Four engraved map sheets, each (16 6/8 x 24 4/8 inches) with full margins showing the plate mark, and in six sections laid down on original cartographic linen, float-mounted and framed (42 x 57 4/8 inches). EXCEPTIONALLY FINE engraved map of Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson in 1775; with original hand-colour in outline by state, the title within a fine rococo cartouche with historically important vignette of a dockside tobacco trading scene lower right, with a dedication below the cartouche: "To the Right Honourable, George Dunk Earl of Halifax First Lord Commissioner; and to the Rest of the Right Honourable and Honourable Commissioners, for Trade and Plantations. This Map is most humbly Inscribed to their Lordships, By their Lordship's Most Obedient & most devoted humble Servt. Thos. Jefferys", distances and directions upper left derived by J. Dalrymple in 1755, survey lines are noted and explained, large compass rose centre right.
The Fry - Jefferson map of the broad area known as Virginia is the fundamental cartographic document of the region from the 18th century.
The first map to focus on Virginia was Captain John Smith's of 1612, but after that early and primitive attempt to delineate the area, no exhaustive study was made for over a century. This basic lack was first confronted by the team of Peter Jefferson -- also known as the father of Thomas Jefferson -- and Joshua Fry. The two men were commissioned by the Virginia legislature after a 1751 mandate, issued by the English Lords of Trade, required each colony to produce an adequate survey of the region. Fry's expertise as master of mathematics at William and Mary, and Jefferson's as a surveyor, earned them the honor of being selected to compile the Virginia map.
The result of the ambitious collaboration between the two men was the most accurate, comprehensive, and complete project in the history of Virginia mapping.
The Fry - Jefferson map was the first to delineate the interior regions of Virginia beyond the Tidewater, and included all the major plantations along Virginia's rivers by family name. It was the first printed map to depict the valleys of the Appalachian and Allegheny mountain ranges of the western interior, and to show the complete Virginia river system.
The striking cartouche at the lower right is one of the earliest surviving pictorial representations of the Virginia tobacco trade, and a testament to the fact that Fry and Jefferson ensured the same quality in the map's artwork as in its cartography. Historically, this is the most valuable and influential early map of Virginia.
This particular example was included in Thomas Jefferys' "American Atlas," published in London in 1776 (though the map itself bears the date of 1775). Verner State 7. For more information about this map, or a warm welcome to see it and other books in our library at 72nd Street, NYC, please contact Caleb Kiffer, in the Rare Book Department