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The Library of Congress > Exhibitions > Mapping a New Nation: Abel Buell’s Map of the United States, 1784 > Special Presentation

Out of Many, One

Explore how Buell synthesized information from existing maps, which like the original 13 colonies were brought together to create the United States.

John Mitchell. A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America 1774, 1755

This landmark map of North America first published in 1755 represents British sovereignty over the continent at the outset of the French and Indian War. English colonial claims extend west over the Alleghenies to the Mississippi.

John Mitchell's Map of the British and French Dominions in 
            North America

Map Hotspots

Mitchell / Buell Comparison

Cartouches are shaped similarly, topped with flags, and cherub(s) holding shields.

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Mitchell / Buell Comparison

State boundaries are at the same latitude on both maps.

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Mitchell / Buell Comparison

Locations of Indian tribes are detailed.

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Mitchell / Buell Comparison

Islands, including the Twelve Apostles, are detailed.

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Thomas Jefferys. North America…, 1755

Like the Mitchell map, Thomas Jefferys’s map of North America was also produced in 1755. The borders of the colonies are a more realistic portrayal of European colonial claims in North America than those of the Mitchell map.

Thomas Jefferys's Map of North America

Map Hotspots

Jefferys / Buell Comparison

Both maps detail the same North American land mass.

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Thomas Hutchins. A New Map of the Western Parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and North Carolina…, 1778

Published in London in 1778, this map depicts the topography and river systems of the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys based on British surveys and contemporary maps. Many of this map's noted observations on topography, river navigation, and natural resources are found on Buell’s map.

Thomas Hutchins' Map of Western Parts of Virginia, 
            Pennsylvania, Maryland, and North Carolina

Map Hotspots

Hutchins / Buell Comparison

Identical wording describes unique characteristics of the land.

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Hutchins / Buell Comparison

Prime meridian is located in Philadelphia.

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Carington Bowles. North America, and the West Indies…, 1774

The 1763 Treaty of Paris officially marked the end of hostilities in North America, known as the French and Indian or Seven Years War. The treaty negotiations resulted in English control of the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, shown on this map.

Bowles's Map of North America, and the West Indies

Map Hotspots

Bowles / Buell Comparison

Colonies/states on both maps extend to the Mississippi River.

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Bowles / Buell Comparison

Similar wording notes that the Erie Indians were uprooted.

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William Faden. The Province of New Jersey…, 1778

William Faden's 1777 North American Atlas included the first appearance of “The Province of New Jersey Divided into East and West,” and is often considered a revolutionary map.

William Faden's Map of the Province of New Jersey

Map Hotspots

Faden / Buell Comparison

Every place name on the Buell map is found on the Faden map.

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Faden / Buell Comparison

Prime meridian is located in Philadelphia.

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Bernard Romans. Maps of East and West Florida…, 1781

In 1781 Bernard Romans published a large nine sheet set of maps from New Orleans west to the peninsula of Florida and the Bahamas. These maps were originally prepared in 1774 for inclusion in his Concise Natural History of Florida. Two noted engravers from New England, Abel Buell and Paul Revere, were known to have worked for Romans.

Bernard Romans' Maps of East and West Florida

Map Hotspots

Romans / Buell Comparison

West coast bays are named on both maps.

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Romans / Buell Comparison

Both maps show the Goddess Fame blowing a horn.

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Romans / Buell Comparison

Buell’s map shows a cherub holding the seal of Connecticut; Romans’s cherub holds the seal of the Marine Society of New York.

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Romans / Buell Comparison

A woman, in Buell’s map “Liberty,” holds a pocket globe.

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