.

The map is very crisply detailed with roads, portages, forts, towns and villages, watershed and mountains. A surprising number of roads run between Philadelphia and towns in the southeast portion of the colony, running all the way to Fort Cumberland in Maryland. In the western frontier there are several Indian tribes and villages located, as well as several settlements including Petroleum, Wenang, Fort du Quesne and more.

The map was printed for R. Baldwin in Pater Noster Row, and appeared in the December 1756 issue of the London Magazine. It is based on the 1749 Evans map and incorporates the 1732 boundary accord of Lord Baltimore and the Penns, which set the boundary at essentially its present position. The boundary with New York is placed at about 42° 30' and is labeled "not yet settled." The western boundary is a mirror image of the eastern and is placed just west of Fort du Quesne.

The map is very up-to-date with the Ohiopyle Falls on the Youghiogheny River identified. As was the practice of the day, longitude from Philadelphia is noted at top, from London at the bottom. Legend identifies Indian Towns, Roads, and Trading Paths.

Decorative title cartouche with ships at anchor.

Thomas Kitchin Biography

Thomas Kitchin was a British cartographer and engraver. Born in Southwark, England, Kitchin was the eldest of several children. He was apprenticed to the map engraver Emanuel Bowen from 1732 to 1739, and he married Bowen’s daughter, Sarah, in December 1739. By 1741 Kitchin was working independently and in 1746 he began taking on apprentices at his firm. His son Thomas Bowen Kitchin was apprenticed to him starting in 1754. By 1755 Kitchin was established in Holborn Hill, where his firm produced all kinds of engraved materials, including portraits and caricatures. He married his second wife, Jane, in 1762. Beginning in 1773 Kitchin was referred to as Hydrographer to the King, a position his son also later held. He retired to St. Albans and continued making maps until the end of his life.

A prolific engraver known for his technical facility, clean lettering, and impressive etched decorations, Kitchin produced several important works throughout his career. He produced John Elphinstone’s map of Scotland in 1746, and the first pocket atlas of Scotland, Geographia Scotiae, in 1748/1749. He co-published The Small English Atlas in 1749 with another of Bowen’s apprentices, Thomas Jefferys. He produced The Large English Atlas serially with Emanuel Bowen from 1749 to 1760. The latter was the most important county atlas since the Elizabethan era, and the first real attempt to cover the whole country at a large scale. In 1755 Kitchin engraved the important John Mitchell map of North America, which was used at the peace treaties of Paris and Versailles. In 1770 he produced the twelve-sheet road map England and Wales and in 1769–70 he produced Bernhard Ratzer’s plans of New York. In 1783, he published The Traveller’s Guide through England and Wales.