A New Map of the English Empire in America viz Virginia, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Carolina, New England, Pennsylvania, Newfoundland, New France & c. by Rob: Morden.
ROBERT MORDEN & CHRISTOPHER BROWNE
A very rare and important map of the North American Northeast promoting British interests in America during the Nine Year’s War of 1688 to 1697.
In essence, the Nine Year’s War was a European conflict that pitted France against an array of powers that included, most notably, Austria, the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, the Netherlands and Britain. The European conflict soon spilled over into the North American theatre of war, where it is commonly known as King William’s War, and saw French and English Colonies, and their respective Native allies, vie for control of the valuable fur trade. New France, with its stronghold located in Quebec on the St-Lawrence River, attempted to increase its dominant position in the interior of the continent by controlling the Great Lakes region and the Mississippi basin as well capturing the Hudson’s Bay Company’s forts in the North, whilst attacking the British colonies in the Northeast and Newfoundland. The British colonies, led by Colonel Winthrop and Sir William Phips countered with attacks on Port Royal, Montreal and Quebec. However, with the terms of the Treaty of Ryswick that put an end to the hostilities, colonial boundaries returned, more or less, to their antebellum state.
Morden and Browne’s map is thus of interest in that the cartographers attempt to extend British claims into the contested area of the interior. It should be noted that two insert maps are also drawn. One is a plan of the harbour of Boston and Massachusetts Bay, and the other is a depiction of the East coast of North and South America including the Caribbean and the West coast of Europe and Africa, demonstrating the global scope of the conflict.
The current map is usually found on the market in the 1719 variant by John Senex. It is argued that this example is the second state of the first edition that can by identified by the rounded numbers used for the longitude lines. Furthermore, it is declared that “all editions and states other than the Senex are exceedingly rare.” As such, this example would have served as a propaganda piece during the conflict and prior to the signing of the Treaty of Ryswick and would have helped the publishers ability to capitalize on the market’s interest in Europe for information of the conflict’s North American implications.
(Sources: Geographicus. Jointly owned.)