Impressive 1862 chart of Chesapeake and Delaware Bays by Fielding Lucas

Fielding Lucas, Jr. / Engraved by John and William W. Warr / [Sold by] Hagger & Brother, A Chart of the CHESAPEAKE AND DELAWARE Bays. Baltimore: Fielding Lucas, Jr., [1832] / copyrighted 1852 / corrected 1862.
Engraving[?], 40 ½”h x 28 ½”w plus margins, original wash and spot color. Mounted on original linen, with small Hagger & Brother label affixed to recto and a larger one to verso. Light overall toning, top few inches a bit darker from exposure, minor soiling and staining, and some wear along edges. Withal, very good, particularly for a chart that likely saw heavy use.

A scarce and very appealing chart of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, with coverage upstream to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, and well up the Rappahanock, York and James Rivers. Soundings extend along the eastern shore into the lower Chester River, Eastern Bay, the mouth of the Choptank, and Tangier Sound, and the entrances to both bays depict the major shoals in considerable detail. Adding to the chart’s utility are tide tables for both bays, three scale bars for use at different latitudes, and profile views of Cape Henry, Smiths Point Light House, Windmill Point and Cape Henlopen (These views had appeared on Anthony De Mayne’s 1814 Survey of the Chesapeake.) The format, size, calligraphy, profile views and judicious use of color all combine to render this a most attractive chart.

Born in Philadelphia, Fielding Lucas (1781-1854) spent most of his life in Baltimore as a mapmaker, map publisher and bookseller as well as a business and civic leader. During the early part of his career he concentrated on atlas publication, issuing the New and Elegant General Atlas in 1817 and General Atlas in 1823, while contributing 20 maps for Carey and Lea’s Complete Historical Chronological and Geographical Atlas (1822). In later years he concentrated on separately-issued maps of Maryland subjects, most notably major maps of Baltimore (1822) and the State of Maryland (1841), as well as this chart of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. According to Ristow,

“During a half century of residence in Baltimore he attained a degree of eminence above and beyond his success as a publisher and bookseller. He served as a director of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad from 1835 to 1854, as the president of the Board of School Commissioners from 1837 to 1838, and as president of the Second Branch of the City Council from 1838 to 1841.” (American Maps and Mapmakers, p. 268)

As with other examples of later editions of the chart, this one bears the label of Hagger & Brother, established in 1784 and leading sellers of charts and instruments in 19th-century Baltimore. It seems likely that either before or after Lucas’ death they purchased the rights to the chart and the actual plate and arranged for continued corrections and publication. Guthorn as well as Papenfuse and Coale suggest that the chart’s final appearance was 1859, but this example clearly states that it was “corrected 1862.” The Haggers presumably ceased publication when they could no longer compete with the more accurate and detailed charts of the region being made available by the U.S. Coast Survey and the commercial firm of Eldridge.

Guthorn, United States Coastal Charts, p. 78 (illus. on dust jacket). Papenfuse and Coale, Atlas of Historical Maps of Maryland, p. 86 and fig.78. Ristow, American Maps and Mapmakers, pp. 266-268 (for a biography of Lucas).