The Boston City Engineer's Office produced this 1868 city plan or map of Boston. Depicting all of the city of Boston, including the Roxbury, which was annexed into Boston January 5, 1868, shortly before this map went to press. Insets of South Boston and East Boston are situated on the bottom right. The color coding on the map refers to school districts with Red indicating boy's schools, blue girl's schools, and green co-educational schools. As the most up to date official map of Boston, this map provided the base cartography for numerous subsequent commercial maps, including those issued by A. J. Johnson and Samuel Augustus Mitchell Jr.
A New Series of Maps of Boston
Nancy S. Seashoales in her book, Gaining Ground: A History of Landmaking in Boston
provides an exciting history of the present map.
[…] That year  the City Council decided to have a new 500-scale map of the city prepared by the city engineer's office. This map was then issued annually, with updates, from 1861 to 1868 (except in 1865) under the name of the city engineer - James Slade (1861 - 1863) titled, for example, Plan of Boston, Corrected under the direction of…Committee on Printing, James Slade, City Engineer  and N. Henry Crafts (1864 - 1868) titled, for example, Plan of Boston, with Additions and Corrections made by N. Henry Crafts, City Engineer 1868. In 1868, the map was enlarged to include Roxbury, which had been annexed to the city that year. In 1869, responsibility for the map shifted to the office of the city surveyor, Thomas W. Davis, and the map was published under Davis's name that year and in 1870, when as Plan of Boston, with Additions and Corrections made under direction of Thomas W. Davis, City Surveyor, it was enlarged again to accommodate the annexation of Dorchester. With its large scale, annual updates, and inclusion, after 1863, of the variation of the Chesbrough 1630 shoreline, the city engineer's/surveyor's map is generally an accurate source of for a study of landmaking.
Seashoales then goes on to state that, after 1870, the city stopped publishing its Plan of Boston because both the lithographic stone and the engraved copper plate were destroyed in the Great Fire. It was not until 1880, when two young men in the city surveyor's office, Irwin C. Cromack and George F. Loring, formed the Boston Map Company that a new, updated plan of Boston was published.
Publication History and Census
This map was created in the City Engineer's office under the direction of N. Henry Crafts, lithographed by Augustus Meisel, and published in 1868 as the last in a series of city plans published by the city surveyor's office. Eight examples are cataloged in OCLC and are part of the institutional collections at the New York Public Library, Princeton University, Harvard College, the Boston Athenaeum, the Peabody Essex Museum, Dartmouth, the University of Chicago, and Brigham Young University.
N. Henry Crafts (18xx - 18xx) served as the City Engineer of Boston from 1864 through 1868. Several maps were published by the Engineering Office during his tenure, but little else is known about his life.
Augustus Meisel (December 12, 1824 - January 24, 1885) was a German-American lithographer active in Boston during the mid-19th century. Born in Baden, Germany, Meisel immigrated to the United States United States with his brother Berthold (December 10, 1831 - April 5, 1915). The pair arrived in New Orleans on December 5, 1848. Augustus became a naturalized American citizen on September 3, 1855, with Berthold receiving his citizenship a little over a month later. The brothers worked together as lithographers in Boston until Augustus's death. He died January 24, 1885 of pneumonia.
Very good. Dissected and laid down on linen. Relined with fresh linen. Some wear and toning along original fold lines. Edge repairs.
OCLC 961328551. Seasholes, Nancy S. Gaining Ground: A History of Landmaking in Boston (Cambridge: MIT Press) 2018, pages 441 - 442.