William W. Mather was Professor of Natural History at Ohio University, and served as Geologist of the First Geological District of New York for Governor William H. Seward. In his introduction to the text accompanying the map, Mather thanks the Long Island community for its cooperation. He notes a humorous instance in which the owner of one Long Island farm assumed that the rocks Mather gathered from a nearby road must have contained gold, given the extreme care that Mather took in collecting and preserving the specimens, and therefore tried to prevent the geologists from taking them.
Long Island was among the first areas in the New World reached by European settlers. The town of Southampton on the eastern tip was settled in 1640. The island and its coast were mapped in the 18th century by the British up to the time of the Revolutionary War. The best known sea charts were made for the British Admiralty by F.W. Des Barres. In the 19th century, a concerted effort began in the America to map the interior of the United States. This mid 19th century map was a joint effort by W.W. Mather, a geologist, and the surveyor J. Calvin Smith, also well known for his huge wall map of the State of New York. Originally the Mather map was issued folded with text and other plates about the geology of New York. It is an excellent example of progress in American cartography showing Long Island in detail, particularly focusing on local geology. By the end of the 19th century, the Long Island Railroad was actively promoting development on the island, and issued many maps to encourage New York City residents to build houses and farms east of the city.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, soft creases. Folds as issued, now professionally flattened as laid on supporting archival canvas. Some minor irregular toning as is typical associated with original folding. Left margin irregular, as issued, to be matted out, or sometimes professionally tipped in. To be sent rolled.