ARROWSMITH, Aaron Sr. (1750-1823). A Map of the United States of North America. London: A. Arrowsmith, 1796, ...Additions ...1815
4 sheets, matted separately (each 26 x 32 inches, full margins showing the plate-mark). An exceptionally fine and detailed map of North America, with original hand-colour in outline, and decorated with a magnificent cartouche of Niagara Falls with printed caption beginning, "Among the many Natural Curiosities which this Country affords, the Cataract of Niagara is infinitely the greatest...." lower right.
AN EXCEPTIONALLY FINE EXAMPLE OF ARROWSMITH'S IMPORTANT MAP OF THE UNITED STATES, this is the third edition, with additions to 1815, the Missouri River system is based on Lewis and Clark's published map
Arrowsmith's 'Map of the United States of North America' is the most desirable from his well noted career. An acclaimed British cartographer, Aaron Arrowsmith drafted accurate, detailed charts that earned him the titles of Hydrographer to the King of England and Geographer to the Prince of Wales, extremely important distinctions during an era when Britain ruled the waves.
One of the first great British cartographers of North America, Arrowsmith introduced a new standard of excellence in mapmaking in the late 18th century and almost single-handedly made London the center for the cartographic trade. Arrowsmith built his great success on this ability to attract both commercial and general viewers through his combination of visual and scientific appeal. The most influential and respected map publisher of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Arrowsmith issued maps that were the result of careful synthesis rather than systematic, scientific inquiry. His role in cartographic production was to gather the best available information from a wide variety of sources, weigh the relative merits of conflicting data, and compile the most accurate depiction possible of an area. Arrowsmith accomplished this synthesis better than any other commercial mapmaker of his day and, as a result, his maps were the most sought after and highly prized on three continents.