East Coast Maps: West is up

For those who like maps, who are aware and/or interested in the early colonial years of the United States, here is a fascinating article with maps that often use compass West as the map’s North.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-early-virginia-maps-had-west-at-the-top

In it we see a map (Library of Congress copy) drawn by the famous Captain John Smith. It’s magnificent. Conjecture proceeds in the article as to why some map makers, specifically those who drew Virginia, used west as north. I would think the reason obvious. From the coast, all roads and rivers lead up into the Appalachian Mountains. Up equals north. I could easily imagine early maps of California or Chile using a similar tactic.

JohnSmithChesapeakeMap

The reason I bother posting this is due to the fact that my current work-in-progress story, Shadow Shoals, takes place, initially, on the Chesapeake Bay, albeit, 200+ years from today.

Learning of the various rivers and coastal cities where future events might take place has been fun. I grew up in the area and so have some experience with the Bay. Regardless, exploring it through internet research certainly opens my eyes on its heritage.

 

 

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