"A New Map of the Most Considerable Plantations of the English in America", Wells, Edward
Subject: Colonial United States
Period: 1700 (circa)
Color: Black & White
18.8 x 13.8 inches
47.8 x 35.1 cm
This charming map of the English plantations in North America covers the area along the Atlantic coast from North Carolina north through New England. The map presents only limited detail with major towns located, mostly along the coast and concentrated in New England and New York. New Albanie stands out on the Hudson River, Baltimore is shown on a simplified Delaware peninsula and Green Spring appears near Jamestown. This was the plantation of Sir William Berkeley, Governor of Virginia. The Atlantic is filled with inset plans of other British colonies. The map of New Scotland shows the hotly contested territory with its key Port Royal. The map of South Carolina shows the spurious Ashley Lake and May River, which are from John Lederer's important map of the colony. Further insets show the three key British islands of Jamaica, Barbados and Bermuda. Beautifully engraved by Sutton Nicholls, it is embellished with a decorative title cartouche that includes the dedication to William Duke of Gloucester who was a pupil of Well's at Oxford. The 13 year old Duke, heir to the throne, died a few months after the atlas was published. Wells' maps were published over time by subscription and then assembled into his A New Sett of Maps, which was published between 1700 and circa 1743. This is the rare first state of the plate without any pagination.
References: Burden #733; Cumming (SE) #130; Manasek #68; McCorkle #700.9.
Dark, crisp impression on very thick paper with wide margins. The printer left a dusting of ink on the plate resulting in the fine light gray tint within the platemark. Centerfold split in lower margin with old cello repair on verso, and light occasional marginal soiling or edge staining.