Boston: Published by Charles Stimpson, 1829. Handcolored folding map, 8 1/2 x 13 3/4 inches. Folding into contemporary roan gilt binding, 3 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches. Map trimmed to the neatline, minor splitting along some folds. Contemporary ownership inscription of "Cap’t Crofton Vandeleur 34th Reg't" on verso (see below). Very good. Item #WRCAM62491
A scarce, separately-issued pocket map edition of this folding map of the city of Boston, originally printed in the BOSTON DIRECTORY for 1829. The BOSTON DIRECTORY first appeared in 1789, and was printed more or less consistently by a variety of publishers through the early 20th century. Publisher Charles Stimpson, who took over with partner John Frost in 1820, turned the irregularly printed directory into a yearly affair, bundled with the BOSTON ADVERTISER. A similar plan of Boston appeared in their first edition, and was continually updated as the city grew and evolved. This is the first edition published with only Stimpson's name on the imprint, and the detailed street plan represents Boston at a period of considerable change. The filling of Mill Pond which began in 1807, for example, was only completed in 1828, making this an early example of a city plan which shows the streets of the finished project and the newly constructed and somewhat controversial Warren Bridge (see Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge, 1837). While this map is primarily found in the 1829 edition of Stimpson's directory, a small number of copies were issued separately as pocket maps, folding into a gilt leather folder and completed with neat hand-coloring. In her book, GAINING GROUND: A HISTORY OF LANDMAKING IN BOSTON, historian Nancy Seashores attributes the maps in Stimpson’s directories from 1828 to 1838 to copper engraver Hazen Morse, originally of Haverhill.
This copy belonged to Captain Crofton Thomas Croasdaile Vandeleur (1808-1876), a member of the prominent Irish Vandeleur family. Vandeleurs spent centuries as members of parliament, soldiers, or both; descendants Joe and Giles Vandeleur participated in Operation Market-Garden in the Second World War, and were featured as characters in the 1977 film, A BRIDGE TOO FAR.
An interesting and detailed snapshot of Boston during a time of growth and expansion, quite rare in the separately-issued pocket map format as here. OCLC locates copies of the 1829 map at only five institutions: the British Library, the American Antiquarian Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Boston Public Library, and the Newberry Library. OCLC 760222152, 1021281603, 556668729. Nancy Seasholes, GAINING GROUND: A HISTORY OF LANDMAKING IN BOSTON (Boston: MIT Press, 2003), p.441.