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1803 Cary Map of Florida, Central America, the Bahamas, and the West Indies

A New Map of the West India Isles. - Main View

1803 Cary Map of Florida, Central America, the Bahamas, and the West Indies



A New Map of the West India Isles.
  1803 (dated)     18.25 x 20.5 in (46.355 x 52.07 cm)


A beautiful example of John Cary's important 1803 map of Florida, Central America and the West Indies. Covers from Texas (called Cenis) eastward to the Carolinas and the Bahamas, and then southward past Florida and the West Indies to include all of Central America and the northern part of South America. Offers superb detail throughout, especially regarding Florida and the Caribbean. In the North America section of the map Georgia is shown extending westward as far as the Mississippi River despite the creation of the Mississippi Territory in 1798. Florida is divided at the Apalachicola River into eastern and western sections. West Florida, ostensibly part of the Louisiana Purchase, was claimed by the Spanish and remained under their control until 1812. Lists numerous place names along the Mississippi River including Davion's Rocks, Ft. Bosalie, Ft. Francis (destroyed in 1729), New Madrid and Old Fort, among others. In modern day Texas, called Cenis here, Cary lists eight place names as well as both the 1685 settlement founded by La Salle on the Gulf coast, and the place further inland where, in 1687, he was murdered. All in all, one of the most interesting and attractive atlas maps of the West Indies to appear in first ten years of the 19th century. Prepared in 1803 by John Cary for issue in his magnificent 1808 New Universal Atlas.


John Cary (1754 - 1835) was a London based cartographer active in the early part of the 19th century. Ronald Vere Tooley, the prominent English map historian, writes of Cary, "As an engraver he was elegant and exact with fine clear lettering and great delicacy of touch." Cary began his work as an engraver, cartographer, and globe maker in 1776 with his New and Correct English Atlas. This important atlas represented a new phase in cartography where accuracy and detail rose in prominence over the decorative embellishments of the 18th century. This change was indicative of the times when travel and commerce were expanding globally as never before. Cary's mastery of both engraving and cartography resulted in a series of seminal works that redefined mapmaking in the early 19th century. His stupendous Cary's New Universal Atlas, published in 1808, set the standard for all cartographers who followed. Cary reissued this seminal atlas in 1811, 1819, 1824, 1828, 1833, 1836 and 1844. Cary also did considerable work on the English Ordinance Survey prior to 1805. His cartographic work particularly inspired the Edinburgh school of cartography as represented by John Pinkerton and John Thomson. In America, Cary's work was used as the basis for Tanner's important New American Atlas. Cary's last published atlas appeared posthumously in 1844, however, by 1850 Cary's work was being carried on by his sons and other well-known cartographers including James Wyld, John Tallis & Company, and Crutchley. More by this mapmaker...


Cary, John, Cary's New Universal Atlas, containing distinct maps of all the principal states and kingdoms throughout the World. From the latest and best authorities extant. London: Printed for J. Cary, Engraver and Map-seller, No. 181, near Norfolk Street, Strand, 1808.    


Very good condition. Original centerfold. Blank on verso.


Rumsey 1657.012. Fitzgerald, J.H., Changing perceptions: mapping the shape of Florida 1502-1982, 120 (1811 ed.). National Library of Australia, MAP Ra 84 Plate 58. Phillips, P. L., A List of Maps of America in the American Library of Congress, p. 1060. Phillips (Atlases) 714 (Atlas). The Map Collector, issue 43, p. 40-47 (Atlas). National Maritime Museum, v. 3, no. 311 (Atlas).