Edmund Blunt Topographic Map Collection

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Edmund Blunt Topographic Map Collection
Topographic Map - Fort Putnam - Image Source

Collection Facts


Historical Context

In July 1833, Edmund Blunt (1799-1866) accepted a position as Assistant on the Coast Survey of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He remained affiliated with the Coast Survey until his death in 1866. As part of this survey, he and his team mapped the Hudson River shoreline including the area around Newburgh, NY.

Edmund Blunt's father, Edmund March Blunt, a bookseller and publisher, published the first edition of "The American Coast Pilot," one of the most popular pilot guides used by both American and foreign seamen. The Blunt family produced 21 editions of this important work. The Blunt's bookstore, the "Sign of the Quadrant" in New York City, also sold every edition of the Coast Survey charts. According to the NOAA, the Coast Survey and the Blunt family forged a strong alliance which was beneficial to the maritime interests of the country for over 70 years.

Scope of Collection

This collection consists of 66 maps taken from a notebook which was bequeathed to the Newburgh Free Library by George Kimball in 1895. Each map represents Blunt's field notes from that survey and are dated between 1852 to 1858. The maps are hand drawn and each is named to indicate a feature of the area surveyed. They include the triangulation points used in the survey process.

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