1860 Copley Blueback Nautical Chart of Long Island, New York

[Long Island, 1860]

1860 Copley Blueback Nautical Chart of Long Island, New York


An extremely scarce privately issued nautical chart of Long Island, New York.

SOLD. Call for off-line availability


[Long Island, 1860]
  1860 (dated)    36.6 x 48 in (92.964 x 121.92 cm)     1 : 180000


An extremely rare 1860 blueback nautical chart or maritime map of Long Island by the Brooklyn chart publisher Charles Copley. Copley's chart covers from Staten Island to Montauk, inclusive of the Connecticut coast, Long Island Sound, Long Island itself, New York City, and parts of adjacent New Jersey and Rhode Island. Moreover, the map features three large insets detailing Cape Cod and vicinity, New York City's East River, and New York City's Hell Gate.

Copley published this map at the height of his career and it incorporates the best hydrographic information regarding New York and Long Island available at the time. It incorporates the most advised shipping routes, countless depth soundings, shading, notes on light houses and buoys, and some important in land information. With its three large and valuable insets, this chart would have been extremely valuable for those running the lucrative New York – Boston route.

This chart was privately published but bears a note claiming that Copley had 'special permission' from the Secretary of the Treasure to use government information compiled by the United States Coast Survey. To this end he refers to his business the 'Hydrographic Office' and incorporates a logo that is a clear mimicry of the Coast Survey insignia. Still, Guthorn observes that, despite the public availability of many official coast survey charts,
Small scale charts were favored by shipmasters, with large scale inset charts of harbors. This aided coastwise navigation, and inshore and harbor piloting with a minimum number of charts .
This is a working nautical chart that was owned by the Thomas Reese Anderson, the New Brunswick captain of the Arcadia, a barque built in Rockland New Brunswick. Anderson is especially admiring for he thought and extensively logbooks that provide a unique insight into the dying days of the clipper ship era. He retired from a diverse and prosperous maritime career as a man of substance in Sackville, New Brunswick. He died shortly after having been hit by an oncoming train in which he was, ironically, partially invested.

Copley first published this map in 1858. The present example was issued with updates and revisiosn in 1860. We are aware of one other edition from the 1880s. The OCLC identifies no institutional holdings of this chart.


Charles Copley (fl. 1843-69), was an American nautical chart and globe publisher based in Brooklyn, New York and active in the middle part of the 19th century. He was born in England and emigrated to the United States in the 1840s. He became a citizen in 1844. Charles Copley's earliest work is associated with the firm of E. and G. W. Blunt and his name appears as cartographer or engraver on several of Blunt's c. 1840 charts – so he must have began working the Blunt shortly after immigrating. Around 1847 Copley began publishing independently and advertising himself as and engraver and map publisher. Most of his independent work was published in the 1850s.


Very good. Professionally restore and backed on original heavy blue paper Copley's original stamp on verso. Minor stains center. A few minor tears professionally repair.
Looking for a high-resolution scan of this?