The detailed map shows geographic boundaries, rivers and streams, roads, and additional shading or hatching to indicate areas of mountains or swamps. A mileage scale in the lower right is drawn to the scale of three miles to one inch. Beneath it are “Explanations” of type styles used for the names of counties, towns, cities, villages, neighborhoods, settlements, townships, country seats, as well as the markers used to show locations of taverns. The key distinguishes between turnpike roads and common roads. A note explains that the figures (numbers) on the “City of New York” (i.e. Manhattan Island) refer to wards. Beneath the Explanations key, the latitude of New York and longitudes of degrees from Washington, D.C.; Greenwich, England; and Paris, France are given. In addition to the extensive geographical information on land, bodies of water such as inlets and bays, shoals, lighthouse sites, and fishing grounds are labeled. Historic events are noted on land and in the waters, such as an anchor labeled “Mounument destr’d by the French 1767.” It also includes Revolutionary War battle sites as well as esoteric notations such as “Old Shrewsbury Inlet closed in 1810” and “Spanish brown paint found here.”
This map is of historical importance for numerous reasons, including its connection with Thomas Jefferson and the War of 1812. The National Archives has a letter from Theodorus Bailey (1758–1828), an American lawyer and politician from Poughkeepsie, New York, to Thomas Jefferson informing Jefferson that he was mailing a copy of this 1812 edition of the Eddy map to Jefferson, because, “[a]s this portion of our Country may soon become the theatre of the war [of 1812], I have presumed that a sketch of it will be acceptable to you.”
Later editions of this map were published in 1828, 1836, 1839 and 1842. It was also re-engraved and reissued by Colton in 1846. The map scholar I.N. Phelps Stokes dated it to 1811 because of a reference to its publication in an October 1811 periodical, but the map credits written by private collections and museums for their own examples of this map give a publication date of 1812. Eddy’s publication credit is given as “I.H. Eddy,” following the Latin convention of substituting an “I” for a “J.”
John Hartshorne Eddy was educated in local schools, but became deaf after contracting scarlet fever. Thereafter, he studied out of school on his own. Among other interests, he developed a great love of geography and frequently corresponded often with professional cartographers. In 1811, he published a “Map of the Western Part of the State of New-York Showing the Route of the Proposed Canal from Lake Erie to Hudson’s River,” compiled at the request of the Canal Commissioners and engraved by Peter Maverick. In 1812, his “Map of the Country Thirty Miles Round the City of New York” was engraved by Peter Maverick and published by Prior & Dunning. In 1814, he produced a map of the New York City environs. Shortly thereafter, he produced a map of the Niagara River that was published by Prior & Dunning, and at this time Gov. DeWitt Clinton asked him to compile a map showing means of communication between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic via Lake Erie and the Hudson River. Eddy finished compiling a large map of New York State, but died suddenly on December 22, 1817 at the age of 33. His map, “The State of New York With Part of the Adjacent States” was published posthumously in 1818, and is considered one of the most beautiful and informative maps ever made of New York State and the surrounding region.
Printed dedication upper right corner: “To Dewitt Clinton Esq’r. Mayor of the City of New York This Map is inscribed by his respectful friend The Author.”
Full publication information: “Designed & Drawn by I.H. Eddy of N. York, 1812. Engr’d by P. Maverick, Newark, N. Jersey. Published by Prior & Dunning, Map & Chart sellers No. 111 Water Street. Copy Right secured according to Law.”
Condition: Generally very good, mounted on wooden rollers, backed on canvas, and varnished — all original as issued and unrestored — and having the usual expected wear to varnish, soft creases, light wear, and handling, and a few minor abrasions, cracks, and light dampstains. Overall in remarkably good original condition for a separately issued wall map of this age.
“Map of the country thirty miles round the city of New York.” New York Public Library. https://catalog.nypl.org/record=b15260692~S98 (20 September 2018).
Ristow, Walter W. “The Short Life of John H. Eddy, an American ‘Geographer,’” The Map Collector. Number 67 (1994). pages 21-23.
“Theodorus Bailey to Thomas Jefferson, 21 July 1812,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified June 13, 2018, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/03-05-02-0205. [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Retirement Series, vol. 5, 1 May 1812 to 10 March 1813, ed. J. Jefferson Looney. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008, p. 263.]