[PENNSYLVANIA-MARYLAND BOUNDARY DISPUTE]. Articles of Agreement made and Concluded Between the Right Honourable the Lord Proprietary of Maryland, and the Honourable, the Proprietarys of Pensilvania [sic], &c. Touching the Limits and Boundaries Between the Two Provinces... Philadelphia: Printed by Benjamin Franklin, at the New Printing Office near the Market, 1733.
2o. (12 7/8 x 8¼ in.). Stabbed and sewn (9 of 10 leaves only, lacking E2 [pp.19-20], title creased along fore-margin and with neat repairs to corners and edges, resewn with restorations along central fold, other discreet mends, titlepage with pasted shelf label and circular ink stamp (repeated on pp.3 and 15). Protective clamshell case.
Provenance: W. Hamilton, early owner's signature on titlepage; Ethan Allen, 1861, inscription on title-page; Maryland Episcopal Library 1879, circular ink stamp and paper shelf label.
FIRST EDITION. Folding woodcut map (see below). "The key document in the dispute between Lord Baltimore and the Penn family" (Miller), recording the terms agreed in settlement of the fifty-one year old dispute over the exact boundaries of the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland. The dispute, the subject of a suit in chancery for nearly 30 years, was resolved in London on 10 May 1732 and six manuscript copies were produced (one was sold as part of the Chew Family Papers at Christie's, 1 April 1982, lot 7). But as the result of further disputes, Baltimore repudiated the agreement and in 1735 the Penns appealed the case to the High Court of Chancery which in 1750 handed down a decision and compelled Baltimore's compliance. This led directly to the survey of Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, 1763-1768, which finally fixed the boundaries (and established a convenient line of reference, the Mason-Dixon line, which took on profound significance in the next century during the debate over the expansion of slavery). Evans 3710; Hildeburn 455; Miller 63; Sabin 45073; Streeter sale 950; The World Encompassed: An Exhibition of the History of Maps, Baltimore: Walters Art Gallery, 1952, no.251.
[Wooduct map of Pennsylvania, Maryland and the Three Lower Counties, cut after a copperplate engraving by Thomas Hutchinson for London publisher John Senex]. Philadelphia: B. Franklin, 1733].
2o (16 3/8 x 12 7/8 in.) Woodcut map.
THE FRANKLIN WOODCUT MAP OF THE MIDDLE COLONIES: THE FIRST MAP PRINTED IN THE ENGLISH COLONIES SOUTH OF NEW YORK. Early in the difficult negotiations between Lord Baltimore and the Penn family it became apparent that "it would be difficult to set down the boundaries clearly in writing without using a map as a guide. Both Thomas Penn and Baltimore had offered their maps for this purpose, and Baltimore's had been accepted at his insistence." It was accordingly "taken to the Fleet Street shop of the engraver...John Senex, and there engraved upon copper by one of his journeymen, Thomas Hutchinson" (Nicholas B. Wainwright, "Tale of A Runaway Cape: The Penn-Baltimore Agreement of 1732," in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol.87, July 1963, p.257).
As Lawrence Wroth has written, "the identity of the American copyist of 1733 is unknown, but if we remember that before this time Franklin had taught himself enough of the engraver's art to make small woodcuts of various sorts and plates for paper money, it is not entirely unreasonable to suggest that he may have copied the London map with his own hand" John Carter Brown Library, Annual Report, 1946-7, pp.11-16). The map, without cartouche or title, shows Chesapeake Bay, the Three Lower Counties (Delaware), and large portions of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia. The most prominent features of topography are shown, including the cities of Philadelphia and New Castle, the Delaware, Susquehanna (with many tributaries named), Potomac and the Potapsco ("Potaxon") rivers and Capes May, Cornelius and Hinlopen. The boundaries established by the Agreement are carefully delineated with a dotted line, starting with a trans-peninsular line from the fictitious "Cape Hinlopen" (actually Fenwick's Island), a circle drawn with New Castle at its center, the tangent line connecting the two, and a portion of the crucial east-west line. Phillips, Maps of America, p.671.
An exceedingly rare map. The last copy of the Agreement with map offered at auction was the Streeter copy, in 1967.