A Map of the most Inhabited part of New England containing the Provinces of Massachusets Bay and New Hampshire, with the Colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island, divided into Counties and Townships: The whole composed form Actual Surveys and its Situation adjusted by Astronomical Observations.
1777 (dated) 21 x 20 in (53.34 x 50.8 cm)
1 : 440000
A dramatic 1777 Braddock Mead and Le Rouge map of Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and Boston Bay. The map covers from Boston to Martha's Vineyard and from Narragansett Bay to Crab Bank and the Nantucket Shoals. This beautiful dissected map is actually the lower right quadrant of the Le Rouge edition of Braddock Mead's Map of the Most Inhabited Part of New England, one of the great Revolutionary War Era maps of the colonial New England. While the full map is enormously proportioned, the present fragment manageably highlights many of the map's most desirable features: the iconic form of Cape Cod, the map's beautifully engraved title cartouche, a wonderful inset of Boston Harbor, and more.
Braddock Mead (c. 1688 - 1757), also known as John Green, was an Irish cartographer and map engraver active in London during the middle part of the 18th century. Mead is one of the most interesting and colorful figures in cartography who's left handed personal life sharply contrasted with the high standard of his maps. Mead was born in Ireland around 1688 and seems to have come from a good family and received a respectable education. His brother Thomas Mead held the position of Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1757. Braddock Mead left Dublin for London around 1717 where seems to have been draw to vice, subsidizing his cartographic work with various "hack jobs" and gambling. In 1728 Mead fell in with a plot to defraud a 12 year old Irish heiress, Bridget Reading, of her fortune by kidnapping and marrying her himself. Mead suffered jail time for the crime but was more fortunate than his partner, a fellow Irishman named Kimberly, who was hanged. As a cartographer Mead cannot have exhibited a more antithetical character. He held himself and others to the highest standards of accuracy and scholarship, and issued a call for greater transparency in the field of mapmaking. Mead worked with Ephraim Chambers on the Universal Dictionary, as well as with Cave and Astley in the publication of various travelogues and explorer's journals. Eventually he came to work for the publishing house of Thomas Jefferys, who saw through Mead's personal failings to appreciate his cartographic brilliance. Mead has been called the genius behind Jefferys and he seems to have had a hand in the production of many of Jefferys' most important maps. William Cumming notes that Mead
had a number of marked characteristics as a cartographer...One was his ability to collect, to analyze the value of, and to use a wide variety of sources; these he acknowledged scrupulously on the maps he designed and even more fully in accompanying remarks. Another outstanding characteristic was his intelligent compilation and careful evaluation of reports on latitudes and longitudes used in the construction of his maps, which he also entered in tables on the face of the maps...Mead's contributions to cartography stand out...At a time when the quality and the ethics of map production were at a low ebb in England, he vigorously urged and practiced the highest standards; in the making of maps and navigational charts he was in advance of his time. For this he deserves due credit.
George-Louis le Rouge (c. 1712- 80) was a Paris based map publisher operating in the middle part of the 18th century. Le Rouge was born in Hanover Germany as Georg Ludwig, where he was educated and employed as a military engineer and surveyor. Around 1740 Le Rouge moved to Paris, Francophied his name, and set up shop on the Rue Des Grands Augustins as an engraver, book publisher and map publisher. Despite being born German and adopting Paris as his home, Le Rouge was an ardent Anglophile and spent much of his time translating English books and maps into French. Much of his cartographic work was based upon English maps. During his active period of roughly forty years Le Rouge produced thousands of maps and diagrams ranging from city and town plans, to atlases, plans of military campaigns and sea charts. He was awarded by his diligence with the title "Geographe du Roi". Le Rouge also worked with Benjamin Franklin to produce the important 1769 Franklin/Folger Map of the Gulf Stream. Franklin, who met Le Rouge in Paris, writes that "He [Le Rouge] is, I believe, a proper person." Le Rouge Cohn, Ellen R., Benjamin Franklin, Georges-Louis Le Rouge and the Franklin/Folger Chart of the Gulf Stream, Imago Mundi, Vol. 52, (2000), pp. 124-142.
Very good. Dissected and mounted on linen.
Rumsey 0346.019. Allen, David Yehling ,Long Island Maps and Their Makers, 34-37. Cumming, William P., British Maps of Colonial America, 45-47. Krieger, Alex and Cobb, David, eds., Mapping Boston, 28. Sellers, John R. and Van Ee, Patricia, Maps and Charts of North America, no. 797.