POPPLE, Henry (d. 1743). A Map of the British Empire in America with the French, Spanish and the Dutch Settlements adjacent thereto. Amsterdam: Covens and Mortier, ca 1755.
7 mapsheets, uncut, the first six with colored borders and outline coloring, each approximately 515 x 498 images (550 x 664 mm). Including the preliminary key map, four enlarged maps, inset plans of the principal forts, and inset views of Mexico, New York, Niagara Falls and Quebec, all on the last sheet and untrimmed. Disbound. Early manuscript numbering in upper right corners.
"THE SCOPE OF THE CARTOGRAPHER'S AWARENESS AT THE TIME IS BEST NOTED ON THE FIRST LARGE-SCALE PRINTED MAP OF NORTH AMERICA ... PUBLISHED IN LONDON BY HENRY POPPLE" (Schwartz & Ehrenberg)
A very fine Covens and Mortier edition of Popple's famous 1733 map. Popple drew on many sources: the maps of Guillaume De L'Isle and Nicholas de Fer; John Barnwell's manuscript map of the south-eastern colonies of circa 1721 which included up-to-date information on the Indian settlements in the interior; and Cadwallader Colden's famous Map of the Country of the Five Nations. In all, it covers from the Grand Banks off Newfoundland to about ten degrees west of Lake Superior, and from the Great Lakes to the north coast of South America. Several of the sections are illustrated with pictorial insets, including views of New York City, Niagara Falls, Mexico City, and Quebec, and inset maps of Boston, Charles-Town, Providence and Bermuda.
Originally published with "the Approbation of the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations," Popple's map had quasi-official status, and a copy was sent to each of the governments of each of the colonies. There is the approbation of Edmund Halley: "I have seen the abovementioned Map, which as far as I am Judge, seems to have been laid down with great Accuracy, and to shew the Position of the different Provinces & Islands in that Part of the Globe more truly than any yet extant." Benjamin Franklin ordered two for the Pennsylvania Assembly on 22 May 1746, "one bound and the other in sheets." One of these was hanging in the Pennsylvania State House when the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th, 1776. John Adams noted that Popple's map was "the largest I ever saw, and the most distinct." Copies were found in the private collections of several of the wealthier founding fathers, including George Washington.
Of Popple, little is known "except that he came from a family whose members had served the Board of Trade and Plantations for three generations, a connection that must have been a factor in his undertaking the map, his only known cartographic work. As Popple had no training or experience as a mapmaker he used available manuscript and printed maps as his sources ... and he relied on technical help from Clement Lempriere, an experienced surveyor and draftsman" (McCorkle).
Babinski Henry Popple's 1733 Map state 3b; Cumming and Wallis's state 4-Sh; Cumming Southeast in Early Maps 216-217; Degrees of Latitude 24; Graff 3322; Harley, Mapping the American Revolutionary War, p.91; Howes P-481; Lowery 338; McCorkle, ed., America Emergent 21; Phillips Maps 569; Sabin 64140; Schwartz & Ehrenberg, p.151; Servies 322; Streeter sale II:676.