Plan of the Town of Concord, Mass. 1830/1835

Plan of the Town of Concord, Mass. In the County of Middlesex. Surveyed by John Hales. Published by Lemuel Shattuck-Boston. 1830/1835.
John G. Hales, Mapmaker
Boston, 1835
black and white lithograph
Professionally conserved
Professionally conserved and backed on thin mulberry tissue, original folds flattened, some discoloration to paper at folds, some tears as found and repaired professionally, complete.
19.5 × 23.5 inches
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            The John G. Hales Plan of the Town of Concord, Mass. in the County of Middlesex, 1830 is the first published survey plan of Concord. This particular edition of the 1830 John G. Hales Plan of the Town of Concord, Mass., published by Pendleton's Lithography of Boston, appeared in Lemuel Shattuck's book The History of The Town of Concord...From Its Earliest Settlement to 1832 that was published in 1835.  There is an independently published version of this 1830 map that was also published by Pendleton's Lithography.

            In 1830, the Massachusetts legislature voted to require each city and town in Massachusetts " make a survey of their territory...." This project was the first comprehensive public mapping of the towns of Massachusetts. Manuscript maps were created by a variety of surveyors and engineers, and these field documents were then delivered to the highly regarded Pendleton's Lithography in Boston to be published. These 1830's town maps have a folk art quality but also technical content that distinguishes them as the most informative town survey maps produced as of 1830 in Massachusetts. Very few of these maps have survived.

            As the lower map text explains, Concord is the Shire Town of the County of Middlesex. The distance from the State House in Boston over the Turnpike is measured, the distance from Cambridge College – apparently even then the center of the universe, and the distance from East Cambridge. The map has considerable pictorial charm. A key explains the map's pictorial symbols. The courthouse building is drawn. Other small drawings show locations of historic importance in the Revolutionary War. We see an image of the Monument by the Old North Bridge, the 1775 Provincial Parade Grounds are labeled and hatch lines show a path leading from the Parade Grounds over the Old North Bridge. Meetinghouses are drawn as buildings with a spire . In the Town center, the Hotel is drawn, as is the Academy. Just outside of town is a windmill.

            The natural landscape is also hand illustrated. Forests are indicated with small drawn treetops, ponds, including Walden Pond,  lakes and both the Assabet and Concord River are drawn with wavy lines to show running water and hills are drawn with hachures, contour lines not yet in use. A small drawn hand sign points west from the Union Turnpike to Groton.  Along the north boundary with Carlisle Hale surveys an anomaly, namely a landlocked parcel labeled "Concord" that sits entirely within the Town of Carlisle.

            The Hale map locates and identifies each home and building with the owner's name. Therefore the Plan of the Town of Concord, Mass. serves as a perfect genealogical directory for Lemuel Shattuck's book.  Hale's Plan of the Town of Concord, Mass. is on its own terms a picture of the families and individuals living in Concord who had direct or remembered roles in the American Revolutionary War and it is a picture of American citizens established in the county's shire town, with the county court house, public schools,  meetinghouses for free association,  their own businesses, farms and other pursuits

            For a discussion of Native American settlement and experience, together with European immigrant contact and settlement from the 17th century forward in Concord and other Massachusetts towns see the extensive historic research prepared by the Massachusetts Historic Commission.

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