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MAP #: 336A5

CARTOGRAPHER : ALEXANDER, JOHN H.

DATE: 1836

SHORT TITLE : MAP A. [TOPOGRAPHICAL MAP OF SOUTHEASTERN MARYLAND].

REMAINING TITLE & ID : (NO CARTOUCHE, BOTTOM LEFT CORNER). SCALE OF 25 MILES (UNDER TITLE). "PROPORTION OF VERTICAL SCALE = 4 FEET." (UNDER SCALE). "LIT. OF A. SCHWANECKER WATER ST. 57." (RIGHT BOTTOM CORNER). NOTE: THE ORIGINAL OF THIS MAP HAS NOT BEEN SEEN BY WRITER. DESCRIPTION IS BASED ON A PHOTOCOPY FROM THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS LONGITUDE WEST FROM GREENWICH (TOP AND BOTTOM BORDERS). LATITUDE (RIGHT AND LEFT BORDERS).


DATE OF PUBLICATION : S1836
PLACE OF PUBLICATION : ANNAPOLIS
PUBLISHER : STATE OF MARYLAND
LANGUAGE(S) : EN
SIZE (HEIGHT X WIDTH) : 36.8 X 58.5 CM. (FROM MATHEWS)
SIZE - OTHER DATA : ? X ? CM. OM
SCALE - (RF) 1: : 211,200
SCALE - OTHER DATA : 4' CONTOURS ARE SHOWN
LIB. OF CONGRESS # : G3840 1836 .A4
Md. HALL OF RECORDS # 1 : MSA SC1399-323 (REPRO)
HFC ACQ. PRIORITY : 2
HUNTINGFIELD ACQ. # 1 : -
REGION CATEGORY : DETAILED MAP OF SOME PART OF THE MD/CHESAPEAKE AREA (3)
SPECIAL CATEGORY(IES) : GEOLOGICAL MAP (9)
# SHEETS TO MAP : 1
MAP ORIENTATION : N IS AT THE TOP OF THE MAP
RELIEF SHOWN ? : YES
HYDROGRAPHIC DATA : NONE.
CARTOUCHE : NONE (1)
BORDER : GEOGRAPHICALLY FUNCTIONAL (8)
PRIME MERIDIAN(S) : GREENWICH/LONDON (1)
SEE ALSO MAP #s : 336A6.
BEST INFO SOURCE : MATHEWS IS EXCELLENT.
DESCRIPTION : IN 1833, THE MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY AUTHORIZED THE CREATION OF THE OFFICE OF STATE ENGINEER FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING A GEOGRAPHICAL AND TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY OF THE STATE THAT WOULD LEAD TO A GENERAL MAP OF THE STATE. JOHN ALEXANDER TEAMED UP WITH PROFESSOR J.T. DUCATEL, PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY IN THE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT OF THE MARYLAND UNIVERSITY IN EMPHASIZING THE NEED FOR A NEW MAP OF THE STATE. HE AND DUCATEL MADE THE PRELIMINARY RECONNAISSANCE OF THE STATE. MAP A, DESCRIBED HEREIN, IS ATTRIBUTED BY MATHEWS TO ALEXANDER. BECAUSE OF OUTSIDE PRESSURES ON ALEXANDER TO CONDUCT SURVEYS IN CONNECTION WITH CANAL AND RAILROAD ROUTES, PROGRESS WAS EXTREMELY SLOW ON THE GENERAL STATE MAP AND ALEXANDER RESIGNED AS STATED ENGINEER IN FRUSTRATION IN 1837. HE COMPLETED THE GENERAL STATE MAP ON HIS OWN AROUND 1840, BUT IT WAS NEVER PUBLISHED. INCLUDED IN THE 1836 REPORT....IN RELATION TO THE NEW MAP OF THE EXECUTIVE OF MARYLAND ON 1835 ACTIVITIES WERE TWO MAPS, MAP A AND MAP B (SEE MAP # 336A6). MATHEWS HAS AN EXCELLENT REVIEW OF THE MAP, WHICH IS QUOTED BELOW IN FULL.

"...MAP A AND MAP B ARE OF PARTICULAR INTEREST, SINCE THEY REPRESENT A MARKED INCREASE IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TOPOGRAPHICAL FEATURES OF THE STATE AND GIVE THE FIRST ACCURATE DELINEATION OF THE SURFACE OF THE COUNTRY AT A DISTANCE FROM THE SHORE LINE WHICH HAD BEEN MADE IN ANY DETAIL. MAP A IS A BLACK AND WHITE SKETCH 23 BY 16 INCHES IN SIZE, DRAWN ON THE SCALE OF 1:211,200, AND INCLUDES ALL THE TERRITORY OF THE STATE BETWEEN THE CHOPTANK, CHESAPEAKE AND THE ATLANTIC OCEAN, OR THE AREA NOW OCCUPIED BY WORCESTER, SOMERSET, WICOMICO AND DORCHESTER COUNTIES. ACCORDING TO THE DESCRIPTION IN THE TEXT, 'BESIDES CONTAINING THE POSITIONS OF THE VARIOUS PLACES, THE COURSE OF THE STREAMS, &c., AND THE GEOLOGICAL INDICATIONS, WHICH SPEAK FOR AND EXPLAIN THEMSELVES; MAP A CONTAINS ALSO AN ELUCIDATION OF THE TOPOGRAPHICAL FEATURES OF THE COUNTRY. THERE HAS BEEN INTRODUCED INTO THIS, WITH AS MUCH GENERAL ACCURACY AS POSSIBLE, THE SYSTEM OF HORIZONTAL PLANES, INDICATIVE OF PRECISE DIFFERENCES OF LEVEL, AS WELL AS EXHIBITING TO AN EYE BUT A LITTLE FAMILIARIZED THE CONTOUR AND RELIEF OF THE GROUND.' AT FIRST GLANCE THE AIMS ENUMERATED SEEM ACCOMPLISHED AND THE IMPRESSION IS LEFT THAT THIS IS A MAP POSSESSING ACCURACY SUFFICIENT FOR ALL FUTURE CARTOGRAPHIC REPRESENTATION, SINCE FEW MAPS IN AMERICA ARE MADE ON A CONTOUR INTERVAL OF LESS THAN TEN FEET. A CLOSE EXAMINATION OF THE MAP, AND A COMPARISON WITH THE WORK ACCOMPLISHED IN LATER YEARS, SHOWS THAT THIS IMPRESSION IS QUITE ERRONEOUS. INSTEAD OF THIS MAP SHOWING ACCURACY OF DETAIL NORMALLY TO BE EXPECTED WITH FOUR-FOOT CONTOURS, IT IS FULL OF DISTORTIONS, NOT OF A SIMPLE SORT, EAST AND WEST, NORTH AND SOUTH, BUT IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS IN DIFFERENT PORTIONS OF THE MAP. THE MORE MARKED DISTORTION ARISES, HOWEVER, FROM A TENDENCY TOWARD ELONGATION IN AN EAST AND WEST DIRECTION. THIS IS SPECIALLY EMPHASIZED ALSO BY A STRAIGHTENING OF THE COAST LINES, WHICH RUN IN A WEST-SOUTHWESTERLY DIRECTION TO A DUE WEST COURSE - A DISTORTION WHICH IS WELL SHOWN AT THE MOUTH OF THE MONIE RIVER, WHERE THE NORTH SHORE OF THE JERICO MARSHES IS SO STRAIGHT THAT THE SOUTHERN SHORE OF DAMES QUARTER HAS BEEN DISTORTED TO THE NORTHEAST IN ORDER TO REPRESENT THE IMPRESSION RECEIVED OF THE MONIE ESTUARY. NOT ONLY IS THERE A DISTORTION IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POINTS AND IN THE GENERAL SHAPE OF THE COAST, BUT THERE IS LIKEWISE A MARKED LACK OF DETAIL, OR ELSE ARBITRARY GENERALIZATION, IN THE SKETCH OF THE SHORE LINE. THIS IS CARRIED SO FAR THAT MANY OF THE MEDIUM-SIZED ESTUARIES ARE COMPLETELY LACKING OR ARE MERGED INTO A SINGLE BAY, IN SOME INSTANCES ARE ENTIRELY REPLACED BY LAND EIGHT OR TEN FEET HIGH, AND, IN THE CASE OF FISH CREEK, ONE OF THE SMALLER STREAMS EMPTYING INTO THE POCOMOKE SOUND, THE SKETCHING OF THE RIVERS IS POOR IN DIRECTION FOR THE SCALE OF THE MAP, AND IS LACKING IN EXPRESSION, THE COURSES BEING GENERALIZED IN ALMOST DIAGRAMMATIC MANNER. A THIRD ERROR NOTICEABLE IN THE MAP IS IN THE PLATTING OF THE CONTOURS, WHICH SEEM TO DISREGARD IN GREAT MEASURE ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LOW MARSH LANDS ALONG THE SHORE AND THE BENCH OF FIRM LAND LYING OFTEN SEVERAL MILES FROM THE ACTUAL WATER-LINE. WHILE AN APPRECIATION OF THE DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED AND A CONSIDERATION OF THE PIONEER CHARACTER OF THE WORK ARE BORNE IN MIND IT IS ALSO NECESSARY TO REALIZE THAT THESE MAPS ARE NOT SATISFACTORY AS A BASIS FOR CARTOGRAPHIC REPRESENTATION. IN MANY FEATURES, NOTABLY THE DISTORTION, THIS MAP IS FAR THE INFERIOR OF THE TWO MAPS PUBLISHED FULLY A CENTURY EARLIER. THE CHIEF INCREASE OF KNOWLEDGE GAINED FROM THE SKETCH BY ALEXANDER LIES IN THE TRIANGULATION AND INCREASED DETAIL ALONG THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE PENINSULA, ESPECIALLY ON CHINCOTEAGUE BAY, AND IN THE CONTOURS WHICH INDICATE THE FIRST ATTEMPT AT AN ACCURATE REPRESENTATION OF THE SURFACE CONFIGURATION OF MARYLAND TERRITORY.

SCATTERED OVER THE SURFACE OF THE MAP ARE TERMS INDICATING SOMETHING OF THE GEOLOGICAL CONSTITUTION AND MINERAL WEALTH OF THE TERRITORY. AMONG THE MORE IMPORTANT DEPOSITS, JUDGING FROM THIS MAP, ARE BOG ORE AND TRAP, WHICH NOW ARE RECOGNIZED AS BOULDERS BROUGHT DOWN BY THE WATERS AND ICE FROM THE NORTHERN PORTIONS OF THE STATE. THE ADDITIONAL FACTS REGARDING THE DISTRIBUTION AND CHARACTER OF THE SOILS RENDER THIS ONE OF THE EARLIEST AGRICULTURAL MAPS PUBLISHED IN THE COUNTRY AND PERHAPS IN THE WORLD."

EDITION & STATE INFO : IT IS INDICATED BY PAPENFUSE AND COALE THAT THE PRINTED VERSION OF THIS MAP TO ACCOMPANY THE REPORT OF THE ENGINEER AND GEOLOGIST IN RELATION TO THE NEW MAP OF THE EXECUTIVE OF MARYLAND, 1836, COVERING 1835 ACTIVITIES, IS A CRUDE VERSION OF THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT. THE MANUSCRIPT HAS NOT BEEN SEEN BY THE WRITER.

HFC OWNERSHIP DATA : THE HUNTINGFIELD COLLECTION HAS A BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOCOPY OF THE COPY IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. IT HAS A MDHR # OF MSA SC1399-323.

BIBLIGRAPHICAL REFS. : MATHEWS, EDWARD B., "THE MAPS AND MAP-MAKERS OF MARYLAND", IN MARYLAND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY V. II, PART IIIb, BALTIMORE: JOHNS HOPKINS PRESS, 1898, 416-432; MATHEWS, EDWARD B., "BIBLIOGRAPHY AND CARTOGRAPHY OF MARYLAND", IN MARYLAND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY V. I, PART IV, BALTIMORE: JOHNS HOPKINS PRESS, 1897,366; PAPENFUSE, EDWARD C. & JOSEPH M. COALE III, ATLAS OF HISTORICAL MAPS OF MARYLAND 1608-1908, BALTIMORE: JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS, 1982, 67, 70, FIG. 75.

August 27, 1991


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