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071 Massachusetts 1796

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Massachusetts, Carey

This is 1796 map of Massachusetts was produced by Matthew Carey. It was included in part of a larger work known as Carey's American Pocket Atlas. The comprehensive work contained a short description of each state featured in the atlas. It also contained a description of the French territory of Louisiana.

This was pertinent as knowing how to traverse the territory at the time was still necessary, even though Louisiana was yet to be part of the United States. Of particular interest was a census tucked inside the atlas for the entire country, as well as a list of United States exports spanning the previous 10 years.

Carey himself was a curious creature. Originally from Dublin, he would call the United States home by the year 1784 after his immigration. Ultimately, he would settle in Philadelphia, where he would become one of the best examples of a successful US book publisher. His story truly speaks to the American dream of hope, possibility and promise. Carey believed anything was possible in the United States, and his story validates that claim. The Pocket Atlas was one of many works he produced. Other types of books included economic writings, philosophical essays, and stories on wide varying interests.

These were probably influenced from his time spent years earlier as a journalist and popular newspaper publisher.

You can see the journalist in him shine through in this map of Massachusetts. It portrays “just the facts” so to speak, with no pop and circumstance. In addition, in true journalist fashion, there is a lot of information contained on the map itself. For example, notice at the bottom of the map, just off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, there is a tiny island named “no man's land.” It seems like no stone or land mass was left unturned in this production. However, even though it is rich with information, the goal is singular... give the viewer all pertinent information needed to traverse the state moving from town to town.

All sizes are approximate. 


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