EVANS, Lewis (c 1700 - 1756). A General Map of the Middle British Colonies… And Since Corrected and Improved… By T. Powell. London: R. Sayer & J. Bennett, 1776.
Single sheet (20 ½ x 27 inches)
This map is considered one of the most important maps of the British colonies done prior to Independence.
Lewis Evans' map shows the East coast of North America from Montreal and New England to the Northern border of North Carolina. It also includes the Ohio Valley in the West. It shows areas of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and Connecticut. The map also includes a sketch of the upper parts of Canada on the upper left hand side.
Evans' map of the Middle British Colonies appeared in 1755, the same year in which John Mitchell published his famous "Mitchell Map". Evans drew from his own original surveys, however he also used surveys attributed to Fry and Jefferson's map of Virginia (1753).
Evans' map acknowledges French claims to all lands northwest of St. Lawrence Fort, resulting in criticism from New York. Despite the controversy, Evans's work was influential (there were eighteen editions and piracies issued between 1755 and 1814), and was famously used by General Braddock during the French and Indian War. "By 1758 Kitchin's plate seems to have passed into the possession of Thomas Jefferys, the famous map publisher of Charing Cross, for in that year we find the map re-issued with exactly the same title as Kitchin's but with an alteration in the imprint . Very little difference is to be observed between the issues of 1756 and 1758, but a number of new Forts on the back settlements are added in the latter . Fort du Quesne, which was marked simply F. du Quesne' in the 1756 plate, is now lettered 'Ft. du Quesne Destroy'd 1758 now called Pittsburg'" (Stevens). This correction to this issue makes this map the earliest map to name Pittsburgh. A rare issue of a desirable map of colonial America.
Lewis Evans was a Welsh surveyor and geographer, working predominantly in British America. He travelled to the British Colonies in the mid-18th century; where he began his work for his later published maps. Evans was a frequent name in social circles; supported by great names such as Thomas Pownell, Benjamin Franklin, and General Edward Braddock.
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