Early Map of First Colony’s Easternmost Landscape, Landmarks and Landowners

1785-300According to Norfolk City Historian Peggy Haile-McPhillips, “the map was in the collection of the Library of Virginia before 1914, as it is listed in a catalog of holdings published by Dr. Swem in that year. While some of the entries are quite detailed, the [1785?] map is listed just as Map of Norfolk and Princess Anne Counties, Va., and Currituck County in North Carolina.

Great Bridge Battlefield historian John Franklin Cross III (whose most exciting memories from his childhood in Colonial Williamsburg include accompanying his father to archeological excavations with Ivor Noël Hume), remembers having used this map in one of his VDHR reports years before the digital age, “including Fort Cricket Hill at Gwynn’s Island,” where he served as director of archaeological excavations.  Unable to locate it among his papers, he retraced his steps and tracked it down at William and Mary’s Swem Library.  

The Sargeant Memorial Room of the Norfolk Public Library has a copy of the original map.  “We can scan it for anyone who is interested,” stated Haile-McPhillips, “but if I were going to copy it to frame, I’d probably make it a little larger. It is 8½ by 15¾ inches.”

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