Monumental map of New Jersey by William Kitchell

G[riffith] Morgan Hopkins / under the direction of William Kitchell, Superintendent of the Geological Survey of New Jersey / Jacob Weiss, Engraver, TOPOGRAPHICAL MAP OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY TOGETHER WITH THE VICINITIES OF NEW YORK AND PHILADELPHIA, AND WITH MOST OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE… Philadelphia: H. G. Bond and Robert Pearsall Smith, 1860.
Lithograph on four sheets joined, 65 ½”h x 55 ½”w at neat line plus margins, full original wash color with recent retouching. Mounted on modern replacement linen.
$4,500

The second official map of New Jersey, compiled by William Kitchell to replace Thomas Gordon’s map of 1828. A spectacular, important and surprisingly scarce piece, not described in the cartographic literature until John Delaney’s Nova Caesaria (2014).

State Geologist William Kitchell oversaw the compilation of the map from the finest available sources, in particular the findings of the State Geological Survey, the United States Coast Survey (whose work included both hydrographic surveys and triangulations of coastlines), and surveys conducted by civil engineer Griffith Morgan Hopkins. The large scale enabled Kitchell to depict the state in enormous detail, including roads and railroads; significant landmarks; and even individual dwellings and public buildings in less-populated areas. Indeed, Delaney asserts that the map represented “an attempt to show all the roads in the state.” Further information is provided by symbols differentiate areas of elevation, woodlands, waterways and marshes, while soundings are given along the coast and the Delaware and Hudson Rivers.

The map’s visual appeal and informational value are greatly enhanced by an inset meteorological map of the state; 17 large-scale plans of municipalities; engraved views of Camden, Newark, New Brunswick, Paterson, Trenton and the Delaware Water Gap; and a bold foliate border. Also of interest is a large “time dial” at upper left, useful for determining the time anywhere in the state, more than 20 years before the introduction of standard time zones in 1883.

The map had a long and tortured history and was compiled in fits and starts at the behest of a fickle state legislature. Delaney summarizes the story:

“A geological survey of New Jersey had begun in 1836-1840 under the direction of Henry D. Rogers, New Jersey’s first state geologist. Unfunded for fourteen years, it was resurrected by William Kitchell (1827-1861), when he was appointed state geologist and superintendent of the newly formed New Jersey Geological Survey in 1854…. However, after two short years, funding was again stopped until the New Jersey Agricultural Society pressured the legislature in 1860….

 

““An act relative to the geological survey of t his state” was approved on March 15, 1860. The law allowed Kitchell the use of already-completed field maps, woodcuts, and survey apparatus… but the resulting maps and reports from the new survey had to be published at his own cost. In addition, the law directed Kitchell to provide the state with ten copies of his new state map for the state library and state offices, give one copy to the state agricultural society, and deposit one in each county clerk’s office for the benefit of the people. Under the direction of Kitchell, civil engineer Griffith Morgan Hopkins, Jr., compiled the latest work of the New Jersey Geological Survey and the U.S. Coast Survey.” (Nova Caesaria, p. 58)

OCLC also notes 1861 and 1865 editions of the map.

References
Delaney, Nova Caesaria, p. 58 (illus. pp. 54-57) (NB: Nova Caesaria may be viewed on line, complete with high-resolution images of the maps discussed.) Snyder, Mapping of New Jersey, p. 105. Not in Phillips, A List of Maps of America; Ristow, American Maps and Makers; or Rumsey.

Condition

Very good after conservation, with usual toning, cracking and minor losses reinstated.