First State of Robert de Vaugondy's Essential Map of Virginia and Maryland
"Carte de la Virginie et du Maryland Dressee sur la Grande Carte Angloise de Mrs. Josue Fry et Pierre Jefferson", Robert de Vaugondy, Didier
Subject: Colonial Mid-Atlantic United States
Period: 1755 (dated)
Publication: Atlas Universel
Color: Hand Color
25.3 x 19.1 inches
64.3 x 48.5 cm
This handsome map is the French edition of the Fry-Jefferson map - one of the most important 18th century maps of the region. Due to the rarity and high value of the four-sheet English version of the Fry-Jefferson map, the first state of the single-sheet French version is the earliest obtainable map to accurately depict the interior of Virginia beyond the Tidewater, and is an essential map for the Virginia map collection. This is the most desirable first state with the Limites du Lord Fairfax delineating the Fairfax Grant in Virginia’s Northern Neck and the vast region northwest of it. The signature of the engraver, Elisabeth Haussard, is below the cartouche.
The map details the coastline from Cape May in New Jersey to the Currituck Inlet and inland with finely engraved details of the interior regions of Virginia, the ridges, rivers and valleys of the Appalachians, and the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. The locations of native villages and wagon roads are noted as well. Delaware is labeled as De La War Counties. While the title is in French, most of the information is in English.
Surveyor Peter Jefferson was Thomas Jefferson's father, and Joshua Fry was a commander in the colonial militia during the French and Indian War. They were ideal appointees for the project as they had accumulated a substantial amount of information from their work on the western frontier. Their knowledge, along with reports received from other explorers, produced the most detailed account of the inhabited parts of the colonies.
References: cf. Cumming (SE) #281; Pedley #470; Phillips (M) p. 49; Sellers & Van Ee #1432.
Contemporary outline color on watermarked paper with a few spots in the image and a pair of small dampstains confined to the top blank margin. Light toning is confined to the sheet edges.