1851 U.S. Coast Survey Map of the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay

1851 U.S. Coast Survey Map of the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay, published for the U.S.C.S 1851 Superintendent's Report.

This is a beautiful map of the 1851 U.S. Coast Survey's chart of the Chesapeake Bay. Prepared under the supervision of Alexander D. Bache, superintendent of the U.S.C.S,  the map offers triangulation points, detailed information on coast lines, as well as all major islands, rivers, and inlets.  

The map covers the area from the mouth of the Susquehanna River southwards as far as Cape Henry and Norfolk. This chart includes both the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay in full, as well as small portions of the Potomac River, Rappahannock River, York River, James River, Patapsco River, and Patuxent River. Washington D.C., Cape May, Charleston, Baltimore, Annapolis, Chestertown, Easton, Cambridge, and Norfolk are identified.

In 1807, President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of Commerce Albert Gallatin founded The Office of the Coast Survey; it is the oldest scientific organization in the U.S. Federal Government. Jefferson created the "Survey of the Coast," as it was then called, in response to a need for accurate navigational charts of the new nation's coasts and harbors.  The U.S.C.S. devised a labor-intensive triangulation system whereby the entire coast was divided into a series of enormous triangles. These were, in turn, subdivided into smaller triangulation units, which were individually surveyed. Employing this exacting technique on such a massive scale had never before been attempted, and the resulting maps were the most accurate coastal surveys published to date.

A. D. Bache, a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, presided over the Survey during its most prolific period and oversaw the mapping of most of the United States coastline. To this day his name appears on countless marine pilot books and U.S. Coast Survey nautical charts. For his superior work,  he was elected Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. Following the Civil War, Bache was elected a 3rd Class Companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.


Overall good condition. Map is toned from age, especially around fold lines. Some foxing is present. Original coloring still vibrant and all text is legible. The map is framed according to the highest conservation standards including acid-free matting and UV filtering glass.

Framed Dimensions: 39 1/2" H x 28" W x 1" D

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