Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including Americana

Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including Americana

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 27. Fry, Joshua, and Peter Jefferson | A landmark in the mapping of Virginia and Maryland.

Fry, Joshua, and Peter Jefferson | A landmark in the mapping of Virginia and Maryland

Lot Closed

January 25, 07:26 PM GMT


18,000 - 24,000 USD

Lot Details


Fry, Joshua, and Peter Jefferson

A Map of the most Inhabited part of Virginia containing the whole Province of Maryland with part of Pennsilvania, New Jersey and North Carolina. London: Printed for Robt. Sayer and Thomas Jefferys, 1775

Copper-engraved map on four folio sheets joined into two (if fully joined: 781 x 1,238 mm). Period outline hand coloring, 6th state of 8.

One of the most important eighteenth century maps of Virginia

The present map was the first to accurately depict the Blue Ridge, and to lay down the colonial road system of Virginia. The handsome cartouche depicts, appropriately, a tobacco warehouse and wharf, with a slave bringing one of the owners a drink, and is one of the earliest images of the Virginia tobacco trade.

The map was commissioned by the English Lords of Trade, who in 1750 required each colony to conduct a comprehensive survey. Joshua Fry, a mathematician at the College of William and Mary, and Peter Jefferson, a surveyor and the father of Thomas Jefferson (who together had drawn the boundaries of Lord Fairfax's lands in 1746 and surveyed the Virginia-North Carolina boundary in 1749), were appointed to execute the commission. Completed in 1751, the map was a masterful synthesis of original surveys and existing data. A major revision in 1755 incorporated important information about the western part of the colony from the journals of John Dalrymple, surveys of Christopher Gist and other sources. It is the 1755 edition that forms the basis for the subsequent editions. 

Eight separate states of Fry-Jefferson map have been identified. The first four states are so rare as to be virtually unobtainable. The present example, state 6, differs from state 5 only by the date printed in the title (1775 instead of 1751).


Degrees of Latitude 30; Stephenson and McKee, Virginia in Maps, map II-21A-D; Cumming 281; Coolie Verner, "The Fry and Jefferson Map", Imago Mundi XXI: 70-94; Papenfuse & Coale 34-36