Surveyors, Map and Chart Makers
Perhaps the saddest aspect of appreciating the wonderful maps and charts that we treasure so much today is the fact that, we still know so little about some of the men who actually made them. Not the publishers back in London such as William Faden, Thomas Jeffreys, Robert Sayer, John Bennett, Thomas Kitchen, nor indeed the likes of J. F. W. Des Barres or Samuel Holland, Thomas Hurd, James Cook and Admiral John Knight who all found fame with time. Rather the men who worked and lived in the blistering cold, heat, wet and isolation for months at a time in order to survey the land, coastlines and seas on meagre rations and little more pay. The men such as Thomas Wright, Thomas Wheeler, James Peachy, Charles Blaskowitz, James Grant, George Sproule and several more.
Was one of a ‘second generation’ of talented and vitally important British Naval surveyors who contributed greatly to the greater survey of North America
Ratzer is responsible for one of the most highly appreciated and instantly recognizable maps and plans of New York ever seen
Capt. James Cook
A great deal has already been written about Captain James Cook, explorer of the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. Possibly more than of any other explorer, certainly surveyor, in history.
With the outbreak of war in 1776 he developed into the preeminent surveyor of the British campaign.
Claude Joseph Sauthier
Sauthier was one of the most influential of the surveyors employed by the British to map New York at the time of the Revolutionary War.
He was seconded to the survey team of Samuel Holland in 1765, probably in Louisburg, Nova Scotia where he was posted as part of the 59th Foot regiment.
J.F.W. Des Barres
Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres was unquestionably one of the most important and talented map makers of the day.
Like several others of this very talented and professional men who did so much to lay-down the start of what was the most ambitious survey project ever undertaken, so little is known about him.
Lieut. John Hunter
He was schooled and attended Aberdeen University. His father was in the merchant service and it is probably no surprise that he elected for a Naval Career.
Lt. John Knight
John Knight was an extraordinary naval officer who saw a great deal of action in his time in service.
Holland was a Dutch artillery officer and military engineer, born in 1728, who joined the British army in about 1754 when he moved to England under the patronage of the Duke of Richmond.
The Men behind the Maps, Charts, Plans & Surveys