A New Map of North America from the Latest Discoveries


Rare first edition map of the American colonies published before the end of the French & Indian War.

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From an American perspective, this map contains a fascinating glimpse of early colonial life east of the Mississippi River. Native American tribes and frontier outposts are scattered through a largely empty interior, while the dispersal of place names reflect heavy settlement along the coastline and waterways. Territories are ill-defined and the west appears increasingly accessible with a portage through Chicago and ambiguous headwaters of the Missouri and Red Rivers. However, an Englishman looking at this map in Hume & Smollett’s The History of England would have a much different takeaway.

In their case, the image reflects the American theater in a larger ongoing conflict with the French known as the Seven Years War. The fishing banks of Newfoundland are a point of contestation between the fishermen of rival nations, while the Native American tribes offer the prospect of allies or enemies, especially in the form of the Six Nations. Forts are signs of strength (even though many of those listed have been abandoned or are in disrepair) and territorial boundaries are carefully delineated according to treaties and legal claims. Regardless of perspective, this map shows a fascinating glimpse of early America. It varies from a later, more common, edition (issued in the London Magazine), which includes additional boundary lines running along the Alleghany and Appalachian Mountains.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1761

Author: John Spilsbury

Sheet Width (in): 14.90

Sheet Height (in): 10.8

Condition: B+

Condition Description: On a bright sheet of watermarked paper, issued folding, with a binding trim at lower right that has been replaced with old paper. A 3.5" binding tear also at right has been repaired on verso with old paper.