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Daniel Crouch Rare Books

A Mapp of New England

“The first map of New England” (Burden)

445 by 550mm. (17.5 by 21.75 inches).


A “great rarity…the first map of the area we now call New England” (Burden). Published for inclusion in John Seller’s ‘Atlas Maritimus’, 1676, although it is very rarely found with it: only one institutional example of this issue is known still bound in the atlas, at the John Carter Brown Library.

Seller’s is the earliest printed map to include the results of William Reed’s original survey of 1665. It incorporates information from a now lost manuscript map of about 1675, also a common ancestor of Robert Morden and John Berry’s more general map of the eastern seaboard, of the same year; and William Hack’s manuscript map of about 1694, that now hangs in Pilgrim Hall, Plymouth Massachusetts.

The borders of Seller’s map reflect Reed's survey of 1665, and generally support the colonial boundaries, as described in the first Massachusetts Charter of 1628: bounded by New York and the Hudson River in the west, a vague Great Lakes area in the north, and Long Island in the south. The relative position of the Hudson, Connecticut and Merrimack rivers are clearly shown, even if not entirely accurate. “It provides the first great cartographic improvement of the area since the William Wood map of 1634” (Burden). 

The map is neatly divided into three distinct colonies: the Connecticut Colony, the Massachusetts Colony, and the Plymouth Colony, which formed what was then known as the New England Confederation. It also shows with great thoroughness, the territory as inhabited by the different local Indian tribes, as: The Waoranacks Country, the Monhegans Country, The Conecticuts Country, The Mowhawks Country, the Pequates Country, the Ninicrofts Country, the Wippanaps, the Naragansets, Pokanaket Country, and King Phillips Country.

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