1832 S.D.U.K. Map of Lower Canada (Quebec)

North America Sheet II Lower Canada and New Brunswick with Part of New York, Vermont and Maine.

1832 S.D.U.K. Map of Lower Canada (Quebec)


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North America Sheet II Lower Canada and New Brunswick with Part of New York, Vermont and Maine.
  1832 (dated)    13.5 x 16 in (34.29 x 40.64 cm)     1 : 1770000


A beautiful 1832 map of Lower Canada with parts of Maine and New Brunswick. Centered on the St. Lawrence River, it covers part of Quebec or Lower Canada from Vaudreuil to the Chaleur Bay and south as far as Penobscot Bay. Includes Montreal, Quebec City and the St. Lawrence Valley. Parts of New Brunswick, Vermont and New York are also included. In Canada, the map includes several interesting notes, such as, 'The Indians report this country to be full of small Lakes and Streams,' 'Rugged and Hilly Country' etc.

Canadian provinces and territories were under British and French control from the 16th century, until France gave up its claims in the Treaty of Paris in 1763. In 1791, under the Constitutional Act, the Province of Quebec was divided into Upper and Lower Canada, until in 1841, it Lower Canada was united into the Province of Canada. Canada would remain a collection of British colonies until its confederation in 1867, when the British Province of Canada was divided into Quebec and Ontario and the British colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia incorporated as Canadian provinces.

Published in 1832 by Baldwin and Cradock of Paternoster Row for the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, or S.D.U.K. Although the Society formally closed its doors in 1848, subsequent reissues of the S.D.U.K. atlas were printed well into the 1870s by Chapman and Hall, who acquired the original plates.


The "Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge" was a Whiggish organization founded in 1828 at the instigation of idealistic British lord Henry Peter Brougham. The admirable goal of the Society was to distribute useful information via a series of publications to the English working and middle classes. It promoted self-education and the egalitarian sharing of all knowledge. While closely tied to the London University and publishing houses on the order of Baldwin and Cradock, Chapman and Hall, and Charles Knight, the Society failed to achieve its many lofty goals in finally closed its doors in 1848. Most likely the failure of the Society resulted from its publications being too expensive for its intended lower to middle class markets and yet not large and fine enough to appeal to the aristocratic market. Nonetheless, it did manage to publish several extraordinary atlases of impressive detail and sophistication. Their most prominent atlas consisted of some 200 separately issued maps initially published by Baldwin and Cradock and sold by subscription from 1829 to 1844. Afterwards, the Society combined the maps into a single world atlas published under the Chapman and Hall imprint. In its day, this atlas was unprecedented in its quality, scope, and cost effectiveness. Today Society, or S.D.U.K. as it is commonly known, maps are among the most impressive examples of mid-19th century English mass market cartographic publishing available. The S.D.U.K. is especially known for its beautiful and accurately detailed city plans.


Maps of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, (London: Baldwin & Cradock), 1832.    


Very good. Blank on verso.


Rumsey 0890.129. Phillips (Atlases) 794.