French Maps 1633-1760

The early mapping of New York State includes maps produced by three of the leading colonial powers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Both the similarities and the differences between the Dutch, French, and British maps of the area are remarkable. During this period, the three nations were in the forefront of European mapping. They […]

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Preface

New York State would not exist if it had not been mapped. Although it may seem exaggerated, this statement is literally true, for there is nothing “natural” about the State of New York. As a distinct and separate entity, it exists only in our minds, and it could not have come into being as we […]

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Mapping an Expanding Empire State 1790-1830

Economic and Social Developments, 1790-1830 This chapter overlaps the previous chapter chronologically, and many of the themes discussed here are closely linked with the physical expansion of New York, which was a major subject of the preceding chapter. The extension and rapid settlement of the state increased the demand for roads and canals. Eventually, the […]

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Anglo-American Mapping 1664-1750

When the English took possession of New York in 1664, they knew little about the geography of their new province. Initially, their knowledge was derived largely from Dutch maps. Even the boundaries of the colony were quite uncertain. Shortly after seizing New Netherland, the British carved out New Jersey as a separate province, although it […]

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Chapter 1 The Period of Exploration 1500-1632

Native American Mapping The ability to make maps appears to be hard wired into the human brain. People orient themselves in space through the construction of cognitive or “mental maps” (which exist only in the mind). This faculty for spatial orientation is important for human survival, and the origins of this ability probably antedate the […]

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Chapter 12 Scientific and Government Mapping 1850-1920

Most of this chapter deals with attempts to extend to all of New York the type of “scientific mapping” pioneered by the U.S. Coast Survey and described in Chapter 10. The whole process was intensely political, and involved much intrigue in and around the State Legislature. These efforts made little progress until after the Civil […]

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Chapter 10 Scientific Mapping in New York before 1860

This chapter discusses the origin and development in New York of what became known in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as “scientific mapping.” As has already been seen, the meaning of this term has changed over time. The various types of scientific mapping all derive from a generalized Western cartographic tradition, which originated in […]

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Chapter 7: Mapping the Revolutionary War in New York

Introduction Many of the themes discussed in the previous chapter reappear here. Both chapters deal, at least in part, with military maps. The maps discussed here can be grouped into the same broad categories as in the preceding chapter: fortification maps, battle maps, maps of military movement, and topographic maps. The mapping of the American […]

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Chapter 13 Commercial Cartography 1860-1920

The last half of the nineteenth century saw the continuation and expansion of many of the trends in commercial cartography that had begun in the period between 1840 and 1860. The continued growth of the state’s economy and population assured a growing demand for up-to-date maps of the state, its cities, and its transportation network. […]

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Commercial Cartography 1830-1860

Commercial mapping in the thirty years prior to the Civil War does not require extensive discussion here. This is partially because many of developments in New York have already been covered in considerable depth by W.W. Ristow in his book on nineteenth-century commercial cartography, and there is no need to repeat what he has written. […]

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