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Cartes et cartographies dans le monde anglophone aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles

Colonial Counter-Mappings and the Cartographic Reformation in Eighteenth-Century America

Martin Brückner

Résumés

Cet article retrace l’histoire des cartes alternatives de l’Amérique coloniale qui virent le jour dans les archives européennes en réponse aux rencontres avec les cartes établies par la population autochtone et à la réforme cartographique qui s’opéra au XVIIIe siècle. S’efforçant de repenser l’histoire de la cartographie en tenant compte de sa diversité culturelle et de la richesse de son contenu, l’article souligne que les cartes impériales représentant l’Amérique du Nord étaient caractérisées par des signes de résistance, que l’on associe plus volontiers aujourd’hui aux entreprises cartographiques des peuples autochtones qu’aux cartes commerciales publiées à l’intention d’un public européen. Exploitant plus de cinquante cartes d’archives réalisées entre 1700 et 1750, l’article met en évidence le travail cartographique mené par le géographe français Philippe Buache ainsi que par l’arpenteur américain Lewis Evans afin de montrer que les cartographes ne se sont pas seulement inspirés des peuples autochtones mais qu’ils se sont aussi appuyés sur une tradition résiduelle de cartographie européenne. L’étude des cartes alternatives permet de mettre en question la notion dominante de cartographie impériale et invite les historiens à repenser leur approche critique des cartes du XVIIIe siècle, de la fabrication des cartes et des modes de lecture des cartes.

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1Joining recent efforts to rethink the history of cartography in its cultural and representational diversity, this essay suggests that Indigenous mappings may provide today’s historians with a generative catalyst for reimagining critical approaches to eighteenth-century maps, map designs, and methods of map reading. That eighteenth-century European maps contained Indigenous knowledge is a well-documented fact since at least the 1990s (Harley 169-96; Belyea; Lewis, “Maps, Mapmaking, and Map Use by Native North Americans”). It is also well-documented that Indigenous mappings easily subverted specific Western maps or larger, state-sponsored mapping projects (Waselkov; Rundstrom; Mundy). Examining patterns of containment and subversion, studies have since demonstrated how Euro-centric biases were inherent to discussions about the global history of cartography (Edney, “Cartography without ‘Progress’”; Turnbull). More recent works have complicated the eighteenth-century history of cartography as a dominant tool of settler colonialism, capitalism, and imperial domination (Harley; Pickles; Wood; Akerman). In so doing, they have called into question critical attitudes that for decades had divided discussions of maps along binary lines, pitting, for example, scientific against unscientific thinking, print against oral transmission, fact against fiction. Now, three decades later, as the lines of inquiry have expanded into many new directions, the recognition of non-Western maps as being a critical part of human efforts to express spatial knowledge has helped usher in a fundamental revaluation of map definitions, even the very concept of cartography itself (Wood; Jacob; Edney, Cartography. The Ideal and its History).

  • 1 To identify, cross-reference, and compare maps that show North America and were produced during the (...)
  • 2 As I engage with Indigenous mappings I do so with respect and the full knowledge that as a European (...)

2Under review for this essay are the epistemological limits of the European imperial archive, in particular its geodetic writing system that by the mid-eighteenth century privileged the universal grid and with it the desire to locate, classify, and control all that it surveyed (Lefebvre; Safier; Edney, “The Irony of Imperial Mapping”). Cause for this review is the observation that at the same time as the grid and empirical mapping protocols came to dominate map designs, some French and British maps showing North America included unexpected features of resistance that today are more associated with the mappings by Indigenous peoples than with commercial maps printed for European audiences. To examine the dynamic of counter-mapping, a brief survey delineates the way in which Indigenous mappings resisted or compromised imperial mapworks. This is followed by the close examination of European mapworks shaped by contact with Indigenous mapmakers. Drawing on an archive of over fifty Western maps produced between the 1700s and 1750s, this essay examines the works by two mapmakers – the French imperial geographer Philippe Buache and the colonial British American land surveyor Lewis Evans – in order to illustrate insurgent patterns of cartographic resistance.1 While the essay does not make the claim that Indigenous mappings were the direct cause for inter-imperial map wars or for widespread patterns of intra-colonial cartographic subversion, by calling attention to their design and influence the essay’s goals are twofold. On the one hand, it seeks to provide an avenue for developing a minor history of eighteenth-century counter-mappings; on the other hand, the essay shows how maps depicting European colonies in America may serve as gateways for expanding our critical understanding of eighteenth-century maps and spatial imaginings.2

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  • 3 For a critical survey of current modes of map interpretation see Edney, Cartography. The Ideal and (...)
  • 4 On the meaning of the Catawba map and its origins see Waselkov and Chambers; the latter attributes (...)

3If we allow for more expansive definitions of what constitutes the eighteenth-century archive of American maps, Indigenous mappings offer an alternative framework for interpreting Western maps. For one, their unique and by Western standards un-cartographic form and function helps to detach European-made maps from eighteenth-century ideals of cartography as a universal writing system (Lefebvre) or bureaucratic “paperwork” (Latour, “Visualisation and Cognition”). Moreover, they provide conceptual models for reinventing current and mostly technoscientific or aesthetic approaches to map interpretation.3 A copy of the “Map of the several nations of Indians to the Northwest of South Carolina” from 1724 (Figure 1), also known as the “Catawba Deerskin Map,” illustrates how Indigenous mappings can put current critical sensibilities regarding eighteenth-century maps on a new footing: namely, unlike French or British eighteenth-century maps, the Catawba map makes affordances for being as much a performative gesture as a graphic discourse, both of which involve spatiotemporal constructions capable of generating new modes for presenting places and telling their stories.4

Fig. 1: “Map of the several nations of Indians to the Northwest of South Carolina” (c.1724; 1929). Copied by Francis Nicholson.

Fig. 1: “Map of the several nations of Indians to the Northwest of South Carolina” (c.1724; 1929). Copied by Francis Nicholson.

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.

4The Catawba map’s English inscription hints at its performative nature: “[C]oppyed [sic] from a draught drawn & painted on a deer skin by an Indian Cacique and presented to Francis Nicholson Esqr. Governor of South Carolina by whom it is most humbly dedicated to his Royal Highness George, Prince of Wales.” The map epitomizes what Malcolm Lewis has termed as the “cartographic encounter” (Lewis, Cartographic Encounters). At moments of intercultural contact – documented during the long eighteenth-century, for example, by the German mapmaker John Lederer in 1669 (Hollis) and by the Americans Meriwether Lewis and William Clark between 1805 and 1807 (Brückner, “The Geographies of Lewis, Clark, and Native Americans”) – Western encounters with Indigenous peoples invariably included the ritual act of asking for direction and geographic information. In response, Indigenous guides or elders produced mappings that were made in the moment or part of a ritual, drawn in sand or ashes, on rocks, bark, or as with the case of the Catawba map, painted on deerskin (Warhus; Lewis, Cartographic Encounters). To the British agent, Francis Nicholson, the copy of the Catawba map was a valuable artifact signifying the acquisition of spatial knowledge about tribal locations, the prospect of gaining power over some of the southeastern nations, and the ability to curry favor with imperial authorities, even English royalty. To the anonymous “Indian Cacique,” however, the act of mapping, as recent studies have shown, was a performative gesture according to which the act of depicting a place or region would have meant something entirely different: it signified the acknowledgement of a space and time continuum in which the mundane and spiritual are joined; it would have included tribal memory and ancestral migrations, on occasion the story of Western invasion and Indigenous displacement, and the possibility of resistance – as a polyglot form, it decentered the grid’s two-dimensional mode of mapping while also recalibrating, if not undermining, Western claims to spatial authority (Belyea, “Inland Journeys” 8; Turnbull 17; Waselkov; Gartner; Rose-Redwood et al.).

5Being epistemologically as well as ontologically disruptive to Western notions of cartographic representation, the Indigenous mappings’ capacity for resistance hinged on their diversity in material form and graphic content. Neither Western modes of writing nor imperial graphic codes provided the kind of tool kit necessary to properly address, translate, and archive ephemeral drawings or spoken performances that simultaneously captured space and time. To the Western eye, it has long been argued, graphic designs consisting merely of circles and pictographs were insufficient mapmaking conventions if applied to the Western cartographic enterprise. Such designs are not bound to a spatial framework or a particular scale (not counting the contours of the deerskin). They make no claims to verisimilitude or desires of unmediated perception. Spatial or temporal relationships are expressed without a frame of reference and thus rendered illegible to the Western-trained eye, as are potentially symbolic references of secular or sacred significance. Although they were recognized for telling a spatial story, Indigenous mappings upended Western cartographic ventures not only because of their ability to simultaneously express local, global, and cosmological relationships. Rather, and turning to the context of the eighteenth century, the Catawba mapping demonstrates how maps could entail different modes of mappings, modes that are inherently flexible, personal and communal, unrestrictive and multi-form, involving a multitude of stories, some of which inviting disagreement or rebellion.

6To say Western-made maps showing North America became counter-maps resisting imperial regimes of spatial knowledge because they borrowed from Indigenous mapping strategies would be an overstatement. But as the following examples will show, European mapmakers who had extensive experience with Indigenous mappings produced maps that for all intents and purposes appear to have experimented with Indigenous conventions, and thus, wittingly or not, may have ended up contradicting Western and particularly imperial cartographic codes. Indeed, at the height of the French and British imperial rivalry in North America a small number of maps show signs that challenge both established geographic knowledge and emerging cartographic designs, and in doing so initiated a broader and yet little understood counter-mapping impulse.

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  • 5 Other sources containing printed copies of Indigenous mappings can be found in Louis Armand de Lom (...)

7Signs of counter-mappings were most likely to materialize in eighteenth-century imperial maps where archival discontinuities challenged received geographic knowledge or mapmaking conventions. The French-made Carte Physique des Terreins le plus élevés de la Partie Occidentale du Canada (1754; Figure 2) by Philippe Buache is an instructive example illustrating the collision between different mapping archives.5 At first sight, Buache’s map conforms to Western modes: over half of the map image consists of a systematic geographical representation involving a coarsely scaled resolution and artificial colored borderlines that divide the northernmost part of the American continent to better mark French imperial possessions. A closer look, however, reveals three ways in which archival discontinuities can prove to be disruptive. The archival elements in question concern the graphic space called “Mer de l’ouest”; the insert of a composite map created by members of the Cree nation; and the over-sized map cartouche containing a lengthy written accompaniment.

Fig. 2 : Philippe Buache, Carte Physique des Terreins le plus élevés de la Partie Occidentale du Canada (Paris, 1754).

Fig. 2 : Philippe Buache, Carte Physique des Terreins le plus élevés de la Partie Occidentale du Canada (Paris, 1754).

David Rumsey Map Collection, www.davidrumsey.com.

  • 6 The British archive perpetuated its own imaginary geographies. The image of California as an island (...)

8Turning to the “Mer de l’ouest” first, it is important to note that to date many historians have dismissed the Buache map as “fantastic and inaccurate” because it perpetuated the geographical fiction of an inland sea at once dividing the northern continent and connecting it to the Pacific Ocean (Belyea, “Amerindian Maps” 5-6). The map’s graphic narrative has readers intuitively follow Western knowledge of North American waterways. Scanning from east to west, and thus moving from familiar to unfamiliar territory, the carto-literate eye reaches the rudimentary outline of the Sea of the West. By the 1750s, the imagined sea was an archival staple that, after originating in a seventeenth-century travel narrative, had become a cartographic fixture in the French imperial archive upon its inclusion in the turn-of-the century mapworks by Guillaume Delisle (but was studiously avoided by his British competitor, Herman Moll). While not an overt act of cartographic resistance, the propagation of a geographical falsehood unwittingly turned the Buache map into a counter-map; compared to British mapworks of the period, it prevented French imperial officers from seeing the true picture of the western continent and, when compared to the British imperial archive, it undermined the map users’ confidence in the accuracy of French maps and craft of mapmaking.6

9The second source of disruption emerges from Buache’s choice to juxtapose his image of Western cartography to a composite reproduction of Indigenous mappings whose authors are identified as “le Sauvage Ochagach et autres” (Figure 2; top center). Superimposed like a title header above the Western map image, the chart-like drawing depicts unscaled linear graphs projecting a series of lakes, rivers, and portages that connect Lake Superior to what French geographers believed to be the Indigenous representation of an inland sea. In its copied form, the map insert assumes the rhetorical function of a scientific proof of concept; after all, its sequenced geographical markings match the geo-coded content of the imperial map below. At the same time, the composite map also asserted a different spatial authority, one that carries its own subversive potential. As the map’s legend in the upper left corner shows, Buache recognized the Cree map as a graphic performance using a different, non-Western sign system for representing space, a system legible to its authors but on many levels incomprehensible to Western translators. Including original, albeit misunderstood, Indigenous mappings into the paper construct of a French imperial map, we can now speculate, may have amounted to a critical moment of misdirection with the result that it contributed to raising the false hope that the French empire could not only gain easy access to the Pacific before (or despite of) the British, but also lay claim to a vast new territory.

10A third source of archival discontinuity was map intrinsic and can be traced to broader systemic changes in European map designs. Mapmakers like Buache struggled to solve the problem of “blank spaces” on printed maps. Prior to the eighteenth century, European map designers working for both state agencies and commercial publishers flinched at leaving any part of the map empty (Belyea, “Amerindian Maps”; Pratt). Pictorial inserts, verbal dedications, and ornamental legends or title cartouches filled not only the map margins but were constitutive elements of the map content. In the case of Buache’s Carte Physique, its cartouche covers nearly a third of the map image, containing an elegantly engraved passage of prose that asserts imperial land claims while also encouraging future reconnaissance missions. Yet, crowding maps with too much information and pictorial elements had its detractors. As early as 1712 Jonathan Swift satirized decorative inserts as a cover-up for geographic ignorance when he writes: “So Geographers in Afric maps, / with Savage-Pictures fill their Gaps; / And o’er uninhabitable Downs / Place Elephants for want of Towns” (Swift 12). Motivated by Enlightenment scientific protocols, a new generation of mapmakers was beginning to change the visually “full” look of Western maps. Imperial surveyors and geographers who worked in the field, like James Cook or George Vancouver, changed traditional graphic conventions by purposefully leaving parts of the map empty – their maps were treated as surveying records rather than pictorial narratives, and accordingly, areas that were considered as unmapped according to European standards were simply left blank (Belyea, “Amerindian Maps” 6; Stafford).

11Given this particular carto-historical context, the Buache map documents more than the archival collision of different mapping cultures. Its macro-elements reflect shifting values that were initiated by what Leo Bagrow has called the “cartographic reformation.” According to Bagrow, sometime between 1670 and 1770 “maps ceased to be works of art, the products of individual minds, and craftsmanship was finally superseded by specialized science and the machine” (Bagrow 22). Theoretical geographers, like David Harvey, came to a similar conclusion; he notes that eighteenth-century maps were gradually “stripped of all elements of fantasy and religious belief, as well as any sign of the experiences involved in their production,” and instead became “abstract and strictly functional systems for the factual ordering of phenomena in space” (Harvey 249).

Fig. 3: Matthaeus Seutter, Pensylvania, Nova Jersey et Nova York (Augsburg, 1748).

Fig. 3: Matthaeus Seutter, Pensylvania, Nova Jersey et Nova York (Augsburg, 1748).

David Rumsey Map Collection, www.davidrumsey.com.

12Two mid-century imperial maps illustrate the before-and-after effect of the cartographic reformation. The 1748 map of Pensylvania, Nova Jersey et Nova York by the German Matthäus Seutter (Figure 3) closely follows older mapping conventions. Filling every square inch of the printed paper sheet with fantastical icons, baroque design elements, and allegorical imagery, Seutter’s map not only projected imperial power – as displayed by the cartouche’s figural iconography – but also incorporated several non-cartographic modes of representation, tapping natural history, decorative art, and European spatial beliefs (do the iconic symbols representing mountains denote the lack of knowledge or do they invite speculation about what treasures hide inside?). By contrast, the 1753 Chart of the Atlantic Ocean, with the British, French, Spanish Settlements in North America and the West Indies by John Green and Thomas Jefferys (Figure 4) leaves all or nothing to the imagination: dominated by stark, linear elements like the universal grid, continental outlines, and colored political boundaries, the map creates the illusion of a global mapping system wielding broad powers. Yet, at the same time, its sparse mode of delineation creates a record defined by absence – while the emphasis on lines erases other variants of geographical representation, blank spaces erase all forms of archival knowledge, including the admission of Western ignorance.

Fig. 4: John Green and Thomas Jefferys, Chart of the Atlantic Ocean, with the British, French, Spanish Settlements in North America and the West Indies (London, 1753).

Fig. 4: John Green and Thomas Jefferys, Chart of the Atlantic Ocean, with the British, French, Spanish Settlements in North America and the West Indies (London, 1753).

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.

  • 7 For studies of eighteenth-century map production in Europe, colonial America, and state control see (...)

13Cartographic reforms took hold rather unevenly, as suggested by the close publication dates of the Seutter and Green-Jefferys maps. If it was the goal of eighteenth-century reformers to construct “a knowledge space in which memory, trust, history, and authority are seamlessly interwoven,” mapmakers struggled with providing a uniform “space that corresponded to the complexity of the lived experience of lay people and their local knowledge” (Turnbull 19). For the better part of the eighteenth century, mapping projects devised by imperial agencies rarely matched the lived reality of those who were mapped. By contrast, individual mapmakers drew their information freely, if not in equal parts, from recent field-surveys and outdated maps as well as from sources such as travel narratives and artistic watercolors. They fully understood maps to be as much an artificial lens as a promiscuous representation: by and large, the eighteenth-century map at once contains, adapts, and glosses over different modes of mapping, modes that borrowed from a variety of geographic archives. While the geodetic linear mode of mapping sought to reinforce the message of imperial territoriality through representational clarity, its very lines at least initially blurred notions of place, geography, or even boundaries. Add to this the fact that many eighteenth-century mapmakers worked in a decentralized and uncoordinated manner not yet subject to systematic codes and state control, their map designs became imbued with a certain amount of unregulated creativity, the kind that felt comfortable with archival dissonance and was full of potential for creating counter-mappings.7

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14The mapworks by Lewis Evans, a land surveyor active in early eighteenth-century British America, reveal how even the most imperial minded map contains the impulse for becoming a counter-map. A Welsh emigrant, Evans established himself as a professional land surveyor and mapmaker drawing plats and maps for clients ranging from the Swedish traveler Peter Kalm to Thomas Penn and the Pennsylvania Land Company (for whom he drafted the plat showing the infamous “Walking Purchase” of 1738), to the Pennsylvania Assembly. Benjamin Franklin’s account books show Evans to be on his pay roll from 1737 to 1754, and it was under Franklin’s tutelage that Evans published two commercially successful maps: A Map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York (1749; Figure 5) and A General Map of the Middle British Colonies (1755; Figure 6). A Map of Pensilvania, which was the first large-sheet map printed in the British American colonies, was initially considered a popular success. The Pennsylvania Assembly voted “that a present be made to him from this House of ten pounds, in reward of his industry and ingenuity” (Wroth 153), and within a year of its publication the prolific English printmaker, John Bowles, began selling pirated editions to European audiences. At the same time, however, the map had its share of critics – Pennsylvanians of “ultra-proprietorial leanings” not only took exception to the way Evans had depicted the colonies’ western parts but worked to prevent Evans from getting new employment as a surveyor (Klinefelter 11-42).

Fig. 5: Lewis Evans, A Map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York (Philadelphia, 1749).

Fig. 5: Lewis Evans, A Map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York (Philadelphia, 1749).

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.

  • 8 Johnson’s review appeared in 1756. See Johnson 293-99.
  • 9 On Evans’ life and work see Klinefelter 3-10; Lingelbach; Gipson; Brückner, The Social Life of Maps (...)

15Five years later, after publishing his second major map, A General Map of the Middle British Colonies, reactions took a similarly sinister turn. Upon finishing the map’s first draft in 1754, Evans petitioned and was granted the astonishing sum of fifty pounds to support its print production. Once published, the map quickly became a commercial success, with nearly 500 copies selling within a year (most of them in the colonies) and multiple pirated editions circulating in Europe over the next three decades. To avoid potential mis-readings, it was sold along with a map accompaniment, titled Geographical, Historical, Political, Philosophical, and Mechanical Essays (1755). Map and essays received a favorable review from Samuel Johnson, who commented on them extensively in the Literary Magazine.8 Yet, A General Map of the Middle British Colonies once again catapulted Evans into the arena of imperial politics. Possibly influenced by Franklin’s stance advocating for colonial rights and self-governance – articulated most publicly at the Albany Congress of 1754 – Evans published an open letter that argued for the consolidation of the Ohio territory. The letter incurred the ire of imperial officers; accused of libel in 1755, Evans was sent to prison for three months where he fell ill only to die shortly after his release in 1756.9

Fig. 6: Lewis Evans, A General Map of the Middle British Colonies (Philadelphia, 1755).

Fig. 6: Lewis Evans, A General Map of the Middle British Colonies (Philadelphia, 1755).

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

  • 10 Lemay; Pritchard and Talliaferro; Bedini.
  • 11 For examples see Cronon; Hallock; Hinderaker; Taylor; Newman.

16Modern histories of the two Evans maps split into two camps. On one side, and these tend to be older commentaries, the maps are frequently viewed through the lens of American exceptionalism: celebrated as the first significant maps produced without help from the imperial metropolis, they underscored colonial accomplishments in the age of Enlightenment while also foreshadowing proto-nationalistic narratives of American ingenuity. Indeed, according to historians of science, some of the maps’ lengthy text inserts describe with great prescience electrical phenomena (in which Evans had been instructed by Franklin), the power of fluvial erosion, and the tectonic signs of what geologists call “isostatic adjustment” (the process by which eroded materials weigh down the areas in which they are deposited).10 On the other side, and more recently, both maps are discussed as classic examples illustrating the way in which colonial mapmaking aided the discourse and politics of empire: the maps represented Indigenous lands, like the terrain stolen from the Lenape people in 1737, which were claimed by the British government or by European colonists living in New York, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Furthermore, compiled from original surveys, Evans’s map designs appear to privilege the nascent, non-pictorial mode of map inscription, thus contributing to the construction of the imperial archive and its visual narrative of surveillance and global power.11

  • 12 Letter from Lewis Evans to Robert Dodsley, Jan. 25, 1756, printed in Pennsylvania Magazine of Histo (...)

17However, what is missing from the maps’ historiography is the matter of the negative responses to Evans’s depiction of western territories. Colonial critics tried twice to discredit his maps using superficial questions about geodetic accuracy and geographic knowledge while pursuing ulterior motives that had more to do with capitalist land speculation, imperial military strategy, and colonial territorial rights than with land surveying or mapmaking techniques. Putting these criticisms into the context of Indigenous map encounters and the cartographic reformation, I contend, the questions about correctness and the delineation of the land west of the colonies were strategic statements intended to assert the primacy of British modes of mapmaking and the hegemony of the imperial archive. Evans must have felt this critique keenly, for he revised both maps in order to appease his critics: in 1752 he issued a new edition of A Map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York; three years later, his final correspondence shows that preparations were under way for a new edition of A General Map of the Middle British Colonies.12

18The contrast between the maps’ popularity in the print market and their rejection by a small set of critics raises questions about the power of imperial maps: What is the relationship between the imperial mapping project and colonial-made maps? How do colonial modes of mapmaking resemble local or Indigenous mappings, and if they do, are they resisting imperial modes of map interpretation? Ultimately, and by assuming the perspective of the eighteenth-century map readers who rejected the Evans maps most vehemently, what map signs or designs could have changed their relationship to the map and its contents, tipping the balance so that the maps were neither perceived as a representation of imperial nor colonial interests but represented something else, something that was profoundly unacceptable to British imperial sensibilities and the cartographic representation of American spaces?

  • 13 My thinking about the graphic expression and function of lines on maps is informed by Bertin; Boelh (...)

19To provide some answers, the following concentrates on the first Evans map, A Map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York (Figure 5). The product of six years of field surveys, which had Evans crisscross the area between Philadelphia and the Appalachian Mountains to the west, Lake Ontario to the north, and the Atlantic coast to the east, the map appears to be an early example accepting the visual designs advocated by cartographic reformists. Omitting pictures or decorative elements common in European baroque mappings, its primary mode of representation depends on a rather simple system of lines. Reading the map from its margins to its center, six types of lines project the region’s topography and vie for the readers’ attention. The map’s base line, and the one that is easily overlooked, is engraved along the map’s physical border. The lines of latitude and longitude, optically articulated in checkered intervals, invisibly structure the map’s internal contents while separating it from its external surroundings. Inside the map’s grid frame are five other classes of linear representation: water-colored boundary lines; lines marking roadways; lines delineating rivers and lakes; lines created by the spatialization of map symbols and alphabetic letters; and lastly, written lines pressed into blocks of prose inserts. Close-reading these lines according to their iconographic or semiotic function shows how an eighteenth-century imperial map could begin to run afoul of the imperial establishment, and also helps to expand the concept of eighteenth-century mappings and the meaning of cartography.13

20To begin, the map’s perhaps most prominent lines are the water-colored borders, marking British-owned provinces and territorial jurisdictions. Highlighted by washes of red and different shades of green, these lines collectively carve the map into half at a diagonal that starts in New York’s Albany County (Figure 5; top right), crosses into northeastern Pennsylvania, and ends where the “Blue Mountains” of Maryland join those of Virginia (Figure 5; lower left). While the diagonal demarcates British possessions from non-British possessions to its west and north, on the inside of the British enclosure (Figure 5; lower half) ruler-straight lines partition the mid-Atlantic region into smaller units. Posing as map lines of the first order, boundary lines like these put into practice early modern colonization schemes: backed by British and other European legal codes, such as land charters and property laws, the lines invented imperial territories that, drawn up on blank sheets of paper and following the rules of geometry, divided natural topographies and Indigenous territories into new, artificial geopolitical constructs. Vivid examples of these abstract border lines can be found on the Evans map in labeled form, such as “The Division Line of East & West Jersey,” or in the geometric shape of the semicircular arc separating the Delaware counties from Pennsylvania and New Jersey (Figure 5; lower half center).

  • 14 An early twentieth-century theory of settlements and spatial relations, Christaller sought to disti (...)
  • 15 On roads as landscape features in colonial America see Stilgoe; Meinig.

21A second set of quasi-geometric lines consists of double-stroked delineations representing roads and turnpikes. Drawn to connect towns, ports, river crossings, and trading posts (marked by small circles), these lines represent a transportation system that, as they weave in and out of the various administrative bodies, create the optical illusion of overland mobility and a fully networked territory. They also provide a visual index for ranking settlements similarly to Walter Christaller’s central place theory.14 For example, with four different roads converging at the Pennsylvania town of “Lancaster,” the evenly drawn road symbols not only signal its status as a transportation hub but elevate the town’s regional rank (reinforced by bold lettering). At the same time, the roads’ graphic depiction as nearly straight lines and their exaggerated size gloss over the region’s actual physical topography and the fact that most roads were windy, impassible depending on the season, and at times barely visible in the actual landscape.15

22If the first two types of lines gave the colonies an artificial utilitarian appearance, the third and fourth kind projected, albeit selectively, a mimetic shorthand for describing topographical forms on the ground. Curved lines signifying rivers, lakes, and coastlines, chart the fluvial and coastal topography inside and outside the British territories. Similarly, contiguous chains of shaded, triangular symbols mark the location of mountainous terrains or whole mountain ranges. Lines like these elicit images of geographic realism. Yet, in their totality their mode of representation was also aligned with popular anthropomorphic metaphors comparing waterways to the human body’s vascular system and mountain ranges to bones or skeletal frames. The association was that rivers, like human blood vessels, were vital organs to the modern state’s civic body, providing arteries for circulating people and goods for the health of the country. By contrast, the visual configuration of mountains as ridged chains reinforced the notion of a naturally ossified, hard frontier. Moreover, when considering the pointed and crenulated shape of the mountain symbols, the skeletal trope is supplemented by epidermic or mason-like imagery: looking like thick layers of scaled skin or fortified walls, the mountain ranges encircle the British colonies protectively, shielding or barricading their collective body from the undefined and uncolonized world beyond.

23Supplementing the map’s four modes of linear graphics is a fifth line system, consisting of alphabetic lettering and dense passages of prose writings. Spatially drawn-out letters spell out place names, with English names crowding out Indigenous, Dutch, and French toponyms. As the letters hover over certain map areas, they expand or contract like floating banners to match areas defined either by physical geography (“The Atlantic Ocean,” “The Blue Mountains”) or political geography (“New Jersey,” “Salem Co[unty]). On land, varying letter styles and font sizes reinforce imperial claims, as names are matched to administrative units. While place names afford map users with a reading experience that imitates basic literacy lessons of eighteenth-century primers – letters have to be actively traced and pieced together into meaningful words by using eyes and fingers – the map’s lengthy prose passages require a different, more advanced competency (Brückner, The Geographic Revolution in Early America). The text blocks discuss, for example, geology in “Remarks on the Endless Mountains &c.” (Figure 5; center), or offer scientific observations on meteorology, climate patterns, and longitude (Figure 5; top left). Intent on gathering information that is of interest to British audiences, the textual blocks mobilize the imperial archive, providing new knowledge and perspectives while asserting the map’s agency as an immutable mobile, as an object that is at once “presentable, readable, and combinable” with other imperial maps (Latour, “Visualisation and Cognition” 7; Latour, Science in Action). At the same time, though, the map’s graphic placement of the textual blocks still adhered to the older mapmaking convention. Like the Buache cartouche, the text passages cover up un-surveyed spaces and by blocking the readers’ view they also hide alternative modes for mapping the land and representing its rightful owners. The use of promotional rhetoric – “This Country is finely improved to the Mountains; and the Inhabitants enjoying the Fruits of the Difficulty of first Settling” (Figure 5; text top left) – keeps the map verbally aligned with its imperial agenda.

  • 16 My “intracolonial” reading is inspired by Edney, “The Irony of Imperial Mapping.”
  • 17 Discussing the relationship between maps, constitutions, and sovereignty, Benton identifies spatial (...)
  • 18 A theory of the “isolated state” is hinted at in England by David Hume in his treatise “Of National (...)

24Recent carto-historical readings argue (and rightly so) that each of these line systems is a graphic shorthand for imperial practices intent on the dispossession of Indigenous peoples and on enforcing British control over its own people. At the same time, an intra-colonial reading points to a mapping mode in which the lines bend their semiotic meanings to undercut the imperial archive and its expansionist vision.16 Starting with the boundary lines, their collective figuration effectively self-encloses the colonies of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey into one discrete territorial unit (Figure 7; red outline). If we dismiss for a moment the secondary internal borderlines, the colonies’ consolidated shape resembles what Lauren Benton has called an “enclave,” a spatial arrangement enacted on the ground by early colonization schemes and defined more by practical exigency than by imperial fiat.17 The map’s graphic outlines also anticipate nationalist theories in support of the “isolated state,” a model eagerly embraced by political economists for its abstract design and isomorphic spatiality.18

Fig. 7: Line Graphics for A Map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York.

Fig. 7: Line Graphics for A Map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York.

By the author.

  • 19 Anderson; Shannon.

25According to the logic of the enclave, the Evans map envisions the three mid-Atlantic colonies as a geographically contingent territory, shielded from the Empire by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and from Indigenous or French incursions by the “Endless Mountains” to the west and north. If viewed in the terms of isolated state theories, the same map symbols that signified external surveillance to armchair geographers and imperial agents residing in the overseas metropolis may have alternatively scripted the colonies as an independent construct optically marked by spatial coherence and internal stability. There is no evidence that Evans’s 1749 map contributed to the subversive mission of the Albany Congress famously expressed in Franklin’s 1754 map cartoon, titled “Join, or Die” (Figure 8). But its use of border lines, river veins, and mountain chains afforded political leaders and the general readership with a cartographic template that projected the mid-Atlantic colonies as a carto-coded community in the same way that Benedict Anderson has argued maps fashioned the imagined community of the nation state as a novel, discrete, and separate realm.19

Fig. 8: Benjamin Franklin, “Join, or Die,” The Pennsylvania Gazette, 1754 May 9.

Fig. 8: Benjamin Franklin, “Join, or Die,” The Pennsylvania Gazette, 1754 May 9.

Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs.

26However, several gaps in the maps’ line systems complicate the covert message of an inter-colonial civic body flourishing independently from within the Empire’s extensive possessions. A first gap appears along the Atlantic coast, where topographical and political borderlines overlap to the point that their optics establish an unambiguous and insurmountable frontier that separates (or protects) the colonies from British incursions. The figures of two sea-faring ships disrupt the border’s integrity. Symbolizing invisible traffic routes that connect the colonies to the trans-Atlantic sphere and its imperial centers, the ships’ iconography alludes to the fact that the map’s borders are porous, thus disrupting colonial fantasies of isolated self-containment. A second gap appears along the western frontier where rivers like the Susquehanna or the “West Branch” of the Delaware cut the protective layers of the mountain chains (Figure 7; lower left). The rivers connect the colonies’ transportation arteries to other fluvial networks, suggesting new roads leading out of the mountains and into the uncharted and unbounded spaces located outside the colonial territory. When viewed in tandem, the iconic ships and the river gaps connect the map reader (and the imagined community of a proto-American union) to new lines of communication and modes of telling stories about the map.

27By suggesting that the border lines of the colonial body are permeable, the Evans map reveals an alternative epistemological stance: just as the map is a representation modeling an enclosed space, its linear representations transform it into a blueprint for various narrative tours. In this reading the map follows Michel de Certeau’s observation, “What the map cuts up, the story cuts across. In Greek, narration is called ‘diegesis’: it establishes an itinerary (it ‘guides’) and it passes through (it “transgresses’)” (De Certeau 129). While most of the lines in the Evans map are concerned with cutting up the mid-Atlantic region, the lines marking water and road networks, punctuated by town names and crossings, give a first glimpse of how graphic lines assume a diegetic narrative function. It is easy to imagine that readers, pointing with finger or pencil, recount not just the name of a place or cartographic distances but give itineraries telling stories about other uncartographic experiences involving the nearest “Towns,” “Villages & Camps,” Houses,” or “Forts” (Figure 5; “Explanation”).

  • 20 On the history of the journey see Brückner, “Ambulatory Map.”

28Evans himself introduces this transgressive conceptual shift from forensic map to a narrative tour in true surveyor’s fashion. At 77.30 degrees longitude and 41 degrees latitude he calls attention to a thin dotted line by inserting the following text next to it: “This prickt line shows the Authors Route from Pens[ilvania] to Oswego in 1743” (Evans, “Pensilvania”). He refers to the dotted line (Figure 7; yellow line) tracing his journey, undertaken together with Conrad Weiser and John Bartram, from Philadelphia to Lake Ontario and back. In 1743 the three had been commissioned by the Pennsylvania Assembly to travel to Onondaga, the seat of the Haudenosaunee’s general council (or as Evans writes, “the Confederate Republic of the Six Nations”), where they were to serve as Pennsylvania’s delegation during multilateral talks seeking to secure peace along the western frontier. Upon their return the three delegates prepared reports of different kinds: Weiser submitted to the Pennsylvania Assembly his manuscript notes as evidence of successful negotiations. Bartram put his experiences into the form of a travel narrative which he had printed in London, titled Observations onHis Travels from Pensilvania to Onondago, Oswego, and the Lake Ontario in Canada (1751). Evans kept a surveyor’s log while traveling, which became part of the public record in that it provided the coordinates for inscribing the journey’s route on A Map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York.20

29Part self-effacing, part innocuous looking, the dotted line holds the key to understanding the map’s counter-mapping impulse. It contains the convergence of two mapping modes foreign or unacceptable to cartographic reformists and imperial mapmakers. The first mode involves Indigenous mappings. During the journey, Evans depended on Indigenous guides for direction and local knowledge while taking measure of the land between Philadelphia and Lake Ontario. At Onondaga, with negotiations revolving around territorial borders and passage rights, he would have experienced first-hand the kind of cartographic encounters described above, witnessing leaders from different nations perform ritual mappings during meetings or treaty ceremonies. Unlike the Buache map, however, the Evans map does not offer a transcription of Indigenous knowledge. If he borrowed information or story lines, they were folded into his geodetic observations. Lacking his archival records, we can only speculate that the curvilinear shape of the “prickt line” entails a dual sign language that contains the performance of Indigenous stories and, at the same time, re-enacts the imperial cartographic project: in the process of erasing Indigenous knowledge it occludes the distinction between Indigenous multi-dimensional mappings and the Western two-dimensional model of spatial representation.

Fig. 9: Robert Wilkinson, “The road from London to Aberistwith,” in The Roads Through England Delineated, or, Ogilby’s Survey (London, 1780).

Fig. 9: Robert Wilkinson, “The road from London to Aberistwith,” in The Roads Through England Delineated, or, Ogilby’s Survey (London, 1780).

David Rumsey Map Collection, www.davidrumsey.com.

  • 21 On early literary maps see Padron; for an example of the marriage map see the British Library, http (...)

30Yet, when turning from the map’s forensic disposition to that of the narrative “tour,” the dotted line reveals an alternative mode of mapping familiar to both Indigenous and Western map readers. The map’s road symbols collectively resonate with the innovative “ribbon” or “strip” maps introduced by John Ogilby’s road atlas, BritanniaOr an Illustration of the Kingdom of England (1675) and made popular by revised editions, like Robert Wilkinson’s The Roads Through England Delineated, or, Ogilby’s Survey (1780; Figure 9). In these atlases double-stroked lines mark known roads, but dotted lines signal on occasion the mapmaker’s departure from fully ascertained knowledge, marking for example unstable road conditions or suggested paths that may or may not exist. With official road maps using dotted lines to signify ambiguous if not imaginary spaces, it is only a short leap for readers to align the Evans map’s road signs with those that appeared in the emergent genre of literary maps which were folded into fictional journeys such as Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe or John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (Figure 10), not to mention fantasy or satirical maps like Jonathan Swift’s “Map of Glubbdubdrib, Lugnagg, and Other Lands East of Japan” in Gulliver’s Travels (1726) or moralist spoofs such as “A Map or Chart of the Road of Love, and Harbour of Marriage” (1748) published under the pseudonym of T. P. Hydrographer.21

Fig. 10: The Road From the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. From John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress 1678 (London: Thomas Kelly, 1821).

Fig. 10: The Road From the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. From John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress 1678 (London: Thomas Kelly, 1821).

Courtesy, P.J. Mode collection of persuasive cartography, #8548. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

31To say that the dotted line transposes the Evans map into a “literary map” may at first glance seem a stretch. Considering the map’s “Explanation” or legend (Figure 5; center left), the iconic signs representing roads and cities tell a conventional story of mimetic translation in which cartographic symbols make the mapped territory’s interiors legible as a colonial landscape modeled after British and continental European conventions of land development and management. But considering that Evans’s dotted line is located outside of the British controlled colonial space and thus outside of the confines of the mapped territory, both the graphic arsenal and legibility of space not only lose the empirical fix of the imperial map but fail to create a coherent narrative about spatial relations, infrastructure, or for that matter political cohesion. The imaginative part of the Evans map begins at the western border where his mostly place-/person-/tribe-specific use of toponyms gives way to rather fantastical place names. Toponyms like “Endless Mountains,” “Dismal Vale,” or “Impenetrable Mountains” resonate more with Bunyan’s “Slough of Despond,” “Hill Lucre,” or “Pleasant Meadow,” than, say, place names like “York,” “Lancaster,” or “Trenton.”

32The literary map analogy becomes further entrenched when the dotted line winds its way past the map’s textual inserts (Figure 7; yellow line and blue tiles). Their placement visually replicates the pictorial scenes, quotations, or chapter headings that branch off the main road in The Pilgrim’s Progress map. The “prickt line” thus provides not just the storyline for the journey but becomes the plot connecting the map reader to different stories and archives. Moreover, the surveyor’s line here becomes a picaresque conceit in which narrative information is understood to be episodic, speculative, and open to interpretation. Or, to assume the literary perspective more fully, the dotted markings of Evans’s travel route are the graphic equivalents representing the interpretive gaps that reader response theories explore in narrative fiction. Without having access to the imperial archive of a fully mapped continent beyond the “Impenetrable Mountains,” the Evans map invites readers to actively fill in the blanks by using their imagination and alternative modes of spatial representation. Considering that the narrative inserts provide geographical information about climate and topography, the open-ended lines pointing outside the colonial enclave (and beyond the map as such) become gateways for entering the multidimensional world of speculative fiction containing everything imaginable, from useful objects, to fantastic beasts, to ideas of civic autonomy. Linking geographic realism and fantasy, the lines in the Evans map are casting out instead of locking down, giving new directions and offer new meanings. The map thus articulates an alternative mode of mapping, one that, although its projection appears functional and historical, insinuates a poetic anti-geography whose mode of representation and interpretation runs counter to the designs and attitudes expressed by imperial maps and agencies.

*

  • 22 On definitions see Andrews; on how maps fared as a hybrid medium in eighteenth-century America, see (...)

33The mapworks by Buache and Evans illustrate how eighteenth-century mapmakers were caught in the middle of a cartographic revolution rather than reformation. Imperial mapmakers grappled with the fact that maps were a media platform providing neither an ideal text, nor a standardized discourse. As much as eighteenth-century reforms sought to classify maps according to a universal writing code where “signs point to other signs” and “the assemblage of graphic signs is dictated by convention rather than by the world the map it images” (Belyea, “Amerindian Maps” 4), the very construct of the map was surrounded by definitional uncertainty. Variously called “picture,” “prospect,” “description,” “delineation,” or even “portrait,” the maps discussed above highlight more than a semantic conundrum. The multitude of cognates shrouded the very concept of the map in epistemological uncertainty.22 This uncertainty regularly included subjective cognition into the nature of maps: instead of passively inscribing a pre-existing place or object, mapmakers actively shaped the perception of mountains, lakes, roads, and towns using signs that combined personal memory, different ideas of topography, not to mention idiosyncratic design styles. The simultaneous display of, say, showing a mountain range as a pictographic symbol as opposed to a spelled-out name or a pictorial landscape scene, gave mapmakers just enough space for experimentation to elicit in map readers vastly different cognitive responses, from sensory perception, to contextual experience, to associative thinking – all of which took place far removed from the actual places shown on maps.

  • 23 For a discussion of map literacy and critical studies on visualcy in eighteenth-century America, se (...)

34Mapmakers like Buache and Evans, then, were still testing not only cartographic conventions but reading habits that still went against the newly emerging cartographic grain. As they borrowed from different modes of mapping, including those of Indigenous origin, some leaned towards the techno-empirical design, while others preferred the pictorial decorative one. Likewise, map readers were putting maps to a reading test. Combining literacy lessons with map visualcy, for those using the maps on the ground, the perennial question was and still is, does the map succeed when guiding readers to a specific place?23 For those sitting in library studies and imperial offices, the questions were more complicated, since to ask a map to model a space with geographic accuracy is not the same as to ask if it presents a space according to ideological dictates or poetic preference.

35In the case of the Evans map, its linear designs reveal that by the same token that A Map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York grounds colonial geography within the framework of the British imperial mapping project, it is responsible for insinuating at least two counter-mappings. On the one hand, the map suggestively projects an image showing three British colonies as one autonomous unit. Anglophone place names, which are thinning rapidly on the western half of the map, are coordinated along grid lines that signify split loyalties: the lines of longitude are dually beholden to the imperial meridian of London and the colonial meridian of Philadelphia. That the loyalties are colonial rather than imperial is the upshot of the water-colored boundaries encircling the British possessions; by binding the map’s content to a limited space of territory the map fails to establish the kind of spatial continuity that keeps colonies tethered and subordinated to the empire’s meta-space.

36On the other hand, as the map’s line markings reflect cartographic insecurity rather than imperial power, the map’s literary quality aligns the map’s cartographic horizon of expectation with the semiotic message of counter-mapping and cartographic resistance. It is the map’s dotted line that turns its story into a delinquent one. As the “prickt line” inscribes the route to Onondaga, it is the one line that literally deviates from the map’s imperial graphic code. It is absent from Evans’s legend, table of distances (Figure 5; bottom right), and author’s acknowledgement (Figure 5; bottom left). The dotted line is a kind of shadow line, for “its specific mark is to live not on the margins but in the interstices of the codes that is undoes and displaces” (De Certeau 130). Inhabiting a territory not controlled by imperial surveys, the dotted line disrupts the imperial narrative because it privileges the literary tour over the political state and over the ambitions of land-hungry colonial elites. The line’s delinquency consisted of making imperial readers who were used to taking the map’s story literally feel threatened by the vision of uncolonized places and the real or imagined presence of a heterotopia where neither the surveyors’ compass nor the mapmakers’ grid were the rule.

37Of course, the cartographic reformation ran its course. Losing sight of Indigenous or European counter-mappings, mapmakers and map reading instructions gradually adapted to the techno-scientific mode. But for the duration of several decades, maps like Buache’s Carte Physique des Terreins le plus élevés de la Partie Occidentale du Canada and Evans’s A Map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York offered cartographic models that illustrated more expansive mapping modes, modes that were as much about the geography of a place as they implied or actively referenced different media formats or other forms of discourse. The examples discussed above share literary, visual, and performative qualities that resonate with those attributed to eighteenth-century town criers and storytellers, decorative designs and allegorical tableaux, news and primers, technical drawings and dance manuals, the thick descriptions of scientific experiments and speculative fiction. Looking at eighteenth-century maps from the vantage point of conventional representation, cartography is always monologic, repeating the same two-dimensional lines about geographic knowledge. But once viewed as a form of counter-mapping, the maps’ function was dialogic, exhibiting spaces while brokering a multi-form and experiental relationship between the map and its reader. This relationship is as illuminating as it is agentic for it empowers map readers to envision a multitude of places through multiple modes of mapping. As performative sites that straddle the boundary between spatial knowledge and imagination, eighteenth-century maps thus invite a closer look and a fresh set of questions.

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Notes

1 To identify, cross-reference, and compare maps that show North America and were produced during the first half of the eighteenth century, see the following digital databases: the David Rumsey Map Collection (http://www.davidrumsey.com); the Library of Congress (http://lcweb2.loc.gov); the Hermon Dunlop Smith Center at the Newberry Library (http://www.newberry.org); the New York Public Library (http://digitalgallery.nypl.org); the Osher Map Library (http://oshermaps.org); and Historical Maps of Pennsylvania (http://www.mapsofpa.com).

2 As I engage with Indigenous mappings I do so with respect and the full knowledge that as a European or American, I cannot fully explain them. I address Catawba, Cree, Cherokee and Haudenosaunee’s mappings in the spirit of co-constitutionality that puts into dialogue the experience of mapping, their artifacts and their diverse material and social environments, as outlined by Indigenous scholars, such as Kim Tallbear or Amy Lonetree. For current Indigenous discussions that re-center Indigenous mappings, see the special issue “Decolonizing the Map,” Cartographica 55, 3 (Fall 2020): 151-214.

3 For a critical survey of current modes of map interpretation see Edney, Cartography. The Ideal and its History: 1-102; Brückner, Early American Cartographies 1-32.

4 On the meaning of the Catawba map and its origins see Waselkov and Chambers; the latter attributes the map to the Cherokee people.

5 Other sources containing printed copies of Indigenous mappings can be found in Louis Armand de Lom d’Arce’s “Carte que les Gnacsitares ont Dessine,” published in his New Voyages to North America. 2 Vols. (London, 1703).

6 The British archive perpetuated its own imaginary geographies. The image of California as an island – as shown in Edward Wells’s “A New Map of North America” (1700; 1715) – continued into the 1750s. See https://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~283741~90056260:A-new-map-of-North-America?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort&qvq=q:edward%20wells%20new%20map%20of%20north%20america;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=41&trs=44

7 For studies of eighteenth-century map production in Europe, colonial America, and state control see Pedley, and Brückner, The Social Life of Maps in America 17-116.

8 Johnson’s review appeared in 1756. See Johnson 293-99.

9 On Evans’ life and work see Klinefelter 3-10; Lingelbach; Gipson; Brückner, The Social Life of Maps in America 25-41. On Albany Congress see Anderson.

10 Lemay; Pritchard and Talliaferro; Bedini.

11 For examples see Cronon; Hallock; Hinderaker; Taylor; Newman.

12 Letter from Lewis Evans to Robert Dodsley, Jan. 25, 1756, printed in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography LIX (1935): 297.

13 My thinking about the graphic expression and function of lines on maps is informed by Bertin; Boelhower; Cosgrove; Fremlin and Robinson.

14 An early twentieth-century theory of settlements and spatial relations, Christaller sought to distinguish a town’s economic and administrative “centrality.” Using factors like an unbounded flat surface (like a map) and transportation types (like roads) to assign hierarchical rankings among places, his theory lends itself for examining eighteenth-century maps and the way they represent political hierarchies.

15 On roads as landscape features in colonial America see Stilgoe; Meinig.

16 My “intracolonial” reading is inspired by Edney, “The Irony of Imperial Mapping.”

17 Discussing the relationship between maps, constitutions, and sovereignty, Benton identifies spatial patterns resembling networks of corridors and enclaves rather than artificial entities drawn on paper during the first centuries of colonization.

18 A theory of the “isolated state” is hinted at in England by David Hume in his treatise “Of National Character” in his Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary (London, 1747; 1777), but is fully postulated in Germany by Johann Heinrich von Thünen. Thünen’s model builds on Adam Smith, according to which the abstract lines of national borders at once prefigure and naturalize national characteristics intent on consolidation rather than on imperial attitudes seeking conquest and expansion. See [Johann von Thünen,] Von Thünen’s Isolated State (1826), trans. Carla M. Wartenberg (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1966).

19 Anderson; Shannon.

20 On the history of the journey see Brückner, “Ambulatory Map.”

21 On early literary maps see Padron; for an example of the marriage map see the British Library, https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/map-of-the-road-of-love#

22 On definitions see Andrews; on how maps fared as a hybrid medium in eighteenth-century America, see Brückner, The Social Life of Maps in America 117-24; 161-99.

23 For a discussion of map literacy and critical studies on visualcy in eighteenth-century America, see Brückner, The Social Life of Maps in America 200-39, 277-310.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1: “Map of the several nations of Indians to the Northwest of South Carolina” (c.1724; 1929). Copied by Francis Nicholson.
Crédits Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7160/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,8M
Titre Fig. 2 : Philippe Buache, Carte Physique des Terreins le plus élevés de la Partie Occidentale du Canada (Paris, 1754).
Crédits David Rumsey Map Collection, www.davidrumsey.com.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7160/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,6M
Titre Fig. 3: Matthaeus Seutter, Pensylvania, Nova Jersey et Nova York (Augsburg, 1748).
Crédits David Rumsey Map Collection, www.davidrumsey.com.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7160/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 2,1M
Titre Fig. 4: John Green and Thomas Jefferys, Chart of the Atlantic Ocean, with the British, French, Spanish Settlements in North America and the West Indies (London, 1753).
Crédits Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7160/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 2,3M
Titre Fig. 5: Lewis Evans, A Map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York (Philadelphia, 1749).
Crédits Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7160/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 2,8M
Titre Fig. 6: Lewis Evans, A General Map of the Middle British Colonies (Philadelphia, 1755).
Crédits Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7160/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 3,4M
Titre Fig. 7: Line Graphics for A Map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New-York.
Crédits By the author.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7160/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 2,5M
Titre Fig. 8: Benjamin Franklin, “Join, or Die,” The Pennsylvania Gazette, 1754 May 9.
Crédits Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7160/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,6M
Titre Fig. 9: Robert Wilkinson, “The road from London to Aberistwith,” in The Roads Through England Delineated, or, Ogilby’s Survey (London, 1780).
Crédits David Rumsey Map Collection, www.davidrumsey.com.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7160/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,1M
Titre Fig. 10: The Road From the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. From John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress 1678 (London: Thomas Kelly, 1821).
Crédits Courtesy, P.J. Mode collection of persuasive cartography, #8548. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/1718/docannexe/image/7160/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,9M
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Martin Brückner, « Colonial Counter-Mappings and the Cartographic Reformation in Eighteenth-Century America »XVII-XVIII [En ligne], 78 | 2021, mis en ligne le 31 décembre 2021, consulté le 28 novembre 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/1718/7160 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/1718.7160

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Auteur

Martin Brückner

Martin Brückner is Professor of English and Director of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture at the University of Delaware. He is author of The Social Life of Maps in America, 1750-1860 and The Geographic Revolution in Early America: Maps, Literacy, and National Identity; editor of Early American Cartographies; and co-editor of Modelwork: The Material Culture of Making and Knowing; Elusive Archives: Material Culture in Formation; and American Literary Geographies: Spatial Practice and Cultural Production, 1500-1900.

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