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Römer, Wolfgang

A mappe of Colonel Romers voyage to ye 5 Indian Nations

Publication information:
New York: George Hayward, n.d.

Lithographed facsimile of manuscipt map created in 1700.

New York (State)--Maps--Early works to 1800.

1. "Copied from the original Ms. in the British Museum for Mr. George H. Moore, Librarian of the New York Historical Society, and compared by me. Richard Sims."
2. Undated lithograph based on a copy of a manuscript map at the British Library.
3.  Scale 1:375,000
4.  Image derived from a 4 x 5" transparency scanned to a Kodak Pro Photo CD. Transparancy is of copy of the lithograph held by the New York Public Library.  Contact New York Public Library for reproduction rights. 







Wolfgang William Römer

A Mappe of Colonel Romers Voyage to ye 5 Indian Nations, 1700

Colonel  Römer was the first in a succession British military engineers engaged in making maps of the colony of New York.  Like many of his successors in the Royal Corps of Engineers, he was born in continental Europe.  His parents were German, and he obtained his initial training as a military Engineer in the Dutch army.  In 1688 he accompanied William of Orange when he became king of England, and thereafter remained in British service.

Colonel Römer's duties took him to North America in 1697.  He worked mostly in New York and Massachusetts until his departure in 1706.  He planned the construction of several important forts, and drew a number of  maps and plans of fortifications in New York and New England.  Many of his maps can be found at the British Public Record Office, including a map of New York Harbor, and a version of this map of western New York.

Colonel Römer was among the first Europeans to visit the Iroquois in western New York. Although the French were quite active in this area, the Dutch did not venture much beyond the Hudson and Mohawk valleys, and there was little British settlement in upstate New York until after the American Revolution. Given the circumstances under which it was drawn, Römer’s beautiful map does a remarkably good job of capturing the overall features of the country around the Finger Lakes and western New York. Native settlements are named and indicated by longhouses.


William P. Cumming, British Maps of Colonial America , 22-23

Dictionary of National Bibliography, XVII, 184-86.

Donna Merwick, Possessing Albany , 267-273

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Revised 8/21/02