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1747 Emanuel Bowen Map of North American Harbors
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EMANUEL BOWEN. Map. “Particular Draughts and Plans of Some of the Principal Towns and Harbours belonging to the English, French, and Spaniards; in America and West Indies. Collected from the best Authorities. By Eman. Bowen.” London, 1747. 17 x 14 in.

Inventory #20873       Price: $1,800

There are 13 maps on one sheet, the maps are of the harbors of; “Boston,” “Placentia” (Eastern Coast of Canada), “Louis Bourg,” “Annapolis Royal” (Canada), “New York and Perthamboy,” “S’Augustine,” “Providence,” “Havana,” “St. Jago de Cuba,” “Charles Town,” “Fort Royal in Martinico” (West Indies), “Cartegena,” “Porto Bello.”    

Historical Background

Emanuel Bowen (1693/4-1767) was a map maker and engraver in London.  Bowen’s career (1720-1767) was a prominent component of London’s position as a leading producer of maps and atlases during the 18th century.  He served as royal map maker both for George II of England and Louis XV of France.  Bowen is known for many famed maps and atlases, including; The Royal English Atlas, the Large English Atlas which he produced in partnership with mapmaker Thomas Kitchen, and his earliest publication, the Britannia Depicta, produced in partnership with mapmaker John Owen (nicknamed the Owen and Bowen Maps). Bowen’s maps were different from the rest of the maps created during his time, and were very popular.  What set his maps apart from the others were the facts that they were created with some of the most sophisticated cartographical detail of the time, included historical and cultural information, were very artistically designed, and were some of the largest maps printed during the time.  Bowen also created several geographical textbooks, including; The Complete System of Geography, and The Universal History of the World.

The map featured here, the “Particular Draughts and Plans of Some of the Principal Towns and Harbours belonging to the English, French, and Spaniards; in America and West Indies.  Collected from the best Authorities” shows detailed maps of the Harbors and Towns.  The details include depth measurements of the waterways, labels and illustrations of towns and forts, illustrations of surrounding landscape, and interesting facts about the harbors.  Such facts include a list of the number of Canons set up in different forts to defend the Louisbourg harbor entrance, and the historical fact, “Porto Bello,…taken by Admiral Vernon on Nov.r 22.d 1739 with 6 ships only.”  Another aspect of the map to note is that the lands of the harbors are documented before the landfills that occurred in many of them that altered the present day maps of the areas.


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