Massachusetts Historical Society



Images Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Founded in 1791 with a mission to collect, preserve, make accessible and publish works promoting historical study, the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) has remained at the center of American scholarship for over two centuries.

Located between Boston Common and Fenway Park in downtown Boston, the MHS holds millions of unique documents related to the history of Massachusetts and the birth of America. With a collection which encompasses some of the earliest maps of our country to the personal diaries of our presidents, the MHS is home to a wide variety of national treasures including: cartographic items, letters, imprints, broadsides, newspapers, books, pamphlets, photographs and other artifacts.

Today, the MHS is a member of the Independent Research Library Association and is considered to be an important destination for anyone researching our nation's early history. The images contained on these pages are merely highlights of the impressive cartographic collection housed at the MHS.

When viewing the maps from the MHS, be sure to click the green "Overlay" button when available as this will display the map overlaid a modern satellite view allowing you to compare and contrast the information shown on the old map to that of the present day.

Historic Map Works encourages anyone interested in learning more about the MHS, its collections, or its current endeavors to visit ww.masshist.org

In accordance with our licensing arrangements with the MHS, the attribution text 'Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society' has been embedded non-obtrusively on all reproductions of this image. Before placing an order for a printed reproduction, please use the Zoomify viewer to ensure the image is suitable for your needs.




Location Image Description Maker Date MHS Image #
Massachusetts Berkshire County 1777 MHS Digital Image 5089 Full Title: Manuscript plan of Berkshire County (Mass.), 1777; Maker: Wendell family; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1777; Description: This plan of Berkshire County captures a much larger area than the county represents today. In 1777, Berkshire County extended from Westfield and Colrain in the east to Egremont and "West Hoosuck" (later Williamstown) in the west. This plan lists landowners by family name, acres owned, the date of purchase, and previous owner. The plan also details the acreage available in unnamed towns, areas identified as either 'unappropriated land' or 'province land.'; MHS Digital Image: 5089 Wendell family 1777 5089
Bermuda Bermuda 1780 MHS Digital Image 5137 Full Title: Manuscript map of the Bermuda Islands, 17 July 1780; Maker: Captain B. Joel; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: ; Description: NA; MHS Digital Image: 5137 Captain B. Joel 1780 5137
Massachusetts Billerica 1760c MHS Digital Image 5053 Full Title: Manuscript map of Billerica, Mass., ca. 1760; Maker: Unidentified; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: circa 1760; Description: This manuscript map of Billerica is rich in detail. The unidentified creator drew the town's borders, listing the locations of stakes, stones, and stumps, as well as different types of trees, such as White Oak, small Birch, Pine Tree, Red Oak, etc. The Concord River is a major landmark on the western portion of the town. Inside the town's boundaries, in pencil, are a series of grids and measurements. Some land is designated for private use, and some public, like the large Billerica Common in the center of the map. Governor John Winthrop was a major land owner in the town, with large plots of land, including a meadow, on both sides of the Billerica Common. ; MHS Digital Image: 5053 Unidentified 1760c 5053
Boston 1648 Created 1919 MHS Digital Image 5104 Full Title: Map of the Town of Boston 1648; Drawn by Samuel C. Clough in Accordance with Information Compiled with the Records of the Colony ...; Date Depicted on Image: 1648; Created 1919;

Completed on 10 April 1919, this map by Samuel Chester Clough (1873-1949) shows property owners and land lots in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1648. This map informs his later maps of 1676 and 1798, as well as his atlas. An inscription on this map lists Clough's sources: "Drawn by Samuel C. Clough in accordance with information complied from the records of the Colony, Town, Registry of Deeds, Suffolk Probate, and Supreme Court; Book of Possessions, Winthrop Journal, Lechford Note Book, Aspinwall's Notes and City Surveys."

The map shows a densely populated Shawmut peninsula, especially the area around present-day State Street, Government Center, and Faneuil Hall. The hills, fields, and marshland all but disappear over the next century as the land was divided, sold, made, and developed. The map hints that the North End was practically an island, with a tidal creek connecting the Mill Cove to the Great Cove.

Clough also created a map of Boston in 1676, an atlas of Boston neighborhoods in 1798, and a series of plate maps for 1798 all of which are held at the MHS.

Clough was a draftsman for Boston Edison Company and worked for the Boston Navy Yard in Charlestown.

Additional Image Notes: The original of this map is held at the MHS where it was cut into six sheets for storage. These individual sheets were digitized by the MHS and later digitally assembled by HMW into a single image building upon the digital compositing work originally started by the MHS.

Notes about the two versions: Version 1 of the composited image is described as Digitally Restored due to HMW's digital replacement of the borders which are missing on the original physical map in the MHS archive and the subsequent Version 2 composite. Though most of HMW's fine-art reproduction customers will be interested in Version 1 for aesthetic reasons, it should be noted that Version 2 is a more faithful reproduction of the map within MHS archive (missing borders and all) and can be also ordered as a reproduction.; MHS Digital Image: 5104
Samuel Chester Clough 1648
Boston 1676 Created 1920c MHS Digital Image 3850 Full Title: Map of the Town of Boston 1676; Drawn by Samuel C. Clough in Accordance with Information Compiled from the Records ...; Date Depicted on Image: 1676; Created 1920c;

Description: This map by Samuel Chester Clough (1873-1949) shows property owners and land lots in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1676. An inscription on the map reads, "Drawn by Samuel C. Clough in accordance with information compiled from the records of the Colony, Town, Registry of Deeds, Suffolk Probate, and Supreme Court; Book of Possessions, Winthrop Journal, Lechford Note Book, Aspinwall's Notes and City Surveys."

Compared to Clough's map depicting Boston in 1648, this map shows more buildings and streets, indicative of the rise in population. New streets had rather unusual names that indicated their purpose: "Street from the Sea to the Common," "Highway to Windmill," "Long Street to Burying Place," and "Street from Mill Bridge to Winnisimmet Ferry."

Compiled from the same resources as the Map of the Town of Boston in 1648, the 1676 map shows a much different Boston. More of the coastline is developed both for personal land and industry, recognizing the importance of the sea in the expansion of Boston. Property, especially in the area that became downtown Boston, is divided among more landowners. Other landmarks depicted on the 1676 map convey public places required by the town's growing population--a "New Burying Ground" near the Common, a Third Meeting House, and a Latin School.

A close review of these maps illustrates connections between seventeenth century property owners and current street and place names in Boston. Property belonging to William Greenough, including Greenough's Wharf, is now Greenough Lane in Boston's North End. Likewise, John Hull owned land that is now Hull Street and the area known now as Leverett Circle near North Station, belonged to John Leverett.

Clough was a draftsman for Boston Edison Company and worked for the Boston Navy Yard in Charlestown. This map forms a part of the Samuel Chester Clough Research Materials toward a Topographical History of Boston, a manuscript collection at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Additional Image Notes: The original of this map is held at the MHS where it was cut into six sheets for storage. These individual sheets were digitized by the MHS and later digitally assembled by HMW into a single image building upon the digital compositing work originally started by the MHS.; MHS Digital Image: 3850
Samuel Chester Clough 1676
Massachusetts Boston 1714 Long Wharf MHS Digital Image 5095 Full Title: Manuscript map of Long Wharf (Boston, Mass.), 1714; Maker: John Bonner; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1714; Description: Captain John Bonner's map shows the wharves along the Boston waterfront from Long Wharf to the South Battery to "Winmel Poynt" (Windmill Point). Bonner's map also includes notations about water depth.; MHS Digital Image: 5095 John Bonner 1714 5095
Massachusetts Boston 1722 Captain John Bonner Survey reissued and updated in 1835 MHS Digital Image 5024 Full Title: The town of Boston in New England by Capt. John Bonner, 1722. Aetatis Suae 60.; Maker: Capt. John Bonner; Publisher: Facsimile map engraved and published by George G. Smith, Boston, 1835.; Date: 1835; Description: In 1835, George Girdler Smith (1795-1878), an engraver, re-issued the 1722 Bonner map of Boston. This facsimile map, based on the Bonner map in the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society (the third state of the map probably printed in 1725), includes the following note of authenticity by Stephen P. Fuller, a surveyor, "I have examined this plan and find it to be an exact copy of the original." Another note on the map reads, "Engraved from a copy in the possession of Wm. Taylor Esq." The 1835 version of the map also includes alterations to the topography of Boston since the first printing of Bonner's map in 1722. These alterations--new streets, buildings, and waterfront developments--appear in red, blue, and green ink. Alterations in red occurred between 1722 and 1733; in blue, between 1734 and 1743; and in green, between 1743 and 1769.; MHS Digital Image: 5024 Capt. John Bonner 1722 5024
Massachusetts Boston 1722 Captain John Bonner Survey third state likely produced in 1725 MHS Digital Image 5023 Full Title: The town of Boston in New England by Capt. John Bonner; Maker: Capt. John Bonner; Publisher: Boston : Printed by Francis Dewing, [1725].; Date: 1722 [i.e. 1725]; Description: The Town of Boston in New England by John Bonner is the first printed map of Boston, Massachusetts. Bonner (circa 1643-1726) was a captain, navigator, and shipwright. A wealth of information about pre-Revolutionary Boston is available through Bonner?s map, including street layouts, churches, and public buildings. The population was estimated to be near 15,000. The map in the collection at the Massachusetts Historical Society is the only known copy of the third state of the 1722 map depicting Boston, likely published in 1725. It is in extremely fragile condition, is missing a few pieces, and has been placed on an archival backing.; MHS Digital Image: 5023 Capt. John Bonner 1722 Likely 1725 5023
Massachusetts Boston 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill 17 June MHS Digital Image 4919 Full Title: A Plan of the battle, on Bunkers Hill fought on the 17th of June 1775 / by an officer on the spot.; Maker: An officer on the spot; Publisher: London : Printed for R. Sayer & J. Bennett, 27 Nov?r 1775.; Date: ; Description: By late April 1775, British troops garrisoned on the Boston peninsula are surrounded by 20,000 colonial militia in the outlying countryside. The siege of Boston has begun. The geography of Boston and Charlestown is laid out in both the map drawn by an "Officer on the Spot" and the letter from General Burgoyne to his nephew, Lord Stanley. General Burgoyne, who has only just arrived in Boston in late May, describes the vital importance of the high ground surrounding Boston in both Charlestown and Dorchester and why "it was absolutely necessary to become masters of these heights." Burgoyne, a veteran of the Seven Years' War in Europe, details the original plan to capture the heights, and explains what caused that plan to change. The map shows British fortifications on the Boston peninsula and the positions of both British and colonial troops on 17 June 1775. ; MHS Digital Image: 4919 An officer on the spot 1775 4919
Massachusetts Boston 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill 28 November MHS Digital Image 5057 Full Title: Manuscript map of the Battle of Bunker Hill, 28 November 1775; Maker: S. Biggs; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 28 November 1775; Description: This map of Boston and Charlestown was made in November 1775 by a British officer (possibly S. Biggs) and shows major geographic landmarks and man-made fortifications in the Boston area. Many of the entrenchments, redoubts, and fortified structures are labeled with reference numbers: "1) Charlestown & entrenchments on the heights. 2) The Rebels Redoubt & Entrencht [of] 17th June sine demolished. 3)The difft Lines & Works of the Rebels. 4. Our works." Also included on the map are two lists showing distances in yards between Boston and various points, as well as from Mount Pisgah, near Winter Hill in Somerville, to various points.; MHS Digital Image: 5057 S. Biggs 1775 5057
Massachusetts Boston 1775 Recreated 1907 MHS Digital Image 5005 Full Title: A plan of Boston in New England with its environs including Milton, Dorchester, Roxbury, Brooklin, Cambridge, Medford, Charlestown, parts of Malden and Chelsea, with the military works constructed in those parts in the years 1775 and 1776; Maker: Henry Pelham. Engraved in aqua tinta by Francis Jukes; Publisher: Boston : W. A. Butterfield, c1907; Date: 1907; Description: Originally published in 1777, this 1907 facsimile printed by Boston publisher W. A. Butterfield reproduces the incredible detail captured by Loyalist Henry Pelham as he surveyed the theater of the Siege of Boston. The area covered is from modern-day Winthrop to Medford and from the area known as Squantum Point Park (in Quincy) to Brookline and shows major military works; roadways; important public buildings, farms, and wharves; rivers, creeks, and ponds and the Harbor Islands. Pelham has listed individual land owners (for example Henry Howell Williams's property on Noddles Island). In the upper left corner, this map includes an illustration of a document issued to Pelham on 28 August 1775, which granted him access to plot the geography of both British and American forces.; MHS Digital Image: 5005 Henry Pelham. Engraved in aqua tinta by Francis Jukes 1907 5005
Massachusetts Boston 1776 MHS Digital Image 0096 Full Title: A plan of Boston, and its environs : shewing the true situation of His Majesty?s army, and also those of the rebels.; Maker: Richard Williams. Engrav?d by Jno. Lodge; Publisher: London : Andrew Dury, 1776; Date: 1776; Description: This map of the Boston area published in London in 1776 was based on a drawing made in October 1775 by Lieutenant Richard Williams, an officer in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, but not, as the map states, a trained engineer. The map includes points of military interest such as batteries and fortifications; the locations of prominent buildings (Town Hall, Faneuil Hall, and Roxbury Meeting House), roads, hills, nearby islands in Boston Harbor and the area exposed at low tide. It also notes the location of Henry Howell Williams's mansion house on Noddles Island. Oriented with north toward the upper right, this plan was drawn by and for British use and refers to the American militia as the Rebels.; MHS Digital Image: 0096 Richard Williams. Engrav?d by Jno. Lodge 1776 0096
Massachusetts Boston 1787 MHS Digital Image 4968 Full Title: Manuscript map of the 1787 fire of Boston, Massachusetts drawn by Jeremy Belknap, 23 April 1787; Maker: Jeremy Belknap; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1787; Description: This manuscript map of Boston drawn by Jeremy Belknap accompanied a letter from Belknap to Ebenezer Hazard describing the extent of the 20 April 1787 fire in Boston, Mass. The map shows the location where the fire started and the area that was destroyed. If one were to look at a map of Boston today, the fire would have destroyed the area currently occupied by Tufts-New England Medical Center on Washington Street (in 1787, Orange Street) and the surrounding buildings.; MHS Digital Image: 4968 Jeremy Belknap 1787 4968
Massachusetts Boston 1794 MHS Digital Image 5088 Full Title: Manuscript map of Boston (Mass.), 20 September 1794; Maker: Jeremy Belknap; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 20 September 1794; Description: This manuscript map by Jeremy Belknap was enclosed in a letter he sent to Ebenezer Hazard on 20 September 1794 and shows the Tontine Crescent, churches and meetinghouses (including the Old South Meeting House, Trinity Church, and the Federal Street Church), wharves, and the locations of Belknap's various residences in Boston. The map also shows the location of the origin of a fire on 30 July 1794 (within the ropewalks located near Fort Hill) and a dotted line indicates the extent of the damage. The map's western boundary is present-day Washington Street. ; MHS Digital Image: 5088 Jeremy Belknap 1794 5088
Massachusetts Boston 1798 Clough's Finished 60 Page Atlas MHS Digital Series 5052 Full Title: Atlas of Boston neighborhoods based on the Direct Tax Census of 1798; Date Depicted on Image: 1798 Created c1930-1940; Description: This atlas by Samuel Clough (1873-1949) consists of 60 manuscript maps depicting fifty-five blocks of Boston showing street layouts and property ownership in 1798. Clough obtained this information from the Direct Tax Census of 1798. The front leaf of the atlas is a drawing of the Shawmut peninsula with color-coded blocks that correspond to the maps within the atlas. Clough's work on the atlas is part of an unfinished topographical history of Boston. Clough was a draftsman for Boston Edison Company and worked for the Boston Navy Yard in Charlestown. It is unclear whether this atlas was created before, after, or concurrently with a series of oversize 1798 plates, but Clough used similar features such as the block property number system.; MHS Digital Series: 5052 Samuel Chester Clough 1798 5052
Massachusetts Boston 1798 Clough's Unfinished Oversized Atlas MHS Digital Series 5120 Full Title: Clough's Atlas 1798 Property Owners of the Town of Boston - Oversized and Unfinished; Maker: Samuel Chester Clough; Publisher: Unattributed; Date Depicted on Image: 1798 Created 1900c; Description: hese 12 oversize atlas plates, part of an uncompleted atlas by Samuel Clough (1873-1949), depict Boston and its property owners in 1798. The information contained within these atlas plates is based on information Clough obtained from the Direct Tax Census of 1798. Some of these oversize atlas plates appear to be finished and include the title of the atlas, Clough's Atlas 1798: Property Owners of the Town of Boston, and/or a key that distinguishes the different types of boundary lines and explains how colors are used to indicate the materials used for buildings (stone, brick, timber, etc.). A few of these oversize atlas plates are drafts or working copies, made in pencil or in ink with minimal details. It is unclear whether this atlas was created before, after, or concurrently with Clough's 60-page atlas, Atlas of Boston neighborhoods based on the Direct Tax Census of 1798.; MHS Digital Series: 5120 Samuel Chester Clough 1798 5120
Massachusetts Boston 1814 MHS Digital Image 5112 Full Title: A plan of those parts of Boston and the towns in its vicinity : with the waters and flats adjacent which are immediately or remotely connected with the contemplated design of erecting perpetual tide-mills.; Maker: Benjamin Dearborn; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1814; Description: This map by Benjamin Dearborn (1754-1838) is a proposal to construct what he called "Perpetual Tide Mills" across the Back Bay and South Bay in Boston. The plan details water and marshland as well as streets and roads of Boston, Roxbury, Brookline, Charlestown, Cambridge, Brighton, and Dorchester. Dearborn's map, which introduces an extensive series of canals, dams, and toll roads, is a variation on a previously proposed Mill Dam project. Creating a Mill Dam and road across the Back Bay came on the heels of the successful Mill Pond project near Boston's North End. Dearborn printed and colored the map using a letterpress, declaring that his plan "is probably one of the First ever Printed in a similar manner as the common Printing Press cannot be thus applied."; MHS Digital Image: 5112 Benjamin Dearborn 1814 5112
Massachusetts Boston 1825c MHS Digital Image 3516 Full Title: Plan of Boston; Maker: Unattributed; Publisher: unidentified publisher; Date: [1825]; Description: NA; MHS Digital Image: 3516 Unattributed 1825c 3516
Massachusetts Boston Harbor 1775 MHS Digital Image 5111 Full Title: Manuscript map of the Boston Harbor, 1775; Maker: Jeremy Belknap; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1775; Description: This manuscript map of Boston Harbor created by Jeremy Belknap in 1775, presents a large perspective of Eastern Massachusetts and the islands in the Massachusetts Bay. This map depicts the harbor islands, coastal towns from Lynn to Hingham, and roads to inland towns such as Providence, Taunton, Watertown, Worcester, Concord, and Andover. Belknap's map indicates the major settlements and developments in Boston, Roxbury, and Charlestown, as well as minor settlements and developments in Medford, Malden, Cambridge, Watertown, and at Point Shirley in Winthrop. A piece of the map is missing along the fold line. ; MHS Digital Image: 5111 Jeremy Belknap 1775 5111
Massachusetts Boston Harbor 1776 MHS Digital Image 5249 Full Title: A manuscript plan of the town of, and chart of the harbor, of Boston, 1776; Maker: Unattributed; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1776; Description: This manuscript map shows the shape of Boston, Boston Harbor, and the islands during the Siege. It also depicts the south shore to Hingham and includes the locations of ships, army encampments, and a lighthouse. A statement on the map conveys information about the size of the troops involved in the Siege of Boston: "The King's Army in Boston 8000. Our army 20,000 around Boston 1776."; MHS Digital Image: 5249 Unattributed 1776 5249
Massachusetts Braintree and Wymouth 1760c MHS Digital Image 5110 Full Title: Manuscript map of taverns in Braintree and Weymouth, Mass., ca. 1760; Maker: John Adams; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: circa 1760; Description: A manuscript map drawn by John Adams with locations of taverns in Braintree and Weymouth, Mass. Adams notes the names of the tavern proprietors, proximity to taverns, and other facts about Braintree and Weymouth.; MHS Digital Image: 5110 John Adams 1760c 5110
Massachusetts Fort Independence 1809 MHS Digital Image 4671 Full Title: A plan of Fort Independence; Maker: Lewis Peckham; Publisher: ; Date: 1809; Description: Lieutenant Lewis Peckham drew this manuscript map of Fort Independence in Boston Harbor in December of 1809, while serving there in the Fourth Regiment, United States Infantry. Located in the main shipping channel of Boston Harbor about two and one half miles from the city waterfront, Castle Island is the oldest fortified military site in British North America. The origin of the name, Castle Island, is unknown, but it was referred to in this manner before the first fort was built on the site in 1643. The present pentagonal fort (built between 1834 and 1851) is the eighth generation of forts or "castles" built and garrisoned on the strategically located island. Castle Island now is connected to the mainland by a concrete causeway opened in 1928. Both Fort Independence and Castle Island are listed on the state and national registers of historic places, and the Fort is a National Historic Landmark.; MHS Digital Image: 4671 Lewis Peckham 1809 4671
Cuba Havana 1762 MHS Digital Image 2730 Full Title: A plan of the Havana and its environs : with the several posts and attacks made by the British forces; under the command of the Earl of Albemarle and Snr Geo. Pocock which was taken 13 Aug: 1762; Maker: Thomas Kitchin; Publisher: London : Publish'd according to Act of Parliamt Novr 1st 1762 by J. Boydell engraver in Cheapside & R. Willock Bookseller in Cornhil, [1762].; Date: 1762; Description: Although deeply suspicious of England's expanding commercial interests, Spain at first remained neutral in the Seven Years War. Lured by the promise of Minorca and Gibraltar, however, Charles III of Spain declared war against England in January 1762. Spain's timing was poor. England's naval supremacy had already given her the upper hand in the West Indies, and in June a large British fleet landed an army near Havana. Yellow fever and malaria took a heavy toll on these forces, but reinforcements from North America made it possible to continue the siege of Morro Castle, the key to Havana harbor. The castle fell on July 30, forcing the city to surrender two weeks later.; MHS Digital Image: 2730 Thomas Kitchin 1762 2730
Massachusetts Holliston 1793 MHS Digital Image 5100 Full Title: Manuscript plan of the town of Holliston, 13 February 1793; Maker: Samuel Bullard; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 13 February 1793; Description: Samuel Bullard's manuscript plan of the town of Holliston in 1793 shows the location of ponds, rivers, meeting houses, farms, trees, and bridges. Bullard surveyed the neighboring towns of Framingham, Hopkinton, Medway, Franklin, Sherburne (Sherborn), and Natick. He includes the courses of the Sudbury River and the Charles River. A note indicates that Bullard surveyed Franklin on 9 March 1784. The location of Jasper Rock is marked as the former southwestern corner of Natick. The surrounding towns of the surveyed area are also identified including Wrentham, Bellingham, Milford, Southborough, Marlborough, Sudbury, East Sudbury, Weston, Needham, Dover, and Medfield.; MHS Digital Image: 5100 Samuel Bullard 1793 5100
New York Lake Champlain 1776 MHS Digital Image 2732 Full Title: A survey of Lake Champlain : including Lake George, Crown Point, and St. John (see Notes field for full title); Maker: William Brasier; Publisher: London : Printed for Robt. Sayer & Jno. Bennett, 1776; Date: 1776; Description: Because dense forests made overland travel in North America very difficult, Indians and Europeans used waterways whenever possible. Between the St. Lawrence River (Montreal) and the Hudson River (Albany), several smaller rivers and lakes enabled fur traders, missionaries, and soldiers to travel by canoes and bateaus. Lake Champlain, the longest of these waterways, provided a link between the two major rivers. Although the French dominated the northern end of the lake, the southern sector and Lake George remained in contention. In 1755, the governor of Canada ordered the construction of Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) at the place where travelers had to move overland between Lake Champlain and Lake George. Sir William Johnson responded by erecting Fort William Henry at the southern tip of Lake George.; MHS Digital Image: 2732 William Brasier 1776 2732
New York Lake George 1755 MHS Digital Image 2724 Full Title: A prospective plan of the battle fought near Lake George : on the 8th of September 1755,; Maker: Samuel Blodget; Publisher: Boston : s.n., 1755.; Date: 1755; Description: Samuel Blodget, a civilian who provisioned military forces, was present at the battle of Lake George in 1755 and afterwards prepared this crude drawing from his observations. Although he had little education, Blodget possessed a shrewd marketing sense. He persuaded Thomas Johnston, one of Boston?s best engravers, to engrave the scene for publication, and Richard Draper, a Boston printer, edited the entrepreneur?s semi-literate account for a general audience. The map probably first appeared as an insert between the first two pages of the pamphlet, which Blodget was selling at his store in Boston by mid December?barely three months after the battle.; MHS Digital Image: 2724 Samuel Blodget 1755 2724
Nova Scotia Louisbourg 1746 MHS Digital Image 2728 Full Title: Plan of the city and fortress of Louisbourg : with a small plan of the Harbour, 1746; Maker: Drawing by Richard Gridley, engraving by P. Pelham; Publisher: [Boston] : P. Pelham fecit 1746. Sold by J. Smibert in Queen Street Boston N.E., 1746; Date: 1746; Description: By the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), the French surrendered Nova Scotia (Acadia) to England but retained Isle Royale (Cape Breton Island) and Isle St. Jean (Prince Edward Island). To protect these islands as well as the fisheries and the approaches to the St. Lawrence River, France constructed the Fortress of Louisbourg. The walls of Louisbourg also protected a town (consequently, fortress rather than fort), and its location on a fine harbor made it one of the chief ports of North America. On June 17, 1745, during the King George???s War, the garrison at Louisbourg surrendered to New England forces commanded by William Pepperrell and a Royal Navy squadron under Admiral Peter Warren.; MHS Digital Image: 2728 Drawing by Richard Gridley, engraving by P. Pelham 1746 2728
Maine Maine 1754 Coast and Rivers MHS Digital Image 2731 Full Title: This plan of Kennebeck & Sagadahock Rivers & country adjacent :; Maker: Thomas Johnston; Publisher: [Boston] : Engraved, printed & sold by Thomas Johnston, Brattle Street, Boston, New England, 1754.; Date: 1754; Description: The Kennebec River rises deep in Maine at Moosehead Lake. It flows southeasterly and empties into the Gulf of Maine near Sequin Island. During the war, this river provided a critical water link between Canada and northern New England. French and Indians favored the Chaudiere-Kennebec route (see upper-left inset of map) for invasions, although it required a brief portage (a land crossing) between the two rivers. In the north, the Chaudiere connected with the St. Lawrence River, which led to Lake Ontario to the west and to the coast of Nova Scotia to the east.; MHS Digital Image: 2731 Thomas Johnston 1754 2731
Maine Maine State Map 1799c MHS Digital Image 5103 Full Title: Map of the District of Maine, Massachusetts : compiled from actual surveys / made by order of the General Court and under the inspection of agents of their appointment by Osgood Carleton; Maker: Osgood Carleton; Publisher: [Boston : s.n., ca. 1799?]; Date: circa 1799?; Description: Osgood Carleton, one of the first professional mapmakers in the America, made this map of Maine a few years before his A Map of Massachusetts Proper. Maine, at the time of the map's creation, was a district and part of Massachusetts. Maine become a state in 1820.; MHS Digital Image: 5103 Osgood Carleton 1799c 5103
Massachusetts Massachusetts 1775 MHS Digital Image 0513 Full Title: To the Hone. Jno. Hancock, Esqre. President of ye Continental Congress, this Map of the Seat of Civil War in America, is respectfully inscribed; Maker: Bernard Romans; Publisher: [unidentified printer, 1775]; Date: 1775; Description: This map, drawn by Bernard Romans in 1775, is the first map printed in America to show Massachusetts as an independent state. The map shows rivers, creeks, hills, and towns within each existing county in Massachusetts, as well as portions of Connecticut and Rhode Island. A detail of the Boston area includes the Shawmut peninsula, Charlestown, Cambridge, and Roxbury. Across the top of the map, Romans listed the islands in Boston Harbor. Although the map is inaccurate in some local geographical details, it served its purpose of graphically conveying information concerning the scene of the fighting of various battles during the American Revolution to the rest of the colonies. The inaccuracies in the map are embodied primarily through the compression of scale of Romans? cartographic representations of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.; MHS Digital Image: 0513 Bernard Romans 1775 0513
Massachusetts Massachusetts 1785c MHS Digital Image 5091 Full Title: Map of western Massachusetts, circa 1785; Maker: Wendall family; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: circa 1785; Description: This map of western Massachusetts shows cities and towns in present-day Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties, as well as the Connecticut River. There are large areas of Berkshire, Franklin, and Hampshire counties that are unnamed. The dotted lines roughly follow current county borderlines.; MHS Digital Image: 5091 Wendall family 1785c 5091
Massachusetts Massachusetts 1790c MHS Digital Image 5055 Full Title: Manuscript map of southeastern Massachusetts, ca. 1790; Maker: Jeremy Belknap; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: circa 1790; Description: This map of southeastern Massachusetts attributed to Jeremy Belknap places Plymouth at its center. The map surveys distances between many towns and cities in southeastern Massachusetts, both by land and across Massachusetts Bay. The area between Plymouth and Barnstable/Hyannis is particularly detailed. The scope of the map includes the area from Boston Harbor to what is now Provincetown, Cape Cod. The map also sketches the area around Fall River, New Bedford, and Lakeville, though these are not specifically identified. The map gives distances from towns to Boston, Taunton, Plymouth, Acushnet, Rochester, and Sandwich.; MHS Digital Image: 5055 Jeremy Belknap 1790c 5055
Massachusetts Massachusetts 1802 MHS Digital Image 2113 Full Title: Map of Massachusetts proper : compiled from actual surveys made by order of the General Court and under the inspection of agents of their appointment / by Osgood Carleton.; Maker: Osgood Carleton; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1802; Description: This map, published in 1802, is the second edition of the first official map of Massachusetts entitied, Map of Massachusetts Proper, originally published in 1801.? The idea for a state map began to take shape in 1791 when Osgood Carleton, one of the first professional mapmakers in America, suggested a regional map of Southern New England based on town surveys. The Massachusetts Historical Society supported the idea and helped persuade the Massachusetts General Court (the state legislature) to pass a state mapping law in 1794. Osgood Carleton produced the original design of the state map using information gathered from town surveys and information supplied by the Historical Society.; MHS Digital Image: 2113 Osgood Carleton 1802 2113
Massachusetts Massachusetts and Rhode Island 1850 MHS Digital Image 5155 Full Title: Map of Massachusetts and Rhode Island; Maker: Unattributed; Publisher: Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co, 1850.; Date: 1850; Description: NA; MHS Digital Image: 5155 Unattributed 1850 5155
Massachusetts Medford 1637 MHS Digital Image 3837 Full Title: Manuscript map of the Ten Hills (Medford, Mass.), October 1637; Maker: Winthrop family; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1637 October; Description: The first governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop, owned property along the Mystic River. He called his estate Ten Hills. This manuscript map from the Winthrop family papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society was drawn in 1637 and depicts the town of Medford, the Mystic River, and various landmarks. The Winthrop farm is represented by buildings just to the left of the middle of the image.; MHS Digital Image: 3837 Winthrop family 1637 3837
Massachusetts Middleborough 1793 MHS Digital Image 5093 Full Title: Manuscript map of the town of Middleborough, 14 June 1793; Maker: Nehemiah Bennett; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 14 June 1793; Description: The manuscript map of Middleborough, drawn in June 1793 by Nehemiah Bennett, shows border towns and the locations of meetinghouses, mills, ponds, brooks, and rivers, but it doesn't include the roads of the town. Bennett probably gave this map to the Massachusetts Historical Society at the same time he submitted the text for his "Description of the Town of Middleborough, in the County of Plymouth," an article that was published in the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, volume III, 1794, pages 1-3. The verso of the map includes an endorsement indicating it was received by Jeremy Belknap. (Belknap was the principal founder of the Massachusetts Historical Society and led its collecting and publishing efforts in the 1790s.); MHS Digital Image: 5093 Nehemiah Bennett 1793 5093
Massachusetts Middlesex County 1830c MHS Digital Image 4297 Full Title: A Map of Middlesex County, Compiled from the latest authorities, embracing the recent surveys of the State for Railways and Canals.; Maker: James G. Carter; Publisher: Cambridge: Hilliard and Brown, n.d.; Date: ; Description: NA; MHS Digital Image: 4297 James G. Carter 1830c 4297
Rhode Island Narragansett Bay 1778 MHS Digital Image 4597 Full Title: Manuscript map of Narragansett Bay, August 1778; Maker: J. Denison; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: August 1778; Description: NA; MHS Digital Image: 4597 J. Denison 1778 4597
United States New England 1634 MHS Digital Image 3222 Full Title: The South part of New England, as it is planted this year 1634; Maker: William Wood; Publisher: London, 1634; Date: ; Description: NA; MHS Digital Image: 3222 William Wood 1634 3222
United States New England 1677 White Hills Edition MHS Digital Image 3716 Full Title: A map of New-England : being the first that ever was here cut, and done by the best pattern that could be had, which being in some places defective, it made the other less exact: Yet doth it sufficiently show the situation of the country...; Maker: John Foster; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1677; Description: This is first map known to have been published in the English colonies of North America, and it is probably the first map published in the Western Hemisphere. This map has been attributed to John Foster, who printed William Hubbard's Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in which A Map of New England appeared. Foster is thought to have been the only man in Boston to have made woodcuts during that period. The layout of the map might be slightly disorienting to researchers because it depicts the western part of New England along the top of the page and the northern regions (including the White Hills of what is now New Hampshire) along the right side. A controversy arises because another version of the map, possibly also cut in Boston by Foster, was inserted in the London edition of Hubbard's work, re-titled The Present State of New-England, which was published within a few months of the Boston edition. The two versions of the map differ mainly in some of the text that appears on the map. The American edition of Hubbard's Narrative contains the version known as the "White Hills" map; in the other version, the White Hills of New Hampshire are identified as the "Wine Hills." The Massachusetts Historical Society's copy of the "White Hills" map is unique, as it contains a symbol for an unnamed town that appears on no other surviving copy of this version.; MHS Digital Image: 3716 John Foster 1677 3716
United States New England 1677 Wine Hills Edition MHS Digital Image 3715 Full Title: A map of New-England : being the first that ever was here cut, and done by the best pattern that could be had, which being in some places defective, it made the other less exact: Yet doth it sufficiently show the situation of the country...; Maker: John Foster; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1677; Description: This early map of New England, probably by John Foster, was published in The Present State of New-England by William Hubbard (London, 1677), the London edition of Hubbard's Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians (Boston, 1677). The layout of the map might be slightly disorienting to researchers because it depicts the western part of New England along the top of the page and the northern regions (including the White Hills of what is now New Hampshire) along the right side, although on this map those mountains are labeled the "Wine Hills". This map (the "Wine Hills" version) is nearly identical to the "White Hills" version, but the inscription that appears in the upper right corner features different line breaks, punctuation, and spelling of words than the "White Hills" version of the map. The text reads, "A MAP OF NEW-ENGLAND, Being the first that ever was here cut, and done by the best Pattern that could be had which being in some places defective, it made the other less exact: yet doth it sufficiently shew the Scituation of the Countrey, and conveniently well the distance of Places. The figures that are joyned with the Names of Places are to distinguish such as have been assaulted by the Indians from others."; MHS Digital Image: 3715 John Foster 1677 3715
Massachusetts Newton - Weston - Waltham 1839 MHS Digital Image 5098 Full Title: Manuscript map of Newton, Weston, and Waltham, 9 October 1839; Maker: George Brackett; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 9 October 1839; Description: George Brackett's map of Newton shows meetinghouses, roadways, bridges, churches, schools, and ponds. It also lists bordering towns such as Brookline, Brighton, Watertown, Waltham, Weston, Needham, Dedham, and Roxbury. The Charles River is a prominent feature of the map, as are the many bridge crossings. Brackett's map also records land and property owners.; MHS Digital Image: 5098 George Brackett 1839 5098
Massachusetts Pittsfield 1794 MHS Digital Image 5090 Full Title: Manuscript map of Pittsfield, Mass., 8 December 1794; Maker: Wendell family; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 8 December 1794; Description: This map shows the locations of ponds, mills, forges, swamps, and the meetinghouse in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in December 1794. The text running along the top and side of the map provides narrative details about the distances between the town's borders. ; MHS Digital Image: 5090 Wendell family 1794 5090
Massachusetts Plymouth 1795c MHS Digital Image 5094 Full Title: Manuscript map of Plymouth harbor, ca. 1795; Maker: Jeremy Belknap; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: circa 1795; Description: Attributed to Jeremy Belknap, the manuscript map of Plymouth Harbor shows the coast of Massachusetts from Marshfield to Eel River (now Beach Park), including Duxborough (now Duxbury), Clarke's Island, Sauquish Point (now Standish Point), and Gurnet Lighthouse. The map also shows the locations of roads from Boston to Plymouth, as well as roads from Plymouth to Sandwich, Taunton, and to Manimet Parish (now Manomet). Three numbers on the map indicate the following: "1. The place where the first settlers landed on 22 Dec'r 1620. N.S." [New Style date] "2. The brook on the N side whereof they halted for the first winter." "3. Clarke's I. where they spent their first Sabbath after their arrival on the coast on 8 Dec'r. 1620." [Old Style date] ; MHS Digital Image: 5094 Jeremy Belknap 1795c 5094
Quebec Quebec 1759 MHS Digital Image 2762 Full Title: A plan of Quebec; Maker: Edward Oakley; Publisher: [London] : Publish???d according to act of Parliament Octobr. 1759 by E. Oakley & Sold by J. Rocque ..., Oct. 1759.; Date: 1759; Description: Founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608, the city of Quebec stood on a bluff overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the main route into Canada. Its vital location made Quebec the most important city in French Canada, and French merchants filled the lower town, between the river and the bluffs, with their homes and warehouses. The citadel and public buildings dominated the upper town, which stood on the bluffs 300 feet above the river. These cliffs provided natural protection against an attack from the water, but on the land side a large open plain extended beyond the city walls. An enemy approaching from this direction would have a much greater chance of victory.; MHS Digital Image: 2762 Edward Oakley 1759 2762
Massachusetts Sharon 1793 MHS Digital Image 5054 Full Title: Manuscript map of Sharon, 1793; Maker: Nehemiah Bennett; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1793; Description: Nehemiah Bennett drew this map of Sharon for Boston Magazine. The map shows the locations of taverns, a meetinghouse, ponds, swamps, hills, meadows, brooks, town lines, and roads. The scale of the map is two inches to the mile. Bennett wrote the names of the towns bordering Sharon toward the edges of the map--Dedham to the north, Foxborough to the west, Easton to the south, and Stoughton to the east.; MHS Digital Image: 5054 Nehemiah Bennett 1793 5054
Bermuda St. George 1780 MHS Digital Image 5108 Full Title: Manuscript map of Saint George (Bermuda Islands), 17 July 1780; Maker: Captain B. Joel; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: ; Description: NA; MHS Digital Image: 5108 Captain B. Joel 1780 5108
Quebec St. Laurence River 1759c MHS Digital Image 2739 Full Title: An authentic plan of the River St. Laurence from Sillery, to the fall of Montmorenci :; Maker: Captain in His Majesties Navy; Publisher: [London] : Published by Tho. Jefferys... London ..., [ca.1759]; Date: circa 1759; Description: NA; MHS Digital Image: 2739 Captain in His Majesties Navy 1759c 2739
Massachusetts Stoughton 1785 MHS Digital Image 5056 Full Title: Manuscript map of Stoughton, June 1785; Maker: Nehemiah Bennett; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1785 June; Description: This map of Stoughton shows roads, meadows, waterways, mills, taverns and the meetinghouse in the town in 1785. The map was drawn by Nehemiah Bennett for Boston Magazine. The Neponset River, Pidgeon Swamp, and Ponkapoag Pond dominate the top area, which was drawn on a separate sheet of paper and affixed to the map.; MHS Digital Image: 5056 Nehemiah Bennett 1785 5056
United States United States 1755 MHS Digital Image 2726 Full Title: North America : From the French of Mr. d'Anville, improved with the back settlements of Virginia and course of Ohio,; Maker: Thomas Jefferys; Publisher: [London] : Published according to Act by Thos. Jefferys Geographer to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales near Charing Cross, May 1755; Date: 1755; Description: Published in 1755, the same year that a French and Indian force defeated a British army under Gen. Edward Braddock near Fort Duquesne, Thomas Jefferys's map attempted to justify English claims in North America. Jefferys based his on the work of a French cartographer but transformed it into British propaganda, identifying French settlements as incroachments on English territory. The map later became a part of William Douglass's widely read Summary, Historical and Political ...of the British Settlements in North-America (1755). Encyclopedic in its coverage, the Summary remains an important source of information concerning British North America.; MHS Digital Image: 2726 Thomas Jefferys 1755 2726
Vermont Vermont 1789 MHS Digital Image 3606 Full Title: A Topographical Map of the State of Vermont, From Actual Survey; Maker: Amos Doolittle, New Haven, Conn.; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1789; Description: NA; MHS Digital Image: 3606 Amos Doolittle, New Haven, Conn. 1789 3606
New York West Point 1779 MHS Digital Image 4542 Full Title: A Plan of West Point, 1779; Maker: Unidentified; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1779; Description: This manuscript map belonged to Captain Moses Greenleaf of the 11th Massachusetts Regiment while he was stationed at West Point. The detailed map shows the locations of fortifications, Fort Putnam, redoubts, buildings, and paths of the area in and around West Point. Also visible is the great chain, a sixty-ton linked chain stretching from Fort Putnam to Constitution Island created by Brigadier General Thaddeus Kosciusko as a barrier for British ships.; MHS Digital Image: 4542 Unidentified 1779 4542
Massachusetts Weymouth 1800c MHS Digital Image 5092 Full Title: Manuscript map of the town of Weymouth, ca. 1800; Maker: Unidentified; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: circa 1800; Description: The manuscript map of Weymouth lists twenty-two prominent places including roads, taverns, bridges, ponds, mills, and houses. The neighboring towns, Braintree, Randolph, Abington, and Hingham, are identified, although no details of these towns are provided on this map. The town line is reddish-orange, and the main roadways are yellow. The following places are listed on the map: 1. Lower Neck 2. Fort 3. Fore River 4. Road 5. Hunts Hill 6. Ferry Point 7. Tide Mill 8. North Meeting House 9. Back River 10. Arnolds Tavern 11. Rice's Tavern 12. Bates' Mill 13. Rice's Mills 14. Whitman's Pond 15. Tirrill's [Tirrell's] Mill Bridge 16. Whortleberry Pond 17. Bates' Fulling Mill 18. Porter's Mill 19. Shaws Tavern 20. South M[eeting] House 21. Vinson's Mill 22. Great Pond; MHS Digital Image: 5092 Unidentified 1800c 5092
Massachusetts Worcester County 1785 MHS Digital Image 5099 Full Title: Manuscript plan of Worcester County, 30 March 1785; Maker: Rufus Putnam; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 30 March 1785; Description: Rufus Putnam (1738-1824), a farmer, surveyor, and soldier, made this "New Plan of Several Towns in the County of Worcester," in 1785 when he lived in Rutland, Massachusetts. This is a remarkable overview map of many (but not all) towns within Worcester County, Massachusetts.; MHS Digital Image: 5099 Rufus Putnam 1785 5099
Massachusetts Wrentham 1725 MHS Digital Image 5102 Full Title: Manuscript map of Wrentham, Mass., October 1725; Maker: James Blake, Jr.; Publisher: Unattributed; Date: 1725 October; Description: The manuscript map of Wrentham by James Blake, Jr. shows roads, residences, mills, hills, rivers, ponds, boundaries, and the location of a few trees in October 1725. The scale of the map is "40 Gunters Chains or 160 rods to an inch." A unit of measurement used by surveyors, one Gunter's [occasionally spelled Gunther's] chain equals 66 feet (or 22 yards). Four rods are equivalent to one Gunter's chain, therefore a rod equals 16.5 feet. The orientation of this map presents some challenges for users. The north point of the compass rose points toward the bottom of the map. The Charles River and the Stop River are major features in the north and east areas of the map. The map identifies the towns bordering Wrentham in 1725: Medway, Medfield, Walpole, Dorchester, and Bellingham. The map identifies a few towns adjacent to these bordering towns: Holliston, Attleborough, and Norton.; MHS Digital Image: 5102 James Blake, Jr. 1725 5102