“The first map of New Jersey to be printed in America” (Delaney), published in 1784-85 on behalf of the West Jersey Proprietors. The boundaries of Great Britain’s American colonies were usually the subjects of long-running disputes, based as they were on a toxic brew of ambiguously-written charters and geographic ignorance. The case of New Jersey […]
James Wheat and Christian Brun’s “Maps and Charts Published in America Before 1800,” commonly known as “Wheat & Brun,” is one of the great bibliographies of American maps. Wheat & Brun attempt to “describe the entire known cartographical contribution of the American press prior to 1800.” Nor do they limit themselves to the relatively small number of separately-published maps; indeed, they attempt to describe maps used as “illustrations in books and pamphlets and from all other sources such as atlases, gazetteers, almanacs, and magazines.”
Each entry provides, where possible, information about the mapmaker, publisher, date of publication, and size of the map, as well as information about the circumstances of publication (e.g., separate issue vs. atlas) and occasionally interesting advertisements and related material culled from the period press. Where a map exists in multiple editions or states, an attempt is made to treat each variant separately.
In short, Wheat & Brun, despite its relative age, has withstood the test of time and remains an essential reference tool for anyone with a collecting or scholarly interest in early American maps and charts. It is not currently available online.