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1860 U.S. Coast Survey Chart or Map of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

No. 12 From Monomoy and Nantucket Shoals to Muskeget Channel Mass. - Main View

1860 U.S. Coast Survey Chart or Map of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts


Rare large format map of Nantucket Island.


No. 12 From Monomoy and Nantucket Shoals to Muskeget Channel Mass.
  186? (dated)     38 x 27.5 in (96.52 x 69.85 cm)


A scarce and exceptional example of the U.S. Coast Survey chart or map of Nantucket. The is the eastern sheet of a three map set - and is rarely offered separately. The this map (no. 12 in the series) covers the island of Nantucket and the southern part of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Detailed to the level of individual buildings and roads. Offers innumerable depth sounding throughout and shows the many undersea shoals in the area. Upper right quadrant has detailed sailing instructions and notes on magnetic variations, light houses, and dangers. Title of chart in the upper right quadrant. Title for the three map series in the upper left quadrant.

The triangulation and topography for this map set was accomplished by a team under the supervision of A.D. Bache, director of the U.S. Coast Survey. Engraved by A Hoen and Co. of Baltimore for the 1860 edition of the Surveyor General's Report.

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. Learn More...


Report of the Superintendant of the United States Coast Survey, Washington, (1860 edition).    


Very good condition. Some toning, wear, and repairs along original fold lines - especially at fold intersections.