The finest 18th-century map of New Jersey

Engraved & Published by W[ilia]m Faden, THE PROVINCE of NEW JERSEY, Divided into EAST AND WEST, commonly called THE JERSEYS…. SECOND EDITION with considerable Improvements. , Charing Cross, [London], December 1st, 1778.
Engraving, 33"h x 23"w plus margins, uncolored

An essential Revolutionary-period map, invaluable for understanding both Colonial boundary disputes and the campaigns in the Middle Colonies from 1776-1778.

The map
William Faden’s map depicts New Jersey in its entirety as well as adjacent areas of New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. Produced with military users in mind, it places great emphasis on roads, river systems and areas of elevation, all essential to troop mobility and the maintenance of supply lines. Villages and towns are named, county boundaries are drawn, and the locations of hundreds of individual dwellings are identified. In all, the map is superbly engraved and accommodates a great deal of detail without undue loss of legibility. Its visual appeal is further enhanced by the large and attractive cartouche depicting a prosperous and well-ordered farm surrounded by dense woodland.

Offered here is the second edition, in which “Great use has been made of several Military Surveys generously communicated by Officers of the British Troops and of the Regiments of Hesse and Anspach.” These additions are particularly evident in central New Jersey, the setting for much of the campaigning in the years 1776-1778. The topographical detail appears unchanged, but careful inspection shows the addition of many place names and roads, as well as the battlefield at Monmouth Courthouse. The new roads can be differentiated by careful inspection, as they have been added to the map without burnishing out the underlying topographic detail.

A long note below the title provides invaluable information about Faden’s sources:

“This Map has been drawn from the Survey made in 1769, by the order of the Commissioners appointed to settle the partition Line between the Province of New York & New Jersey by Bernard Ratzer, Lieutt. in the 60th Regt. and from another large Survey of the Northern Parts in the possession of the Earl of Dunmore by Gerard Banker. The whole regulate and ascertained by Astronomical observations.”

The boundary surveyed by Ratzer, labeled clearly near the top of the map, resolved a longstanding dispute between the colonies of New York and New Jersey that had its roots in the careless wording of the Duke of York’s 1664 grant of the latter to Lord Berkeley and Sir Carteret. Two other lines shown further south reflect attempts to resolve the boundaries of East and West Jersey after the Berkeley-Carteret grant was formally divided in 1676. The “astronomical observations” referred to by Faden are listed in a table at lower right.

Wikipedia describes Gerard Bancker (1740-1799) as an “American surveyor and politician” who served New York in various capacities, including City Surveyor of New York, New York State Treasurer and Director of the Bank of New York. Unfortunately neither his nor Ratzer’s source maps have been located, so beyond the attributions made by Faden it has not been possible to assess their respective contributions to the present map.

Cumming, British Maps of Colonial America, p. 22. Phillips, List of Maps of America, p. 487. Pritchard & Taliaferro, Degrees of Latitude, #47 state 2. Schwartz & Enhrenberg, Mapping of America, p. 193. Sellers & Van Ee, Maps and Charts of North America, #1238. Snyder, Mapping of New Jersey, pp. 57-59. Stevens & Tree, “Comparative Cartography,” #37b.


Gently toned (somewhat unevenly so). Mends to a couple of minor fold splits and edge tears. Lined on verso.