Index Sheet for Popple's Map
"[Index Sheet] America Septentrionalis [or] A Map of the British Empire in America with the French and Spanish Settlements Adjacent Thereto", Popple, Henry
Subject: Colonial Eastern North America & West Indies
Period: 1733 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
19.3 x 20 inches
49 x 50.8 cm
This is the index sheet for Henry Popple's cornerstone map of the British Empire in North America. Popple's map is the finest and most detailed map of America of its time and covers the eastern part of North America between the Mississippi River and Newfoundland and the adjoining regions of Central and South America and the Caribbean. Popple relied on numerous sources in creating his map, including Delisle, De Fer, Colonel John Barnwell, James Edward Oglethorpe, and Cadwallader Colden. Despite Popple's use of up-to-date sources, cartographical errors still remain. Lake Ontario is depicted in a southwest to northeast orientation, rather than its nearly east-west orientation. Lake Michigan is called by the old French name of Lake Illinois. A large lake filled with small islands appears in the area of present-day South Dakota. Popple's map was also criticized for relying too heavily on French sources and therefore showing land claims that were unfavorable to the British.
Despite the geographical inaccuracies, Popple's map was filled with splendid artistic elements. In upper left and right hand corners are insets of Niagara Falls, Mexico City, Quebec and New York City. At right is a column of 18 plans of ports, harbors and islands including Cartagena, Charleston, Bermuda, New York, and Boston. The map is richly embellished with a title cartouche featuring Native Americans, monkeys, a crocodile and a scene of European traders. Numerous ships and sea battles are shown throughout the oceans that are hachured to depict current directions.
According to Pritchard & Taliaferro, this is the sixth state with the imprint of S. Harding and W.H. Toms at lower left. Toms is also identified as the engraver at lower right.
References: Pritchard & Taliaferro #24; Cumming (SE) #217; McCorkle #733.2.
The sheet has been remargined at left, right and bottom with old paper. Backed with tissue to reinforce misfolds from a previous owner and to repair several small tears in the image. There is light soiling and some minor abrasions throughout.