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1856 U.S.C.S. Map of Suffolk County, Southern Long Island, New York

Middle Part of the Southern Coast of Long Island - Main View

1856 U.S.C.S. Map of Suffolk County, Southern Long Island, New York



Middle Part of the Southern Coast of Long Island
  1856 (dated)     25 x 35 in (63.5 x 88.9 cm)


This is an extraordinary and extremely rare hand colored large format sea chart or map depicting southeastern Long Island, New York. Details part of Suffolk county from Moriches Bay to Napeague Harbor, including the summer getaways of Sag Harbor, East Hampton, Southampton (South Hampton), Quogue, Bridgehampton and Amagansett, among others. Extends as far north as Gardiner's Island and Hog Neck. Inland regions are depicted in considerable detail, down to individual buildings. In addition to inland details, this chart contains a wealth of practical information for the mariner from oceanic depths, to harbors and navigation tips on important channels. Two views decorate the bottom of the map, one depicting about 9 miles of coast south of Speonk, and another depicting the coast south of Shinnecock. The hand color work on this beautiful map is exceptionally well done. This map was created under the direction of A. D. Bache, Superintendent of the Survey of the Coast of the United States and one of the most influential American cartographers of the 19th century. This is one of the rarest coast chart's out there and one of the best maps of Long Island to appear in the 19th century.


The Office of the Coast Survey (1807 - present) founded in 1807 by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of Commerce Albert Gallatin, is the oldest scientific organization in the U.S. Federal Government. Jefferson created the "Survey of the Coast," as it was then called, in response to a need for accurate navigational charts of the new nation's coasts and harbors. The spirit of the Coast Survey was defined by its first two superintendents. The first superintendent of the Coast Survey was Swiss immigrant and West Point mathematics professor Ferdinand Hassler. Under the direction of Hassler, from 1816 to 1843, the ideological and scientific foundations for the Coast Survey were established. These included using the most advanced techniques and most sophisticated equipment as well as an unstinting attention to detail. Hassler devised a labor intensive triangulation system whereby the entire coast was divided into a series of enormous triangles. These were in turn subdivided into smaller triangulation units that were then individually surveyed. Employing this exacting technique on such a massive scale had never before been attempted. Consequently, Hassler and the Coast Survey under him developed a reputation for uncompromising dedication to the principles of accuracy and excellence. Unfortunately, despite being a masterful surveyor, Hassler was abrasive and politically unpopular, twice losing congressional funding for the Coast Survey. Nonetheless, Hassler led the Coast Survey until his death in 1843, at which time Alexander Dallas Bache, a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, took the helm. Bache was fully dedicated to the principles established by Hassler, but proved more politically astute and successfully lobbied Congress to liberally fund the endeavor. Under the leadership of A. D. Bache, the Coast Survey completed its most important work. Moreover, during his long tenure with the Coast Survey, from 1843 to 1865, Bache was a steadfast advocate of American science and navigation and in fact founded the American Academy of Sciences. Bache was succeeded by Benjamin Pierce who ran the Survey from 1867 to 1874. Pierce was in turn succeeded by Carlile Pollock Patterson who was Superintendent from 1874 to 1881. In 1878, under Patterson's superintendence, the U.S. Coast Survey was reorganized as the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (C & GS) to accommodate topographic as well as nautical surveys. Today the Coast Survey is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA as the National Geodetic Survey. More by this mapmaker...


Report of the Superintendant of the U.S. Coast Survey, (1856 edition).    


Very good condition. Wide clean margins. Blank on verso.