Hydrographical Chart of the World According to Wright's or Mercators Projection
Date of Creation:
Arrowsmith's towering achievement of English cartography of the early 19th century: arguably the most advanced and detailed map of the world available at the time, and a superb example. A map of great scale on eight, unfolded, elephant-folio sheets-it would measure if joined, five by nearly eight and one half feet. It is very rare, with copies known in the British Library, the Royal Geographic Society, the National Archives (London), and the National Library of Australia. The only copy known in the United States is at the Huntington Library.
This 1814 issue of the map is notable for having added the Lewis and Clark geography in the American West, which is not found on the map’s original issue of 1811. Since the first printed version of Lewis & Clark’s paradigm-changing map of the west did itself appear until 1814, Arrowsmith’s use of it here is astonishing early. There is no known earlier world map to contain this information. It is not known whether Arrowsmith relied on the aforementioned printed version of the Lewis and Clark map for his information, or if he had access to it in manuscript form, specifically Clark’s manuscript map of c1810.