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A Scarce, Important Map Containing the
Names of the Original Grantees of Lands in New England
New England/ Cape Cod/ Nova Scotia..
ALEXANDER, W. SIR [London, 1625]
Untitled Map of New England.
9 7/8 x 13 5/8 inches.
Fine condition with a dark impression.
A mint example of a “map of great importance” (Burden). It was first and only cartographic document reflecting an early plan for the colonization of New England. The map "locates twenty patentees among whom the region extending from Cape Cod to Maine was divided by the Council for New England in 1623" (Schwartz) according to the plan. These patents were granted by James I and Charles I to members of English nobility. This design for the colonization of New England, which never came to fruition, was to create “large English manors or estates that would be independently governed by English lords” (Krieger/ Cobb). The fate of this plan reflected the lack of a coherent policy in England for the colonial development of New England in the first decades of the 17th century. This was largely due to the lack of capital at the national level to actually fund such undertakings.
This was also the earliest printed map with the place name, Cape Cod, as well as the first to name Nova Scotia, here called New Scotlande. In 1621, William Alexander was granted by James I a charter for Nova Scotia, but his attempts to colonize the area also failed. This is the second state of two of the map; the first, which appeared in a pamphlet, is of extreme rarity.
Cobb/ Krieger, Mapping Boston, pl. 8, p. 85; Burden 208; Schwartz/Ehrenberg, Mapping of America, pp. 99, 102, pl. 54; McCorkle 624.2; Cumming et al, Discovery of North America, pp. 269-270, pl. 334; Kershaw, K. Early Printed Maps of Canada, pp. 84-5.