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[America] Pownall / Evans, A Topographical Description of Such Parts of North America as are Contained in the (Annexed) Map of the Middle British Colonies, in North America. By T. Pownall, M.P. Late Governor, &c, &c. of His Majesty's Provinces of Massachusetts Bay and South Carolina, and Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey. London: Printed for J. Almon, opposite Burlington House, in Piccadilly. MDCCLXXVI [1776]. Folio. Large paper copy. Half morocco with brown cloth boards, spine with raised bands, gilt title and decoration, gilt fillets. Marbled endpapers. vi, 46, 16 pp., large folding frontispiece map. Some rubbing to covers. Two small edge tears well outside text in the top margin of leaves E and E2. Thomas Streeter's bookplate is on the front pastedown. A pocket at rear contains the rare prospectus in contemporary marbled covers, clippings from academic journals and a typed note from eminent bookseller Lathrop C. Harper. Pencil notes on the front free endpaper read "L.C.H. Oct. 1942 $75" and "[illegible] Jan 1946 item 38 [illegible] this at $150." Sadly, World War II era prices no longer apply. SOLD

Lewis Evans was "America's greatest eighteenth-century cartographer..." (Schwartz & Ehrenberg, p. 153). "Most of his information was obtained firsthand from his travels and scientific observations..." (Brown, Ohio Valley, p. 111). His Middle British Colonies provided much valuable information especially in the Ohio Valley and is, with John Mitchell's British and French Dominions..., one of the two great maps of the century. Thomas Pownall, Governor of two colonies, knew Evans and was the dedicatee of his 1755 map.

Pownall was keenly interested in America and traveled widely. Here he updates Evans' map. The revision is printed from the original plate, which retains the imprint of engraver Jas. Turner of Philadelphia. An eastward extension to include New England is from a new plate with the sheets carefully joined.

The large folding map is now entitled A Map of the Middle British Colonies in North America. First Published by Mr. Lewis Evans, of Philadelphia, in 1755; and since corrected and improved, as also extended with the addition of New England, and bordering Parts of Canada; from actual Surveys now lying at the Board of trade. By T. Pownall MP. With a Topographical Description of such Part of North America as are contained in this Map. Printed & Published according to Act of Parliament for J. Almon in Piccadilly, London. March 25th, 1776. 19" x 32" plus margins; partially hand-colored in outline. With an inset A sketch of the remaining Part of Ohio R. &c. showing the area from the junction of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers north and east to Lake Huron. A pencil note by Streeter in the upper left margin reads "Pittsburgh shown on this map but not on the 1755 ed. ? In what issue was this first shown."

Evans' map, which first appeared in 1755, was "one of the Landmarks in American was most appreciated for its description of the Ohio Country" (Sellers & Van EE 709). Pownall's 1776 revision was "the only honest use ever made of Evans's work after his death." (Sellers & Van EE 710 citing Klinefelter "Lewis Evans and His Maps," Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, July 1971). It includes information on journeys in the American interior by Christopher Gist (1750-51) and Captain Gordon (1766).

In the prospectus, Pownall (page 3) savagely criticizes the accuracy of Thomas Jefferys' piracy of Evans' map saying it "might as well be a Map of the face of the moon."

Thomas W. Streeter was a renowned collector who devoted meticulous attention and study to his extensive Americana collection. The collection was auctioned by Parke-Bernet in a series of sales from 1966 to 1969. The eight-volume sale catalog with Streeter's notes is a standard reference.

References: Buck 28a; Graff 3341; Howes P-543; McCorkle (New England) 776.24; Sabin 64832 & 64835; Schwartz & Ehrenberg, p. 162, plate 98 (1755 edn.); Sellers & Van Ee 710; Streeter sale 826 (this copy).

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