First Published Regional Map of Virginia
"A Draught of Virginia from the Capes to York in York River and to Kuiquotan or Hamton in James River", Mount & Page
Subject: Eastern Virginia
Period: 1751 (circa)
Publication: The English Pilot. The Fourth Book…
Color: Black & White
23 x 18.1 inches
58.4 x 46 cm
This plan covers the southern Chesapeake Bay, James River, and York River, and is regarded as the first published regional map of Virginia. As Virginia's population expanded dramatically during the early 18th century, settlers began moving further up the rivers in the Tidewater region in order to find good land. This growth created a need for more detailed and larger-scale maps of the region. This map was created by Mark Tiddeman, who conducted hydrographic surveys of the area as master of the Royal Navy ship Tartar from 1725-28. Tiddeman's logbook survives in the British National Archives and includes notes about the Tartar stopping and inspecting ships encountered along the coast, suggesting that his mission in the area may also have included compliance checks to enforce British customs laws. Tiddeman's chart is filled with extensive detail of soundings, creeks, inlets, and shoals, including Middle Ground shoal, which is noted as "Almost Dry." The cities of Williamsburg, Gloucester, York, and Norfolk are pictorially depicted. Just below the eastern panhandle is the notation "Here the Tartar lost her Anchor Octobr. 17th 1726," referring to Tiddeman's vessel.
References: Sellers & Van Ee #1492; Stepheson & McKee #II-32; Wooldridge #94; Shirley (BL Atlases) M.M&P-5b #16.
Trimmed to the neatline at top left with the neatline missing at top right and some soiling in the image. There are short centerfold separations at top and bottom as well as a number of edge tears and chips, most of them tiny with the exception of a 5" tear into the image at top that has been closed with archival materials.