SMITH, John (1580-1631). New England the most remarqueable parts thus named by the high and mighty Prince Charles, Prince of great Britaine. Observed and described by Captayn John Smith. London, (1616), 1626

$ 135,000.00

SMITH, John (1580-1631). New England the most remarqueable parts thus named by the high and mighty Prince Charles, Prince of great Britaine. Observed and described by Captayn John Smith. [London: I. D. and I. H. for Michael Sparkes, 1626].

Single sheet (13 1/2 x 14 7/8 inches). A fine engraved map of New England from the present Penosbscot Bay in Maine, to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

"This is the foundation map of New England cartography, the map that gave it its name and the first devoted to the region" (Burden). 

State 5, of 9, with cross hatching on the armor, Paynes islands named, and the engraver's names spelled “Passaeus”, first published in 1614, this issue found in "The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England and the Summer Isles", London, 1626.

 "After a period of inactivity following his Virginian escapades, Captain John Smith was invited by four London merchants to explore the coastline of New England. These men, Buley, Langham, Roydon and Skelton, financed two ships that sailed in March 1614 with instructions to return with a profitable cargo.  There had been earlier English voyages between the years 1602 and 1605 by men like Gosnold, Pring and Weymouth.  Although these did not amount to anything of great importance, Gosnold is credited with naming Cape Cod.

"Smith made a good crossing in six weeks, arriving off Monhegan Island near the Kennebec estuary.  By now the waters of New England, particularly Maine, were visited by dozens of English and French fishing vessels a year.  One of Smith's vessels concentrated on catching fish and collecting other valuable commodities.  Smith continued down the coast to chart and explore, lamenting the poor quality of existing maps: '[he] had six or seven several plots of those Northern parts, so unlike each to other, and most so differing from any true proportion, or resemblance of the Country, as they did me no more good, then so much waste paper, though they cost me more'.  Naming Plymouth Rock he described the place as 'an excellent good harbor, good lands, and no want of anything but industrious people'. This proved the incentive six years later for the 'Mayflower' Pilgrims to relocate here after their first choice proved unwise.  In mid July after just six weeks Smith returned to England.  It is remarkable that in this short time he managed to glean so much of the coastline.  Indeed, the amount of work that is actually his own has been called into question by some.

"Smith settled up with the four merchants who had backed him and approached the Plymouth Company with the idea of founding a colony. Setting off in 1615, he was held back by appalling weather which destroyed his ship and nearly cost him his life. Undaunted he set out again and ran into one pirate ship, and then two French privateers.  Finally, he was interrupted by four French warships suspecting that he was a privateer.  Whilst Smith was on board one of the French ships to present his credentials, the shipmaster, Captain Chambers, fled, leaving Smith stranded with the French.  Captive, he sailed with them as they attacked the ships of all nations.  When the ship he was in became shipwrecked, he managed to survive and make his way back from France, arriving in England in December 1615.  He was thought to have perished.  Smith tried many more times to travel to America, but never succeeded.  Whilst on board the French vessel, Smith had passed the time writing a manuscript entitled A Description of New England. This he carried to London and published in June 1616" (Burden 187).