Virginia in Maps

Virginia in Maps

Item #: 203213
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Virginia in Maps traces the discovery, settlement, expansion, and growth of the commonwealth from the Native American world first encountered by European explorers and expansionists to the urban, modern state closely connected to national and international economies. The first comprehensive atlas of its type, Virginia in Maps provides full-color reproductions of 187 of the most important maps of the colony and the state, presenting many in multiple plates to enhance readability. Augmented by five lively and well-illustrated essays written by leading cartographic scholars, the atlas is an essential reference work and educational tool for libraries and schools. For all readers, Virginia in Maps provides an entertaining and visually stunning chronicle of the mapping of a quintessentially American place. Hardcover, 337 pages, 187 maps.

Thomas Jefferson collected maps throughout his lifetime, amassing a collection of more than 350 maps, navigational charts, city plans, and writings on the subject of geography. His father Peter Jefferson was a skilled surveyor, who along with Joshua Fry, produced what came to be known as the Fry-Jefferson map of Virginia in 1752. Jefferson called his father’s work “the 1st accurate map of Virginia which had ever been made.” A competent surveyor himself, Jefferson strove to make a contribution to the emerging science of geography with his authorship of Notes of the State of Virginia (and its accompanying map.)

As Jefferson traveled through Europe, he collected maps and integrated them into his notes in his travel log. He advised other travelers to “buy beforehand a map of the country you are going into.” In April 1791 Jefferson lent his collection of city plans to Pierre Charles L’Enfant to aid in his planning of the federal city of Washington D.C.

During the years of his presidency, Jefferson displayed “maps, globes and charts around the walls” of his Cabinet at the President’s House. As he traveled very rarely during this time, his map collecting shifted from city plans and road maps, to wall maps. According to an inventory made by Jefferson’s daughter Martha Randolph following his death, at least eight engraved wall maps hung in the Entrance Hall at Monticello: “Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Map of the World, United States (and) 2 of Virginia.”

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