“The first topographic map of the White Mountains”

George P. Bond / Benjamin Champney / O. Wallis (lithographer), [front board:] A MAP, WITH VIEWS OF THE WHITE MOUNTAINS [map:] A MAP OF THE WHITE MOUNTAINS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. [Cambridge: John Bartlett,] 1853.
Lithographic map (16 ½”h x 15 ¼”w) and separate sheet with 5 lithographic views (9 5/8”h x 15 5/8”w), both uncolored. Both folded into cloth-covered boards with ornaments stamped in blind and title in gilt. Light foxing and toning, long vertical crease at upper left, minor separations at three fold intersections, lower margin of the sheet of views trimmed close. Bookseller’s pencil annotations on front pastedown, ownership inscription of “L.S. Mayo” on verso of map.

A landmark 1853 map of the High Peaks of the White Mountains region of New Hampshire, including detail of both the Presidential and Franconia Ranges never before shown on a printed map.

Bond’s map is based on surveys conducted by him in the Fall of 1852. The map depicts elevations by hachuring, as well as waterways, roads, some of the area’s numerous guest houses, and landmarks such as the Willey House in Crawford Notch, where seven members of the Willey Family died in an 1826 landslide. In a first for a White Mountains map, dozens of individual peaks are named–with those of Mount Adams and Mount Jefferson reversed–with their elevations rounded to nearest hundred feet (At least some of these elevations are strikingly accurate: Mount Washington is for example given as 6300 feet high, an overstatement of just 15 feet.)

“The names of the individual peaks of the Presidential Range appear for the first time on any map, as well as the names Cannon Mt., Twin Mts., Carrigain, Tremont, and Giant’s Stairs”. (Bent, p. 84)


“This modesty in the precision of the elevation determinations is unique in the history of White Mountain cartography.  Many of these elevations, determined by theodolite and reasonably accurate when compared with modern values, were used by subsequent White Mountain cartographers.” (Apt, p. 9)

A separate sheet bears five lithographic vignettes based on paintings by Benjamin Champney (1817-1900), depicting Mts. Washington, Jefferson and Adams, as well as Echo Lake, Crystal Falls, and Glen Ellis Falls.

“Bond (1825-1865) was the second director of the Harvard College Observatory, from 1859 to 1865, and he was the son of the first director.  His first recorded visit to the White Mountains was in 1849, and his last in 1864, a few months before his death.” (Apt, p. 9) The map was reissued, printed on thin paper, in some copies of Benjamin Willey’s Incidents in White Mountain History (1856).

The verso of the map bears the penciled ownership inscription of L.S. Mayo. This is likely Lawrence Shaw Mayo (1888-1947), Harvard Class of 1910 (earning a Masters in 1911) and later Assistant Dean of Harvard College and then of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. A part-time historian, he wrote biographies of Jeffrey Amherst, New Hampshire Governor John Wentworth and others.

Apt, Maps of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, #14. Bent, Bibliography of the White Mountains, p. 84. Cobb, New Hampshire Maps to 1900, #206. Not in Phillips, A List of Maps of America.


Very good or better, with some mends at fold intersectcions.