• Maps of Prince Edward Island 1798-1834

    Just as the Eighteenth Century gave humankind some of the greatest thought, architecture and art, so did it give us the name by which our beloved home is known across the world – Prince Edward Island. I discussed how this happened in my previous post, and in this one, I want to explore the maps that were produced up to the 1840s to see what new information about the Island they presented, and to look at some of the great changes that were taking place in the world during those years. As Prince Edward Island began to be settled, and began to face the issues of living in a mediaeval…

  • The Death of Saint John’s Island and the Birth of Prince Edward Island

    Saint John’s Island, which I believe might well have been given that name by the Basques in the Fifteenth Century, had become a source of confusion in the Early British Colonial Period. There was Saint John’s in Newfoundland and also the new Loyalist settlement of Saint John New Brunswick which had been established in 1785. The Island administration and politicians began to look for a new name and very wisely rejected Governor Patterson’s passionate plea for renaming it New Ireland. It was Governor Edmund Fanning’s government which, in November of 1798, selected the name of Prince Edward Island in honour of the Duke of Kent, who had established himself in…

  • The Atlantic Neptune Project and the American Revolution

    In the history of mapmaking the Eighteenth Century is without doubt one of enormous progress in the techniques of cartography and equally enormous significance in the importance played by maps in the areas of exploration, colonisation, and ultimately war. Beginning in September 2020 we have looked in some detail at this process, as it concerned Ile Saint Jean, in five separate blog posts, and now we are beginning our last quarter of the century. It will lead us to the disappearance of the Island of Saint John as a geographical entity, to be replaced on the maps as Prince Edward Island. The last quarter of the Eighteenth Century, far from…

  • The Engraved Holland Maps and their Evolution

    The maps I am about to show you here are the result of Samuel Holland’s great survey of Saint John’s Island which I discussed in my previous blog. But first I want to remind you that Holland’s achievement happened in spite of the fact that he was using old methods to determine longitude which were in the process of being replaced by the dependable new marine chronometer that could be used on land and sea for quick and very accurate results. The ultimate issue in surveying and navigating in historical times up to the late Eighteenth Century was determining the longitude of whatever place in which you found yourself. For…

  • MAPS OF THE COLONY OF SAINT JOHN’S ISLAND – The British Colonial Period and Samuel Holland’s Survey.

    The End of the Seven Years War In North America, the climax of the Seven Years War was the capture of Quebec City in September of 1759. With daring and success, the English, under General James Wolfe, fought well after a secret attack based on climbing difficult cliffs to a large pasture area called the Plains of Abraham today where they faced the disoriented French troops. The story is well known, and many books are available that tell it clearly and well. General Wolfe was shot and died in the field, comforted only by a soldier. General Montcalm, the commander of the French forces, was also wounded and died the…