27 results, order by Publication Date

A fine, early sea chart of New York and southern New England

This important work provides crucial information on eastern New York and southern New England. The main chart depicts the coast from Rensselaer Hook in New Jersey to roughly the “elbow” of Cape Cod, with extensive soundings and notations of shoals and other hazards. Much detail is given for Long Island Sound, Narragansett Bay and the waters […]

View Details

King Philip confirms the grant of Taunton, Mass.

In 1638, the General Court of the Plymouth Colony granted a group of settlers the rights to a new town named Taunton, the validity of which grant was confirmed by Wampanoag Sachem Massasoit. In 1664 Massasoit’s son and successor Metacomet-more familiar to us as “King Philip”–confirmed that grant in writing, with his interpreter John Sassamon […]

View Details
Thomas Wheeler chart of Plymouth Bay Massachusetts from The Atlantic Neptune.

Plymouth Bay, Massachusetts from the Atlantic Neptune

A landmark in the mapping of Massachusetts, being the first large-scale chart of Plymouth Bay and environs. This chart depicts the waters of Plymouth Bay, with its distinctive geography marked by two long barrier beaches. The hydrographic data includes tidal data and soundings along the channels into Plymouth and the Jones and Duxbury Rivers. The […]

View Details

1776 J.F.W. Des Barres chart of Newburyport to Cape Elizabeth

A nice example of what was for its time the finest chart of the coasts of New Hampshire and southern Maine. It was issued in 1776 in The Atlantic Neptune, an atlas of the East Coast used by British captains during the Revolution. The charts were so respected that they remained in use for decades, often […]

View Details
Samuel Holland et al., Massachusetts Bay. London: J.F.W. Des Barres, April 29, 1776.

Massachusetts Bay from The Atlantic Neptune

  A very fine chart of Massachusetts Bay from the Atlantic Neptune, issued for use of British navigators early in the Revolutionary War. The Atlantic Neptune is arguably the finest atlas of North American waters ever produced, achieving in its more complete states full coverage of the East and Gulf Coasts. The Neptune’s great strength was […]

View Details
[Broadside] Manasseh Cutler et al. / Printed by S. Hall, State-Street, Boston, IN forming the annexed catalogue of diseases, particular pains have been taken to render it intelligible. Boston, Nov. 10, 1785.

A remarkable 18th-century American demographic and mortality survey

A remarkable and extremely rare broadside developed in 1785 by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences for a remarkably ambitious demographic and mortality survey of Massachusetts towns. Background The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was (and is) an honorary society chartered in 1780 by the Massachusetts General Court with the broad mission, “to […]

View Details

The first obtainable print of Harvard

A scarce and appealing 18th-century view of Harvard and “the earliest engraving of the College which one may reasonably hope to obtain.” (Bail) The view is taken from a point in front of the present-day Johnston Gate on Massachusetts Avenue across from Cambridge Common. It shows the three College buildings as they appeared in 1726, from […]

View Details
Chart from New York to Timber Island

John Norman’s 1791 Chart from New York to Timber Island

A rare American chart of the waters off Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Chart from New York to Timber Island Including Nantucket Shoals was engraved and first published in 1791 by John Norman, Boston’s most notable post-war map engraver.  It is usually found in Norman’s American Pilot, one of the earliest atlases published in […]

View Details
[Directors of the Middlesex Canal], Directions for the Superintendent & Agents of the Middlesex Canal. [Probably Boston or Medford, Mass., Oct. 1794].

1794 document laying out the structure of the Middlesex Canal Corporation

This three-page manuscript lays out in detail the management structure and policies of the Middlesex Canal Corporation, the greatest public works project attempted in the 18th-century United States. It is a seminal document in the history of American corporate management and governance. Background Running from Medford to the Merrimack River in Chelmsford, Mass., the Middlesex Canal […]

View Details