The United States of America with the British Possessions of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland…

The United States of America about a decade after their formal inception.

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This early map of the fledgling United States of America captures the new country a mere eleven years after the 1783 Peace of Paris officially ended the Revolutionary War. An excerpt from that treaty, relating to fishing rights along the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, can be seen next to the title cartouche. The early date assures that the depiction of the American flag, shown above the cartouche with only thirteen stars, is one of the first to appear on any printed map.

The image captures a detailed overview of the political situation between the Americans, British, Spanish, and French, with the latter relegated to a few miles of the Newfoundland shoreline for use in the fishing industry. Curiously, the Louisiana Territory is also shaded blue, (noting French possession according to the legend in the center-right), but in 1794 it was under the authority of the Spanish Crown. This is possibly indicative of a later publication date in which the same plate was used, though the coloring was updated.

While various territorial claims are clearly delineated, state borders remain ambiguous in many circumstances, such as an open-ended Georgia. Settlements, fortifications (both existing and destroyed), geographic features, and Native American tribes are noted throughout, providing a clear representation of America’s ‘wild’ western frontier.

The map was published by Robert Laurie and James Whittle in London in 1794. They significantly modified the plate from an earlier map by D’Anville and Thomas Jeffreys that was first published in 1755. At least four separate states exist, each showing changes in title and content that reflects the contemporary political realities.

References: McCorkle 794.1, Library of Congress 98685649

Map Details

Publication Date: 1794

Author: Laurie & Whittle

Sheet Width (in): 28.20

Sheet Height (in): 20.60

Condition: A-

Condition Description: Mild offsetting visible along the left side of the sheet and a few spots present near the vertical centerfold. Spotting also present in the center left, in the northern parts of the Louisiana Territory. Some inking present in the title cartouche from the plate strike. Very good overall. Printed on a bright, clean sheet with full margins and featuring attractive original color.

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