Common Destinations: Maps in the American Experience

Common Destinations: Maps in the American Experience Exhibition Review Winterthur Museum and Library, University of Delaware Winterthur, Delaware, April 20, 2013­January 5, 2014 In August 1776, just a month after the Declaration of Independence had been signed in the Pennsylvania State House, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife. The Adamses regularly corresponded about subjects large and small, from the implications of independence to the scarcity of coffee and sugar. But Adams wrote this particular letter after touring the newly formed Board of War, and in it he mused about the importance of cartography. "Geography is a Branch of Knowledge, not only very usefull," he declared, "but absolutely necessary, to every Person of public Character whether in civil or military Life. Nay it is equally necessary for Merchants." He went on to describe the war board's effort to compile a collection of maps of North America to be displayed as soon as it was complete, and promised to "send you a List of it." While military leaders most likely focused on the strategic importance of topography, Adams waxed more philosophical. On this eve of war he asserted that "America is our Country and therefore a minute Knowledge of its Geography, is most important to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Early American Literature University of North Carolina Press

Common Destinations: Maps in the American Experience

Early American Literature, Volume 49 (2) – Jun 27, 2014

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of North Carolina Press.
ISSN
1534-147X
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Exhibition Review Winterthur Museum and Library, University of Delaware Winterthur, Delaware, April 20, 2013­January 5, 2014 In August 1776, just a month after the Declaration of Independence had been signed in the Pennsylvania State House, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife. The Adamses regularly corresponded about subjects large and small, from the implications of independence to the scarcity of coffee and sugar. But Adams wrote this particular letter after touring the newly formed Board of War, and in it he mused about the importance of cartography. "Geography is a Branch of Knowledge, not only very usefull," he declared, "but absolutely necessary, to every Person of public Character whether in civil or military Life. Nay it is equally necessary for Merchants." He went on to describe the war board's effort to compile a collection of maps of North America to be displayed as soon as it was complete, and promised to "send you a List of it." While military leaders most likely focused on the strategic importance of topography, Adams waxed more philosophical. On this eve of war he asserted that "America is our Country and therefore a minute Knowledge of its Geography, is most important to

Journal

Early American LiteratureUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 27, 2014

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