[ISHMap-List] Ebeling and/or Sotzmann manuscript maps

Matthew Edney matthew.edney at maine.edu
Fri Apr 17 15:52:02 CEST 2015

Jay and Joel:

The problem is that only a handful of ms maps ended up in Christof Daniel Ebeling’s collection that Israel Thorndike acquired and then gave to Harvard in 1818; one such is a ms map of Maine by Osgood Carleton that served as the basis of the Sotzmann map of that district (now state).

Certainly, the Harvard collection does not include Sotzmann’s own mss, which presumably went to the printer; there is no guarantee that Sotzmann finished the mss for the 8 state maps that were not printed. For example, evidence from Ebeling’s correspondence presented by Ralph Brown in 1940* implies that Sotzmann and Ebeling were unable to finish the map of Virginia

I would presume that if any working mss survive, they will be in whatever of Ebeling’s papers survive in Hamburg.

* Brown, Ralph H. “Early Maps of the United States: The Ebeling-Sotzmann Maps of the Northern Seaboard States.” Geographical Review 30, no. 3 (1940): 471–79.

I hope this helps,


> On Apr 17, 2015, at 9:25 AM, Joel Kovarsky <joel at theprimemeridian.com> wrote:
> Jay
> I do not have a precise answer but Christophe Ebeling was the one who commissioned Sotzmann, and the former's collection was purchased and donated to Harvard in 1818, forming the beginnings of their map collection (http://oasis.lib.harvard.edu/oasis/deliver/~hou02444 <http://oasis.lib.harvard.edu/oasis/deliver/~hou02444>). They have engraved images online, but you might ask them if they have any of the manuscript maps. Maybe someone on this list will have a direct answer (and I would be curious myself).
>        Joel
> On 4/16/15 4:52 PM, Jay L wrote:
>> On this web page http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/maps/history.cfm <http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/maps/history.cfm>
>> Ebeling enlisted the aid of geographer Daniel Friederich Sotzmann to compile and draft maps for an Atlas von Nordamerika. While 18 maps were drawn, only 10 were actually published...
>> Does anyone know if those 18 manuscript maps survive? 
>> Thanks for your help.
>> -- 
>> Jay Lester
>> Chapel Hill, NC
>> North Carolina Map Blog <http://blog.ncmaps.org/>
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Matthew Edney

*** please note the change in address to matthew.edney at maine.edu ***

Osher Professor in the History of Cartography (USM)

Director, History of Cartography Project (UW)

See http://www.maphistorydirectory.org/index.php/User:Edney.Matthew

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