Boston Harbor, Massachusetts
Washington: Government Printing Office, 1867.
Sea chart. Uncolored engraving. Image measures 36" x 29"
This fantastically detailed sea chart issued by the United States Coast Survey in 1867 beautifully depicts the Boston Harbor and broader Massachusetts Bay. The chart extends from Nahant and Lynn Harbor in the north to Scituate Bay at the southern limit, including the Boston Harbor as well as the Quincy Bay, Nantasket, and Cohasset Harbor. The map notes numerous depth soundings throughout and other important maritime details are labeled - including bays, sounds, islands, shoals, lighthouses, beacons, etc. The map features six elevation profile views, and includes text providing sailing directions, tidal data and remarks, and lighthouse locations.
The triangulation for this chart was completed by A.D. Bache and his assistant C.O. Boutelle. The topography was executed by J.B. Gluck, H.L. Whiting, J.S. Williams, and S.A. Gilbert. The hydrography was completed under the direction of US Navy Lieutenant C.H. Davis, and A. Boschke, C.E. This chart was prepared under the supervision of A. D. Bache, Superintendent of the Survey of the Coast of the United States, and verified by J.E. Hilgard, Assistant Coast Survey in charge of Office. First published in 1867, updated to 1869. The map is in good condition, with minor spotting and wear along original fold lines. It has been misfolded, and closed tears along margins have been reinforced with archival tape.
Alexander Dallas Bache (1806-1867) was an incredibly prolific surveyor, who worked as the superintendent of the United States Coast Survey from 1843 to 1865. Over the course of the 19th century, the survey worked closely with the U.S. Navy to produce sea charts of the country's waters that could serve scientific as well as military functions. This crisp and bright sea chart of the waters around Boston Harbor is a beautiful document of this historical effort, and one of few maps that he personally partook in surveying.