This rare AMERICAN PRINTED plan of Boston was published in the Boston Magazine in October 1784 just after the conclusion of the American Revolution. The Magazine began publication in November 1783 and folded in October 1786. Its aim was to compile a magazine for the town of Boston and was compiled by John Bradford, John Clarke, Aaron Dexter, John Eliot, James Freeman, Christopher Gore, Benjamin Lincoln, George Minot amongst others. There were a number of publishers also including Edmund Freeman, Joseph Greenleaf, James White and John Norman. The latter is most likely responsible for this plan.
Norman (1748?-1817) was one of the early pioneers of American cartography and behind the publication of the first American printed wall map in 1785, Thomas Hutchins great map of 1787, the charts for Matthew Clark’s ‘Charts of the Coast of America’ in 1790 and several works of Osgood Carleton. Born in England around 1748 it is believed he was apprenticed to the London printer William Faden, father of the cartographer of the same name. He arrived in Philadelphia first in 1774 before moving to Boston in 1780. The Magazine featured a supplement on an irregular basis entitled the ‘Geographical Gazetteer of Massachusetts’, the issue of October 1784 included this map. It is derived from another similarly entitled plan engraved by John Norman published in ‘An Impartial History of the War in America’ the same year. Although here the engraved is unidentified the fact that Norman was one of its publishers does not rule out his having engraved this derivative. A rare survivor of early American magazine printing. Ristow ‘American Maps and Mapmakers’ pp. 224-7; Wheat & Brun 242; Worms & Baynton-Williams (2011).