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1795 Reilly Map of America

Karte Von Amerika Nach D'Anville Und Pownall.

1795 Reilly Map of America


Uncommon map of the Americas from the first Austrian world atlas.



Karte Von Amerika Nach D'Anville Und Pownall.
  1795 (undated)    24 x 31 in (60.96 x 78.74 cm)     1 : 19500000


A dramatic 1795 large format map of North American and South America by the Austrian cartographer Franz Johann Joseph von Reilly. Depicting American shortly after the end of the American Revolutionary War, this map covers from Hudson Bay to Tierra de Fuego. There are three large insets detailing Greenland and the Hudson Bay, Alaska, and the fledgling United States, which has its own cartouche. Generally speaking, Reilly follows the the cartography of the highly respected French mapmaker J. B. B. d'Anville with updates and revisions by the English statesman Thomas Pownall.

In North American Reilly displays the young United States in Green extending from the Atlantic Seaboard to the Mississippi river exclusive of Florida. Spanish Dominions at this time extended from Florida to the Pacific and included former French Louisiana (demarked as the area between the Mississippi River and the Sabine River). In South American the Spanish dominated the entire Pacific seaboard with Portuguese Brazil in Blue. Dutch and French colonies in Surinam and and French Guyana are noted.

The three insets, being quite large and detailed, bear special note. The largest of the three insets details the United States. This map, extending from the Atlantic to the Mississippi River is copiously detailed with fascinating annotations in German describing to American Indian lands and Revolutionary War events. This is the only of the three inset maps to have its own decorative cartouche.

A large map of Alaska appears in the upper right. The Bering Strait is detailed as are some of the Aleutian Islands. Being largely unknown at this time, it is unusual to find such a large inset map detailing such a relative unexplored region. The interior of Alaska is blank, but the coast reflects explorations by Cook (1778), Captain George Dixon (1787), and an unidentified Spanish expedition (probably Juan Perez, 1773).

The third inset map detailed the region between the Hudson Bay and Greenland The map offers impressive detail and extensive annotation regarding possible inland waterways leading westward. General interest in the possibility of a Northwest Passage is probably the reasoning behind both this map and that of Alaska on the opposite side of the map.

This map has the distinction of being from the has the distinction of being from the rare Grosse Deutscher Atlas, notable as the first world atlas to be produced fully by an Austrian.


Franz Johann Joseph von Reilly (August 18, 1766 – July 6, 1820) was an Austrian author, humorist, cartographer, and map publisher active in the late 18th century and early 20th century. Joseph was the son of John Reilly. He initially worked in the Austrian Civil Service, but later dedicated himself to Cartographer, publishing several major atlases between 1789 and 1806. He is most famous for publishing the Grosser Deutscher Atlas, the first world atlas fully published and produced by an Austrian.

Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville (1697-1782) was perhaps the most important and prolific cartographer of the 18th century. D'Anville's passion for cartography manifested during his school years when he amused himself by composing maps for Latin texts. There is a preserved manuscript dating to 1712, Graecia Vetus, which may be his earliest surviving map - he was only 15 when he drew it. He would retain an interest in the cartography of antiquity throughout his long career and published numerous atlases to focusing on the ancient world. At twenty-two D'Anville, sponsored by the Duke of Orleans, was appointed Geographer to the King of France. As both a cartographer and a geographer, he instituted a reform in the general practice of cartography. Unlike most period cartographers, D'Anville did not rely exclusively on earlier maps to inform his work, rather he based his maps on intense study and research. His maps were thus the most accurate and comprehensive of his period - truly the first modern maps. Thomas Basset and Philip Porter write: "It was because of D'Anville's resolve to depict only those features which could be proven to be true that his maps are often said to represent a scientific reformation in cartography." (The Journal of African History, Vol. 32, No. 3 (1991), pp. 367-413). In 1754, when D'Anville turned 57 and had reached the height of his career, he was elected to the Academie des Inscriptions. Later, at 76, following the death of Philippe Buache, D'Anville was appointed to both of the coveted positions Buache held: Premier Geographe du Roi, and Adjoint-Geographer of the Academie des Sciences. During his long career D'Anville published some 211 maps as well as 78 treatises on geography. D'Anville's vast reference library, consisting of over 9000 volumes, was acquired by the French government in 1779 and became the basis of the Depot Geographique - though D'Anville retained physical possession his death in 1782. Remarkably almost all of D'Anville's maps were produced by his own hand. His published maps, most of which were engraved by Guillaume de la Haye, are known to be near exact reproductions of D'Anville' manuscripts. The borders as well as the decorative cartouche work present on many of his maps were produced by his brother Hubert-Francois Bourguignon Gravelot. The work of D'Anville thus marked a transitional point in the history of cartography and opened the way to the maps of English cartographers Cary, Thomson and Pinkerton in the early 19th century.

Thomas Pownall (1722 - February 5, 1805) was a British scholar, statesman and soldier active in the colonial administration of North America just prior to the American Revolutionary War. Pownell was born in England and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. After graduation he was employed by his brother, John Pownall, at the office of the Lord's Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, which oversaw British economic interests in its North American colonies. In 1753, Pownall was appointed secretary to the governor of New York, Sir Danvers Osborne. Osborne, himself having be only recently appointed to the position, committed suicide shortly after taking office. Despite this setback, Pownall remained in America and devoted himself to studying and researching the colonies. In the process Pownall became close lifelong friends with Benjamin and other New World luminaries. He also published several notable works on the colonial administration of North America. In 1757 Pownall was appointed Governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony. In this position he frequently found himself at odds with the restrictive policies of the Board of Trade. It was not long before he was pushed out of office and, declining the governorship of Jamaica, reassigned to South Carolina. Despite nominally holding the governorship of South Carolina, Pownall never visited the colony. Instead he returned to England where he eventually became a member of Parliament. In Parliament, he advocated for reduced taxes towards the colonies - had he been heeded, the American Revolution may have never happened. Pownall retired from public life around 1780, but continued to pursue his scholarly interests. Pownall's research contributed significantly to several important maps and scholarly work on North America.


Reilly, Franz Johann Joseph von, Grosser Deutscher Atlas (Vienna) 1796.    


Very good. Minor wear and toning on original centerfold. Minor staining to outer margins not affecting printed area.


Rumsey 11151.009. OCLC 36190965. LC Bibliographic Number b51932015. Phillips (Atlases) 686, no. 6.
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