Gentleman's Magazine: The British Governments in Nth America Laid down agreeable to the Proclamation of Octr. 7, 1763 [Large Bermuda Inset]

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48702.jpg

Gentleman's Magazine: The British Governments in Nth America Laid down agreeable to the Proclamation of Octr. 7, 1763 [Large Bermuda Inset]

950.00

This rare and unique depiction of British North America as it appeared following the Treaty of Paris (which in 1763 ended the Seven Years’ War between England and France), accompanied by a prominent inset of “Bermuda or Summer Islands,” was initially published in the December 1763 issue of The Gentleman’s Magazine, the first periodical in the English-speaking world to use the term ‘magazine’ in a self-descriptive fashion, as well as the first to provide monthly news and commentary on topics of general interest to the educated public. The map’s continental component delineates those territories formally ceded to Britain as part of the peace agreement — most significantly Quebec and Florida — and freezes in time geographical allocations designed to maintain an uneasy truce, including a wide swath of land west of the Appalachian Mountains to be set aside for the Native Americans (several tribes of which are named on the map), and the preservation of claims by the French to a vast portion of the continent's interior, a blueprint whose historical trajectory was upended by the imminent American Revolution. The map’s inset of Bermuda was engraved by the important 18th century cartographer John Gibson (active primarily from 1750 to 1792), a highly-skilled craftsman whose reputation was undiminished by the extensive amount of time he spent in debtor’s prison; his contemporaneous achievements included the widely-distributed Atlas Minimus (1758) and the extremely rare Map of the Chief Roads in England (1765). The positioning of Bermuda as a key element in the map’s overall composition may be a reflection of the island’s growing strategic value to the British government, which several decades hence would utilize the island’s location and harbors to such consequential effect in the War of 1812.

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