American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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The Atlantic Neptune

Boston Harbor navigational chart
Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres (1722-1824)
[A Chart of the Harbour of Boston],
from The Atlantic Neptune.
London: 1775
Engraved map
Geography and Map Division (26.13)
[G&M digital ID # gmd3m/g3301m/g3301pm/gan00002/an031024]

This chart of Boston Harbor, based primarily on 1769 surveys by George Callendar, is an example of the detailed navigational charts found in The Atlantic Neptune. First published in the mid-1770s under the direction of British hydrographer Joseph Des Barres, these nautical charts were the official source for the British Royal Navy during the Revolutionary War. These engraved sheets were produced and revised using the most recent innovations in scientific cartography, accurately depicting the hazards and shoals along the North American coastline.


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