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3 Manuscript Maps delignating the Land of Lord Thomas
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A Plan of the Upper Part of Potomack River called Cohongorooto, survey’d in the Year 1736. Benjamin Winslow. Titled and signed “Benj. Winslow” lower right-hand corner.\nPen and ink and ink wash. 18 1/2 x 45 inche sheet, 28 x 55 inches framed. A fine manuscript map of the Potomac River as it runs through Westmoreland County in Virginia. [1737].\nJames Thomas, (1666- 1742)\nPen and ink and ink wash.\n24 1/4 x 15 3/4 inches sheet, 33 x 25 inches framed. A Plan of Potomack River, from the Mouth of Sherrendo, down to Chapawamsick, surveyed in the year 1737\nRobert Brooke. Titled and signed “Ro. Brooke” lower right-hand corner. Pen and ink\n25 1/2 x 18 inches sheet, 35 x 27 inches framed. THE FIRST ACCURATE AND DETAILED SURVEY OF THE POTOMAC RIVER\nwhich ILLUSTRATES FOR THE FIRST TIME THE ACCURATE POSITION\nOF THE HEAD-WATERS OF THE POTOMAC TO DETERMINE BOUNDS\nTO SIR THOMAS FAIRFAX’S CLAIM\nThree unique original manuscript maps, rich in detail and accuracy, are all that survives of the original surveyor’s charts which became the source material for the larger manuscript maps composed by John Warner and William Mayo to establish the bounds of Sir Thomas Fairfax’s claim to the Northern Neck area of the Potomac River in Virginia. These maps were subsequently published as the celebrated “Fairfax” map of Virginia: The Courses of the Rivers Rappahannock and Potowmack in Virginia, as surveyed according to order in the years 1736 & 1737 (London: ca 1737), and Map of the Northern Neck in Virginia by William Mayo (London 1745).\n\nThomas Culpeper (1635 - 1689), colonial governor of Virginia and second Lord Culpeper was given a share in the proprietorship of the Northern Neck of Virginia, consisting of more than five million acres, under a patent issued in 1649 and reconfirmed in 1669. Through dereliction of his duties as Governor, King Charles II forced Culpeper to sell to the Crown all his proprietary rights in Virginia, except for the Northern Neck lands, in return for a lump sum payment of £700 and an annual pension of £600 for twenty-one years. However the patent for this remaining property was ambiguous: “all that intire tract... bounded by and within the first Heads or Springs of the Rivers... Rappahannock, &... Potomack & by the Courses of the said Rivers from their said first Heads or Springs ... and the Bay of Chesapeyock...”. Unfortunately the uncertainty of the exact whereabouts of the first heads of each river, ultimately lead to a boundary dispute when at the insistence of Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia, settlement of the southern Piedmont began.\nThomas Fairfax, sixth Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1693–1781) had inherited the Northern Neck estates from his mother Catherine Culpeper in 1719, but had never lived there. On several occasions, the Virginia Assembly questioned both the legality of the grant and the precise boundaries it encompassed. The primary issue was the actual location of the headwaters of the rivers.\nThreatened with a further reduction in his land, Thomas Fairfax eventually arrived in Virginia in 1735, and immediately petitioned the King for a joint commission to survey and fix the boundaries of his enormous estate. The local Governor Sir William Gooch, appointed representatives for the Crown. As a result two surveys were instigated from different directions to the previously unknown source of the Potomac River. Both parties met at Fredericksburg on September 25 in 1736 and it was decided that the surveyors for the crown should be William Mayo and Robert Brooke, and for Fairfax Benjamin Winslow and John Savage.\nWhile the victory at the time was Fairfax’s claims being given full recognition by the crown, the most important product of these efforts were the most important early maps of this area in American History. From these preliminary charts, pivotal maps such as A Map of Pensilvania, New-Jersey, New York, and the three Delaware Countries (1749) by Lewis Evans, Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson’s A Map of the inhabited part of Virginia.. (1751). For a complete description of these maps, or more information about any items in this catalog, please contact our auction department at auctions@aradernyc.com
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