Who Provided the Information for the Map?

     The working papers and manuscript maps used by Fry and Jefferson are either hidden or no longer extant. However, it can be surmised that they had access to their own documents and notes from working as surveyors in Albemarle and Goochland Counties and in establishing the boundary lines for the Fairfax Proprietary and the Virginia and North Carolina border.[1]  A Map of the Most Inhabited Parts of Virginia is influenced by if not based upon the 1731 map of Virginia that Governor Gooch forwarded to the Board of Trade and Plantations.[2] Other sources for information was Virginia’s county courthouses, the Virginia Land Office in Williamsburg and their fellow surveyors like William Mayo, Robert Brooke, and Robert Brooke, Jr. The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts maintains a craftsman’s database and there are fifty-two surveyors listed whose work may have contributed to the maps’ development.[3] The information gathered by Fry and Jefferson was derived from actual survey work done by surveyors. In Enlightenment terms, the map’s data could be backed, corroborated, and verified by scientific fact.


[1] There is a manuscript map of the Northern Neck by Peter Jefferson and Robert Brooke that is part of the collections of the National Archives, U.K. The Library of Virginia has an 1860 manuscript copy of this map in their collections. See Peter Jefferson, Ro. Brooke, Benjamin. Winslow, Thomas Lewis, A. W. McDonald, Charles Booth, William Gooch, et al. “A Map of the Northern Neck in Virginia: According to an Actual Survey Begun in the Year MDCCXXXVI, and Ended in the Year MDCCXLVI”, 1860. https://lva.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01LVA_INST/altrmk/alma990015949570205756.

[2] William Mayo, Charles Booth, A. W. McDonald, William Gooch, and Fairfax Harrison. “A General Map of the Known and Inhabited Parts of Virginia”, 1860. Library of Virginia Map Collection, G3881.F1 1731 .M3 1860, https://lva.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01LVA_INST/altrmk/alma990015749530205756.