Weekly Writing 6: 1 in 10 Details

I chose the first map in the collection


  1. The map is extremely detailed, there seems to be a lot of roads listed as well as towns and rivers.
  2. The map is by a British cartographer (M. Lewis Evans).
  3. The map was published in 1755, so before the Revolution occurred
  4. There are latitude and longitude lines, so the map maker was trying to be scientific
  5. The latitude and longitude lines are lettered which makes finding coordinates easier.
  6. The state borders are almost not visible because of the amount of detail on the map.
  7. The map is concentrated to the coast, which makes sense because this the area in which the British were most concerned.
  8. There is a note to a The Honorable Thomas Pownall, which is particularly interesting
  9. The map was first published in 1755 then “extended and corrected” in 1776.
  10. There are individual notes on a few of the colonies in the margin like “Townships of New Hampshire” and “Colony of Rhode Island”

Detail #8:

  • We can infer that the person who wrote the letter was seeking the approval of Thomas Pownall.
  • The Thomas Pownall person was important because it looks like there is a seal from the Royal Crown along with the letter in the top left.
  • I would infer that the letter that the cartographer is writing has something to do with the fact that this version of the map is a revised edition from the original in 1755.
  • The person who wrote the letter was very gracious that they got to map the area as they express their gratitude in their letter.

The burning question that I have about this piece of the map is why was it included?  I don’t remember seeing something like this in the other maps, which is why this was particularly interesting to me.  I am really into history, and this map was made at arguably the most important time in American history.  One thing that I wonder is what does the letter have to do with the period?  It seems awfully strange that the British would revisit and ultimately revise the map of their colonies at this period in history, which was a whole 20 years after the original creation of the map.  It’s almost like they felt their grip on the colonies slipping, which is very cool to think about, however it’s just a guess.  Another possibility is that they just felt that they wanted to revise and correct the mapping of their colonies.  I also wonder what technological advancements were erected in the period between the original and the revised map, and if that had anything to do with the accuracy of the second revision, because this map seemed particularly accurate with the latitude and longitude lines and the lettering of each of these lines.

One Reply to “Weekly Writing 6: 1 in 10 Details”

  1. This is a very interesting map and you did a great job with analyzing it. Out of all of your details, I like your choice of the detail with the note. Like you mention, this is unique to this map as it is not seen on any of the others. Also, the possible theories you provide to answer your question are excellent and very thought provoking. One thing that you could possibly add though are the tables of travelling distances. I find this interesting and unique to this map, so it’s a detail that could be added. Overall, this is a great analysis of a map that is difficult to comprehend.

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