FRY, Joshua (1699-1754) and JEFFERSON, Peter (1708-1757). A Map of the most Inhabited Part of Virginia. London: for Robert Sayer & Thomas Jefferys, 1751 (1775).

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FRY, Joshua (1699-1754) and JEFFERSON, Peter (1708-1757).
A Map of the most Inhabited Part of Virginia.

London: for Robert Sayer & Thomas Jefferys, 1751 (1775).
Engraved Map on 4 Sheets, joined.
32 x 50 inches sheet, 38 3/4 x 56 1/2 inches framed.


This map of Virginia is the most detailed of the 18th century and was used during the Revolutionary War. Fry was the immediate predecessor of George Washington as commanding officer of the Virginia Regiment; and Peter Jefferson was Thomas Jefferson's father. Plate 92 in Schwartz / Ehrenberg "The Mapping of America".

Originally prepared by Joshua Fry of William & Mary and Peter Jefferson (father of President Thomas Jefferson) at the request of Lord Halifax in 1751, the Fry-Jefferson was a monumental leap forward in the mapping of the region. It is the first map to accurately depict the Blue Ridge Mountains and the first to lay down the colonial road system of Virginia. A great number of plantations are located and include the family names of the Virginia plantation owners of the period. The cartouche, showing a tobacco warehouse and wharf, is one of the earliest printed images of the Virginia tobacco trade.

One of the first actions of Lord Halifax upon becoming president of the Board of Trade and Plantations in 1748, was to request information concerning activities in the Frontiers and of potential French encroachments on the British territorial claims. In 1750, the Board required that each colony conduct a comprehensive survey. The acting Governor of Virginia, Col. Lewis Burwell, commissioned Fry & Jefferson to prepare a map of the Virginia colony.

Joshua Fry, a mathematician at the College of William and Mary, and Peter Jefferson, a surveyor (father of Thomas Jefferson), had together previously drawn the boundaries of Lord Fairfax's lands in 1746 and surveyed the Virginia-North Carolina boundary in 1749. First issued in 1751, the map incorporates the original surveys of Fry & Jefferson with existing data. A major revision in 1755 incorporated important information about the western part of the colony from the journals of John Dalrymple and Christopher Gist, the latter of whom is credited in the upper left part of the map with having contributed to the revisions. It is the 1755 edition that forms the basis for the subsequent editions.

The map is known in 8 editions. 

Degrees of Latitude, 30; Stephenson & McKee Virginia in Maps, Map II-21A-D, p. 83; Cumming 281; Coolie Verner, "The Fry and Jefferson Map", Imago Mundi XXI, pp. 70-94; cf. On the Map, Figure 42; Papenfuse & Coale, pp. 34-36. Dumas Malone, Introduction to The Fry and Jefferson Map of Virginia and Maryland: Facsimiles of the 1754 and 1794 Printings (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1966)