WELCOME 17th Century Pennsylvania Maps WELCOME

The first maps of the 'new world' were made by Native Americans on skins, bark, rock, and the earth itself. However, all existing native maps of the Pennsylvania region were collected by explorers and ethnologists close to when they were created and date from the 18th century and later, except for rock pictographs whose dates are unknown. An introduction to Indian cartography is given by Warhus, and the subject is more related to anthropology than cartography. So, one must look to Europe and its explorers and map makers for the first maps of what later became Pennsylvania.

Since Pennsylvania was created in 1681, maps prior to that are of the general region only. Typically, they are of Virginia, New England, or the east coast, and of Dutch, English, or French origin. A few maps became prototypes, their general layout repeated over and over from one mapmaker to another. Two maps especially were frequently copied, the 1612 map of Virginia by John Smith and the 1651 map of New England by Johannes Jansson. A total of about 160 maps of Pennsylvania are listed for the 17th century. This compares with 186 printed maps for New England listed by McCorkle, who also includes continental maps.

The first map printed in the (now) United States was A MAP OF NEW-ENGLAND, BEING THE FIRST THAT WAS EVER HERE CUT..., by the pioneer printer John Foster; it appeared in A Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New-England by William Hubbard, Boston 1677. This map is reproduced at the University of Virginia Plymouth Colony Archive Project, Maps & Landscape, and discussed in Fite & Freeman, Wheat & Brun and elsewhere, and of course has nothing to do with Pennsylvania.

Settlement in what became Pennsylvania began toward the middle of the 17th century around 1640. Some history is given in Johnson for Swedish settlement, in the two books by Weslager for Dutch and English settlement, and in Jenkins. The maps are organized chronologically as shown by the links below. A decade is assumed to begin in 1660, say, and end in 1669.

1600-1630 1630's 1640's 1650's 1660's 1670's 1680's 1690's

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