The Coast of West Florida and Louisiana.
THOMAS JEFFERYS, Published 1775
Image Size: 18 5/8" X 43 5/8", Two sheets joined.
An impressive chart of the Florida peninsula with original outline colour published simultaneously in 1775 in Jefferys’ West India Atlas and The American Atlas, or, a geographical description of the whole continent of America: wherein are delineated at large its several regions, countries, states and islands: and chiefly the British Colonies. The American Atlas and the West India Atlas were published by Robert Sayer and John Bennett as compilations of Thomas Jeffery’s important rare maps and charts of North America and the West Indies following his death in 1771. As such, not only has this Florida chart been described as “one of the most important maps of the Florida seas during the last part of the 18th century”, but the The American Atlas in which it appeared has also been characterized as “one of the most important 18th century Atlases of the Americas, offering the most comprehensive, detailed and accurate survey of the american colonies at the beginning of the Revolution”.
The current example is the second state of this important navigational chart that also encompasses the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahama Islands. Jefferys compiled this chart from British surveys following the transfer of the Florida colony to Britain from Spain at the conclusion of the Seven Year’s War as stipulated by the Treaty of Paris of 1763. As such, the chart gives an impressive amount of navigational information including an array of rhumb lines, wind rose, trade routes, soundings, shoals and notes that made it indispensable at the tail end of the 18th century and at the onset of the American Revolution for those sailing these important waters.
(Sources: David Rumsey Map Collection, “Index, American Atlas, Jeffreys, 1776.”)