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George Washington's America: A Biography Through His Maps First Edition Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Washington had over ninety maps and atlases at Mount Vernon, many of which he had used over the years. Since Washington's life, Schecter writes, "was from his early years until his death intimately bound up with the land, the maps tell a great deal about the man and his times." There are many elaborate maps, but one of the most charming is one far simpler. It shows a compass rose in which is an irregular quadrilateral, labeled with latitude and longitude. It bears the heading, handwritten, "A Plan of Major Lawr. Washington's Turnip Field as Surveyed by me, This 27 Day of February 1747. GW." (Lawrence Washington was George's half brother.Read more ›
George Washington's America is really remarkable. It is an in-depth biography, and at the same time a treasure trove of 18th century maps. Some show huge expanses of the eastern portions of North America, and others are much more local, showing 18th century Boston, for example, and New York, the Potomac region and Savannah. Many provide a remarkable amount of detail and offer the researcher a whole set of valuable tools.
I was interested in looking at the site of future Washington D.C. on Joshua Fry's and Peter Jefferson's Map of the Most Inhabited Part of Virginia (early versions from the 1750's). The D.C. site is easy to find because Alexandria is clearly seen across the river. On the northern shore I expected to find Georgetown, but didn't. However, Rock Creek, Magee's Ferry and Watson are all depicted. Why Watson and not Georgetown? The latter settlement must have been too tiny to warrant notice.
The information about lower Manhattan's topography is fascinating. The terrain of 1776 must have been similar to the terrain of 2011. Yet how many present-day Manhattanites know about Lispenard Hill, Bayard Hill and Jones Hill, which seem to be located in a swath that roughly corresponds to Delancey St and Broome St? In 1776 these three hills provided a natural defense for the city of New York, then limited to the very tip of Manhattan, and Schecter points out that they were fortified by Washington in 1776 with redoubts and trenches to form a defensive line right across the island. For the history lover, this book is a endless source of fascination. Highly recommended!
The degree of detail is really astounding.
This is a truly beautiful and scholarly book.
The combination of elegant, glossy pages, clearly written materials, and handsome illustrations makes this a book I often give as a gift to historians and guest lecturers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book with extensive maps. I found it very interesting.Published 15 months ago by Ken Nichol
excelent looks and quality.good coffee table book,proud of the quality of the book.I would highly recommend this dealerWould have enjoyed opening it up and seeing the maps.Published on December 3, 2012 by luella hicks
Such A Great Coffee Table Book. It has Lots of Maps and You can actually read it. My Husband sat many weekends and read the Whole Book. Read morePublished on October 16, 2012 by Tamara
I first saw this book at an art museum store at a much higher price. Amazon's price made this purchase an amazing bargain. Read morePublished on May 13, 2012 by R. George