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J. Freeman & Samuel Dana: A Geological Map of Boston and its Vicinity

Map: USA9135
Cartographer: J. Freeman & Samuel Dana
Title: A Geological Map of Boston and its Vicinity
Date: 1818
Published: Boston
Width: 14 inches / 36 cm
Height: 12 inches / 31 cm
Map ref: USA9135
This scarce map is the first geological map of Boston and environs, and possibly the second geological maps of the United States.

Hailing from New Hampshire, brothers James Freeman Dana (1793-1827) & Samuel Luther Dana (1795-1868) were Harvard medical graduates with an amateur passion for geology. This map would have illustrated their article "Outlines of the Mineralogy and Geology of Boston and its Vicinity” published in the “Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences" (1818), which described the city’s mineral resources, for the most part following the classification system laid out by Parker Cleaveland’s “Elementary Treatise on Mineralogy and Geology” (published 1816) which has been described as one of the ‘best books of the time’ on the subject.

Geographically, it shows the Great Boston area, from Marblehead to Cohasset and as far west as Weston and Lincoln. The map is divided into eight different geological strata which are defined through subtle original hand colour - with a key to this colouring in the upper right above the stylised title.

Preceded only by William MacLure’s geological map of the United States (1809), this map of Boston is quite possibly the second American geological map ever published .

Danaite, a cobaltiferous variety of arsenopyrite is named after James Freeman Dana.

Original hand colour. [USA9135]