1807.011: Bishop Madison's Map of Virginia.

Published: 1807

Full Title: A map of Virginia formed from actual surveys, and the latest as well as the most accurate observations By James Madison, D.D., president of Wm. & Mary College; drawn by Wm. Davis; engraved by Fred. Bossler, Richmd.

Author: Madison, James (1749-1812), bishop.

Place Issued: Richmond

Issuing Press: William Prentis

Description: 1 map on six sheets; each sheet 64 cm. x 64 cm.; assembled map 121 cm. x 172 cm.


Imprint states: "Richmond: By the Proprietors, March 4, 1807." Item carries a dedication: "To the General Assembly of Virginia this map is respectfully inscribed by their fellow citizens, James Madison, William Prentis, William Davis, proprietors." The Assembly authorized public funds for the purchase of dozens of copies of Madison's map for the use of state officials. Madison began work on this project in 1802 after noting deficiencies in contemporary maps drawn from the 1751 map of Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson; he hired surveyor Davis to draft the manuscript version of the new map; when that work was completed in 1805, he engaged Prentis, the recently retired Petersburg publisher, to manage the production and distribution of the printed map; Prentis then hired Bossler, a Richmond copper-plate printer to engrave the plates for six sheets and to print those sheets, while he collected subscriptions for the finished map. The project was completed in 1807, with its distribution through Richmond's booksellers; as evinced by the imprint, all three men shared in the proceeds.

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