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A Pivotal, English Map of the Northeast

Northeast. SPEED, J./ LAMB, F. [London, 1676]
A Map of New England and New York. 14 ¾ x 19 ¾ inches.
Fine hand color; marginal mends with virtually no loss; else excellent condition with a strong impression.


Speed's is the first collectible, English map to fully register the dramatic shift from Dutch to English dominance in the Northeast in the latter part of the 17th Century. Fine, uncolored examples of the map as this one have become difficult to find; most examples on the market in recent years have had weak printing impressions with later color added. Speed’s was one of the first printed maps to use the term New York for both the town on Manhattan and for New York State, one of the first on which New Jersey ("New Iarsey") appeared, and the first among acquirable maps to correctly place Boston.

Speed’s map reveals that the English conquest of New Amsterdam in 1664 yielded a tremendous windfall of territory to the British. Not only did they acquire New York City and the area covered by New York State, but also New Jersey, Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and parts of Connecticut and Maine. Ironically, Speed's map, which so overtly expressed English dominance, used a Dutch map, Jansson's of 1651, as its prototype, and it follows the general contours of this prototype very closely. However, it does depart from Jansson's map most dramatically in its anglicizing of place names. For example, "New York" in large letters expresses English hegemony over New York State and western Connecticut. Among several other changes in nomenclature, Cape Cod is called by its present name instead of "Nieu Hollandt," as it appeared on the Jansson prototype.

Tooley, Mapping of America, #23, pp.290-291; McCorkle 676.6; Burden II, 455.

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