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Details 1889 Ewer Map of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts w/ Old Colony Line Ad

1889 Ewer Map of Nantucket, Massachusetts

Historical Map of Nantucket. - Main View

1889 Ewer Map of Nantucket, Massachusetts



Historical Map of Nantucket.
  1889 (dated)     9 x 14 in (22.86 x 35.56 cm)     1 : 90000


This attractive map is a reduced version of Reverend F. C. Ewers important 1869 map of Nantucket. This variant was issued by the Old Colony Rail Line in various formats from roughly 1872 to 1889. Covers the island of Nantucket in superb detail focusing on transportation and communities. Advertises the 'Old Colony Line' as the 'Shortest, Quickest, Best, and Only Direct Route between Boston or New York and Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.' Also notes Native American claims to the Island. Features three columns of text breaking down the history of Nantucket from its discovery by Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602 to the laying of the first communications cables between Nantucket and the mainland in 1886.
Old Colony Line
The Old Colony Line was a subsidiary of the Old Colony Railroad, which from 1844, developed and operated a rail line between Boston and Plymouth. The Old Colony Railroad, by acquiring or merging with its competitors, became the dominant railroad in southeastern Massachusetts. That quickly expanded their network with steamship service between New York City and Fall River. In 1872, they inaugurated the Old Colony Line, a steamer between Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. The Old Colony Railroad was acquired, in 1893 by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. Some of the railroads established by the Old Colony Railroad remain in operation to this day, among them the Old Colony and Newport Railway.
Nantucket in a Nutshell
This map was prepared and published by the 'Inquirer and Mirror Steam Press' of Nantucket for inclusion in their appealing 1880 pocket guide to the island entitled Nantucket in a Nutshell. The guide, which is includes in this map consists of 36 pages detailing the history, inhabitants, government, religion and trade of the island. It also extols the virtues of Nantucket as a sanitarium, sporting ground, and holiday destination.


Ferdinand Cartwright Ewer (1826 - 1883) was born on May 22nd of 1926 in town of Nantucket on the Massachusetts island of the same name. Ewer's father, a prominent Nantucket businessman, moved his family to Providence Rhode Island when Ferdinand was three and then, further afield, to New York City. It was not until his 13th year that Ewer returned to Nantucket where he would remain until 1844 when was matriculated at Harvard. There he grew intellectually and strayed from his religiously ideological upbringing, embracing atheism. Shortly following his graduation in 1848, Ewer, like many others, was drawn westward by the lure of the California Gold Rush. "I have no gold fever," he says pathetically in his diary, "I only desire not to starve." In San Francisco he worked as a clerk in the claims office and later as newspaper reporter with The Alta Californian. In a tale typical of the Wild West, a bar room conversation in a mining town inspired Ewer to change his life, abandon his atheism, and became a Reverend of the Episcopal Church. As Reverend, Ewer generated a popular following in San Francisco. Nonetheless, in time he decided to move back to the east coast and, eventually, became the rector of New York City's Christ's Church. A highly educated man, Ferdinand devoted much of his intellectual energy in reconciling the positions of science with religion. To the chagrin of his Episcopalian superiors, Ewer believed that the premises of Darwinism, astronomy, and medicine were in fact compatible his faith. Eventually, Ewer's scientific leanings drove him from the Christ Church, at which point he established the New York church of St. Ignatius of Antioch, where he remained to his death in 1883. It was sometime during his tenure in New York that Ewer composed his famous map of Nantucket. More by this mapmaker...


Hussey, R. B. Nantucket in a Nutshell, (Nantucket: Inquirer and Mirror Press) 1880.    


Good condition. Both old and new verso repairs and reinforcement. Minor buckling. On thing paper. Could benefit from professional flattening.


Boston Public Library, Leventhal Map Center, G3762.N3 1869 .E9 (Original Ewer Map). National Library of Australia, MAP RM 1548. Congdon, Charles Taber.  'Memoir of the Reverend Ferdinand Cartwright Ewer, S.T.D.' from Sanctity and Other Sermons by the Rev. Ferdinand Cartwright Ewer, S.T.D. New York: E. & J. B. Young & Co, 1884.  Project Canterbury.  pp xxvii-lxxxiii.