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MAP #: 166A5

CARTOGRAPHER : ALSOP, GEORGE

DATE: 1666

SHORT TITLE : A LAND-SKIP OF THE PROVINCE OF MARY LAND

REMAINING TITLE & ID : OR THE LORD BALTIMORS PLANTATION NEERE VIRGINIA BY GEO: ALSOP GENT: (CARTOUCHE, TOP RIGHT CORNER). PICTURES OF ANIMALS, TREES, INDIANS, HOUSES, AND A CANOE (THROUGHOUT THE MAP). LONGITUDE AND LATITUDE (NOT SHOWN).


DATE OF PUBLICATION : S1666
PLACE OF PUBLICATION : LONDON
PUBLISHER : PETER DRING [?]
LANGUAGE(S) : EN
SIZE (HEIGHT X WIDTH) : 11.9 X 16.5 CM.
SIZE - OTHER DATA : ? X ? CM. OM
SCALE - (RF) 1: : ?
SCALE - OTHER DATA : NO SCALE GIVEN
LIB. OF CONGRESS # : -
Md. HALL OF RECORDS # 1 : MSA SC1399-866(REPRINT)
HUNTINGFIELD ACQ. # 1 : RE009-HDUQ*
REGION CATEGORY : GENERAL MAP WITH THE MD/CHESAPEAKE AREA AS ONE MAIN FOCUS (1)
SPECIAL CATEGORY(IES) :
# SHEETS TO MAP : 1
MAP ORIENTATION : W IS AT THE TOP OF THE MAP.
RELIEF SHOWN ? : YES
HYDROGRAPHIC DATA : NONE
CARTOUCHE : SIMPLE LINE FRAME (2)
BORDER : PLAIN (2)
PRIME MERIDIAN(S) : NONE
SEE ALSO MAP #s : -
BEST INFO SOURCE : MATHEWS IS THE BEST ON THE MAP, MERENESS AND BAER ON THE BOOK.
DESCRIPTION : THIS MAP WAS APPARENTLY BASED ON PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS IN THE COUNTRY REPRESENTED. IT APPEARED IN A SMALL, CRUDELY STYLED PAMPHLET, 2.1 IN. WIDE BY 4.8 IN. LONG, ENTITLED CHARACTER OF MARYLAND. THE WORK WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1636 IN LONDON. ITS 1666 TITLE PAGE READS, "A CHARACTER OF THE PROVINCE OF MARY-LAND, WHEREIN IS DESCRIBED IN FOUR DISTINCT PARTS, (VIZ.) I. THE SCITUATION AND PLENTY OF THE PROVINCE. II THE LAWS,CUSTOMS AND NATURAL DEMEANOR OF THE INHABITANTS. III THE WORST AND BEST VSAGE OF A MARY-LAND SERVANT, OPENED IN VIEW. IV THE TRAFFIQUE AND VENDABLE COMMODITIES OF THE COUNTREY, ALSO, A SMALL TREATISE ON THE WILDE AND NAKED INDIANS (OR SUSQUEHANOKES) OF MARY-LAND, THEIR CUSTOMS, MANNERS, ABSURDITIES AND RELIGION.TOGETHER WITH A COLLECTION OF HISTORICAL LETTERS. BY GEORGE ALSOP. LONDON, PRINTED BY T.J. FOR PETER DRING, AT THE SIGN OF THE SUN IN THE POULTREY, 1666." PETER DRING WAS PRESUMABLY THE PUBLISHER.

ALTHOUGH IT IS LIKELY THAT ALSOP WAS FAMILIAR WITH THE SMITH MAP, OR ONE OF ITS DERIVATIVES, HIS MAP IS A MUCH DIFFERENT REPRESENTATION OF THE BAY AND SURROUNDING COUNTRY. NOR DOES IT CORRESPOND TO THE LORD BALTIMORE MAP. THE MAP SHOWS MARKED DISTORTION AND GENERALIZATIONS AND IS FAR BELOW SMITH'S ACCURACY STANDARDS. ITS RIVERS ARE BROAD WITHOUT INDIVIDUALITY, WHILE ITS COASTLINE IS ROUGHLY REPRESENTED BY A SERIES OF SINUOUS LINES BEARING NO RELATION TO THE NATURAL INDENTATIONS OF THE BAY. THIS MAP HAS THE SHARPEST TURN EASTWARD FOR THE HEAD OF THE BAY OF ANY MAP, MUCH MORE SO THAN EVEN SMITH'S. SMALL MOUNTAINS ARE INJUDICIOUSLY SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE COASTAL PLAIN, WHEREVER ADDITIONAL ILLUSTRATION SEEMED CALLED FOR.

THE MAP IS QUAINT WITH FIGURES OF MALE AND FEMALE SAVAGES, ILLUSTRATING COSTUMES, HAIR DRESSING, THE FIRING OF A FLINT-LOCK MUSKET AND VARIOUS ANIMALS ILLUSTRATING "THE WILDE ANIMALS OF THIS COUNTRY, WHICH LOOSELY INHABIT THE WOODS IN MULTITUDES."

THE VALUE OF THE MAP LIES IN ITS USE OF NAMES. THERE IS GIVEN HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME ON A MAP MADE BY ONE WHO HAD BEEN IN MARYLAND THE NAMES OF THE CHOPTANK, WYE, CHESTER, SASAFRIX, PATAPSCO, SEAUORNE (SEVERN), AND SOUTH RIVERS. KENT ILE AND POINT LOOK OUT APPEAR IN THEIR PROPER PLACES.

COPIES ARE IN THE JOHN CARTER BROWN, THE EVERGREEN HOUSE OF JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, THE HUNTINGTON, THE NEWBERRY, HARVARD, THE MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY, THE CLEMENTS, AND THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY. THE PAMPHLET WAS REPRINTED BY GOWAN IN NEW YORK IN 1869 AS THE FIRST VOLUME OF GOWAN'S BIBLIOTECA AMERICANA AND THE REPRINT WAS REISSUED IN 1880 BY THE MARYLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY AS FUND PUBLICATION NO. 15. THE BOOK WAS ALSO REPRINTED IN 1902 BY THE BURROWS BROTHERS COMPANY IN CLEVELAND WITH AN INFORMATIVE INTRODUCTION AND NOTES BY NEWTON D. MERENESS.

NEWTON MERENESS, IN HIS INTRODUCTION TO THE 1902 REPRINT OF A CHARACTER OF THE PROVINCE OF MARYLAND WRITES AS FOLLOWS:

AFTER THE RESTORATION OF 1660 IN MARYLAND FOLLOWING THE INSURRECTION, STABILITY RETURNED TO THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT. THE POPULATION WAS NO MORE THAN SIX THOUSAND AND THE ECONOMY WAS MOSTLY BASED ON TOBACCO. THE "PROPRIETOR WAS EAGER TO ATTRACT MORE LABORERS, TO ENCOURAGE THE GROWING OF GRAIN AS WELL AS THE RAISING OF STOCK AND TO FURTHER THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE RESOURCES OF THE PROVINCE IN EVERY OTHER WAY POSSIBLE...IT SEEMS HIGHLY PROBABLE THAT ALSOP WAS ENCOURAGED BY THE PROPRIETOR...TO WRITE THE DESCRIPTION ...IN THIS LITTLE VOLUME.

"OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THIS AUTHOR IS CHIEFLY DERIVED FROM WHAT HE HAS...WRITTEN. HE, THE ELDER OF TWO BROTHERS, WAS BORN OF OBSCURE PARENTAGE IN ENGLAND IN THE YEAR 1638. HIS CHILDHOOD WAS THEREFORE PASSED WHILE HIS COUNTRY WAS IN THE THROES OF A GREAT CIVIL WAR. IN HIS YOUTH HE ACQUIRED A SUPERFICIAL BOOK LEARNING AND A FONDNESS FOR MAKING VERSES...AT THE AGE OF TWENTY, IN SEPTEMBER, 1658, HE EMBARKED AT GRAVESEND FOR MARYLAND WHERE HE LANDED...AFTER A FIVE MONTH'S DANGEROUS PASSAGE. THERE IN BALTIMORE COUNTY HE WORKED FOR FOUR YEARS FOR MR. THOMAS STOCKETT AS AN INDENTURED SERVANT. HE BECAME DANGEROUSLY ILL SOON AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THIS TERM OF SERVITUDE. BUT HE SUFFICIENTLY RECOVERED TO RETURN TO ENGLAND AND THERE COMPLETE THE WRITING OF HIS DESCRIPTION, 'THE MAJOR PART OF WHICH', HE TELLS US, 'WAS WRITTEN IN THE INTERMITTING TIME OF HIS SICKNESS'. THIS WAS PUBLISHED IN 1666 WHEN HE WAS ONLY TWENTY EIGHT YEARS OF AGE. OF HIS SUBSEQUENT LIFE NOTHING IS KNOWN.

"...ALSOP MAKES ONLY FAVORABLE MENTION OF THE TREATMENT HE RECEIVED ON THE STOCKETT ESTATE; [IT] LEADS ONE TO THINK THAT HE LABORED THERE AS AN ARTISAN, OR AS AN ASSISTANT IN TRADE WITH THE INDIANS, OR BOTH...

"[ALSOP'S] LITTLE LEARNING MADE HIM VERBOSE, BOMBASTIC, GIVEN TO RIDICULOUS EXTRAVAGANCE IN STYLE - EVEN FOR HIS TIME - RATHER THAN REFINED, CULTURED, ACCURATE; AND HIS ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE DISREPUTABLE PLACES IN LONDON, TOGETHER WITH THE LOW MORAL STANDARD OF THE PERIOD OF THE RESTORATION, MADE HIM VULGAR RATHER THAN PURITANICAL IN HIS TASTES..."

NONETHELESS, AS ELIZABETH BAER NOTES, "IT IS AN AMUSING AND HUMOROUS ACCOUNT, AND VALUABLE AS ONE OF THE EARLIEST AND FULLEST DESCRIPTIONS OF LIFE IN THE COLONY. IT WAS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO GO TO MARYLAND AND IS PERHAPS TOO ENTHUSIASTIC IN TONE, BUT HIS DESCRIPTION OF THE NATIVES IS PARTICULARLY INTERESTING."

DATA IS FROM MATTHEWS, MERENESS AND FROM BAER.

EDITION & STATE INFO : THERE IS ONLY A SINGLE EDITION AND STATE.

HFC OWNERSHIP DATA : THE HUNTINGFIELD COLLECTION HAS A COPY OF THE 1902 REPRINT OF THE BOOKLET IN EXCELLENT CONDITION WITH AN ACQ. # OF RE009-HDUQ* AND A MDHR # OF MSA SC1399- 866(REPRINT). THE COLLECTION ALSO HAS AN 8 X 10 GLOSSY REPRODUCTION OF THIS MAP AND A PHOTOGRAPH OF THE COPY IN THE CLEMENTS LIBRARY.

BIBLIGRAPHICAL REFS. : MATHEWS, EDWARD BENNETT, MAPS AND MAP-MAKERS OF MARYLAND, VOL. II, MARYLAND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY SPECIAL PUBLICATION, VOL. II, PART IIIb, BALTIMORE: THE JOHNS HOPKINS PRESS, 1898: 365-8 (INCLUDES A REPRODUCTION OF THE MAP ON 366); PHILLIPS, P. LEE, A LIST OF MAPS OF AMERICA IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, BURT FRANKLIN BIBLIOGRAPHY & REFERENCE SERIES # 129, NEW YORK: BURT FRANKLIN, UNDATED REPRINT OF A 1901 PUBLICATION OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS: 391; MARYLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY FUND PUBLICATION # 15, BALTIMORE: MARYLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 1880 (REPRINT); BIBLIOTHECA AMERICANA, # 5, NEW YORK: GOWAN, 1869 REPRINT); BAER, ELIZABETH, SEVENTEENTH CENTURY MARYLAND, A BIBLIOGRAPHY, BALTIMORE: THE JOHN WORK GARRETT LIBRARY, 1949: 58-59, # 60; SABIN, JOSEPH, A DICTIONARY OF BOOKS RELATING TO AMERICA, VOL. I, NEW YORK: JOSEPH SABIN, 1868, # 963; VERNER, COOLIE, UNPUBLISHED NOTES ON THE MAPS OF VIRGINIA; MERENESS, NEWTON D., INTRODUCTION AND NOTES TO THE REPRINT OF A CHARACTER OF THE PROVINCE OF MARYLAND BY GEORGE ALSOP, CLEVELAND: THE BURROWS BROTHERS COMPANY, 1902: 5-14.

March 6, 1991


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