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1768 Holland - Jeffreys Map of New York and New Jersey (First Edition)


The Provinces of NEW YORK and NEW JERSEY with part of PENSILVANIA, and  the Governments of TROIS RIVIERES, and MONTREAL: drawn by Capt. Holland. / A Chorographical Map of the Country between Albany, Oswego, Fort Frontenac, and Les Trois Rivieres; Exhibing all the Grands made by the French Governors  on Lake Champlain; & between that Lake & Montreal.
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Title:    The Provinces of NEW YORK and NEW JERSEY with part of PENSILVANIA, and the Governments of TROIS RIVIERES, and MONTREAL: drawn by Capt. Holland. / A Chorographical Map of the Country between Albany, Oswego, Fort Frontenac, and Les Trois Rivieres; Exhibing all the Grands made by the French Governors on Lake Champlain; & between that Lake & Montreal.

Description:    A first issue first edition example of a seminal map. This is a rare and unusual version of the 1768 first edition of Holland and Jefferys seminal map of New York and New Jersey. Depicts the important trade corridor between New York and Montreal, specifically detailing from Delaware Bay northward including parts of eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Long Island, New York Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont as well as the Iroquois League, the Trois Rivieres territories and Montreal, as far as Lac St. Pierre in modern day Quebec. Lower right quadrant features a pictorial title cartouche showing the Hudson River.

This extraordinary map is unusual on many levels in addition to its status as the first edition first state of an extremely rare and important map. Unlike most examples, this map is in an independent issue and has no suggestion that it may have been bound into an atlas. Instead it is linen backed in wall map format. Secondly, though most examples of this map, even other first editions, show the New York-New Jersey border much where it is today, our example was colorized to show the line running considerably south of its currently location – a rarity which can be seen in only three other known examples. While we would not describe this as a different state, as the essential engraving is the same as was used in other 1868 editions, the difference in coloration is fascinating, unusual, and bears attention. This requires a bit of explanation:

Much of the cartography for this map was derived from the work of surveyor Samuel Holland produced in his roles as New York – New Jersey boundary commissioner and later as “Surveyor of the Northern District” for the Board of Trade which governed the crown colonies in America. As this map was being prepared a fierce legal battle raged between the colonies of New York and New Jersey regarding the position of their western border.

The dispute between the New York and New Jersey regarding their western border was long standing and complex. New Jersey contended that its northern border accorded with the findings of a survey issued in 1719, which extended the border northward as far as Station Point, well north of the current line. New York, on the other hand, contended for a southerly border based upon surveys performed in 1686. The Board of Trade commissioned Samuel Holland to create a map of this disputed region. Holland’s work resulted in a manuscript map , now lost, that was submitted to the Board of Trade in England. Holland, who favored New York, argued that the original crown charter defining the New York and New Jersey border was based upon intersecting lines referencing a branching of the Delaware River and the old divide between East and West Jersey. This would put much of what is today northern New Jersey firmly in New York. The dispute was finally settled in 1768 by agreement to a compromised line roughly where it stands today – note 1768 is the same year that Jefferys engraved this map.

In his role as Geographer to the King, Jefferys would have had access to the Holland maps which were prepared for the Board of Trade and sent to London. It is likely that Jefferys used these materials, along with the works of Evans and Colden to compile this much grander map. As the official Royal Geographer, Jefferys would not have been required to ask permission to use any of these materials and indeed, as Powell suggests, it is likely that the “Name of Capt. Holland is put, without his Knowledge or Consent”.

Most likely, Jefferys ordered the peculiar coloration of this map, which follows the southern border NY-NJ border following recommendations in Holland’s notes. Holland advocated for the southerly border that we see colorized here. Probably this is a preliminary state of the map, printed sometime early in 1768, before the compromise boundary was formalized. We have been able to identify only three other examples of this map with the same New York-New Jersey border coloration. One example rests in the Library at Harvard University, another is located in the New York Public Library in New York, and a final example in the New York State Library in Albany. Other examples of the first edition, including those held by the Library of Congress follow the line of the 1868 compromised border.

Holland’s work is also evident in the detailing of New York’s land grants to Vermont and the excellent detail offered in the Albany area.

Notes forts and military installations along the Hudson and elsewhere. Though surprisingly accurate in reference to the heavily populated part of New York and New Jersey, accuracy falls off considerably in the west and in the American Indian regions to the North. Jefferys also notes the influence of other cartographers including Evans, Bond, Morris, and of course Holland.

In the years to follow this important map would go through several subsequent revisions and reissues. The most notable later version is the 1775 Sayer and Bennett atlas issue of the map, which is somewhat common. Our issue, the first state of the 1768 first edition, has not appeared on the market in the last 30 years.

The original owner of this map, whose bookplate is on the verso, appears to have been William Lyon of New Haven Connecticut. In 1775 Lyon was a Lieutenant in the Continental Army who is recorded as serving in Boston. A gravestone near New Haven Connecticut bears his name and the rank of colonel. It is conceivable that Lyon examined this very map to plan strategies during his time of service with the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.


Date:    1768 (undated)

Source:    Seems to be an independent issue, though a similar example appears in Thomas Jeffery's General Topography of North America and the West Indies, 1768.    

References:    Allen, David Y., "Comparing Eighteenth-Century Map of New York State Using Digital Imagery", http://www.nymapsociety.org/FEATURES/ALLEN.HTM. Schwarz, Philip J., The Jarring Interests New York's Boundary Makers, 1664-1776 p. 133 - 190. Tooley, R. V. The Mapping of America, #44. Library of Congress, G3800 1768 .H6 Vault (1868 edition). New York Public Library, Map Div. 97-6176 [LHS 815], Map Div. 01-5334 (similar NJ-NY border). Phillips, Maps of America, p. 502; Phillips 1196. McCorkle (#768.3, 775.6, 776.13). Sellers & van Ee (#1039-40, 1042-43, 1045-46). Ristow, Walter W., American Maps and Mapmakers, page 52.

Cartographer:    Samuel Holland (1728 - 1801) was a surveyor and cartographer of extraordinary skill and dedication. Holland was born in the Netherlands in 1728 and, at 17, joined the Dutch Army where he attained the rank of Lieutenant. Around 1754 Holland emigrated to England where he joined the newly forming American Regiment. His skills as a cartographer and surveyor brought him to the attention of his superiors who offered him steady promotion. In 1760 he prepared an important survey of the St. Lawrence River system. It was during this survey that Holland met a young James Cook, who he mentored in the art of surveying. Cook, best known for his exploration of the Pacific, developed many of his own revolutionary nautical surveying techniques based the systems he learnt from Holland. In 1762 Holland caught the attention of the Commission of Trade and Plantations, who governed the British Crown Colonies in America. Under the umbrella of the Trade Commission Holland prepared surveys of the Hudson River Valley and other New York properties. In 1764 he was named "Surveyor General for the Northern District", the position in which he did much of his most important work. Holland is best known for his seminal cartography and surveying done in an attempt to sort out the New York - New Jersey border conflict. Following his work in New York Holland relocated to Canada where, with his new wife of just 21 years, he sired seven children. Samuel Holland died in Quebec in 1801. Click here for a list of rare maps by Samuel Holland.

Cartographer:    Thomas Jefferys (1695 - 1771) was one of the most prominent and prolific map publishers and engravers of his day. Our first records of Jefferys appear in the 1735 when he was apprenticed to Emmual Bowen. Later, in the 1740s he engraved several maps for the popular periodical The Gentlemans' Magazine. Around 1740 Jefferys was finally able to go into business for himself and in 1746 received an appointment as "Geographer to Fredrick, Prince of Wales", which shortly after translated to the position of "Royal Cartographer to King George III". While not specifically a cartographer, Jefferys specialized in compiling and re-engraving the works of earlier cartographers into coherent cartographic wholes. While not salaried position, Jefferys appointment as "Royal Cartographer" allowed him preferential access to the most up to date cartographic material available. He his best known for his maps of the America, particularly The American Atlas, which included some of the finest and most important late colonial ear maps of America ever published. Despite his prolific publishing history, royal appointments, and international publishing fame, Jefferys lived most of his life in dire economic straits. It is recorded that he had to be bailed out of bankruptcy by the Sayer firm during the publication of The American Atlas. In the end Jefferys died with very little. Nonetheless, his cartographic legacy survived him, even after his death in 1771, many of his important maps continued to be published and republished by Sayer and Bennet, Lotter, La Rouge, and others. Many attribute some of Jefferys best maps to the colorful and criminally inclined cartographic genius Braddock Mead, who is considered the "secret behind Jefferys". Jefferys was succeeded by his son, also Thomas, who had little success as a cartographer and eventually sold his stock to William Faden. Click here for a list of rare maps from Thomas Jefferys.

Cartographer:    Robert Sayer (1725 - 1794) and John Bennett (fl. 1770-1784) were an important English map and print publishing duo of the mid to late 18th century. In 1747 Sayer acquired the firm of Philip Overton from his sister-in-law, Mary Overton. From his London office on 55 Fleet St., Sayer began republishing the Overton map stock while acquiring and expanding the business with plates from other printers - including maps, portraits, and nautical engravings. Sayer partnered with Bennett sometime in the late 1760s. They published numerous works by various cartographers including Kitchen, Jefferys, Belling, d'Anville, among others. Upon Sayer's death, after nearly 50 years in the map trade, the firm was acquired by Laurie and Whittle, who would continue to republish revised and updated editions of his work for many years to come. Click here for a list of rare maps from Robert Sayer and John Bennett.

Size:   Printed area measures 21 x 53 inches (53.34 x 134.62 centimeters)

Condition:    Full professional restoration. Original sailcloth backing replaced with contemporary linen.

Code:   NewYorkNewJersey-sayer-1768 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)


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