Mapping Boston – Item 1 of 6

John Bonner. The Town of Boston in New England, [1725-1728]
Bonner’s map depicts Boston before centuries of landfill transformed its coastline. His distinctive design combines plan and perspective views to convey maximum information and achieve decorative effect. It shows clearly the patterns of settlement, dense in the North End and along Cornhill and King Streets but thinning toward the south and west. The abundance of wharves, shipyards and ropewalks reflects Boston’s flourishing maritime economy. Captain Bonner was more comfortable drawing sailing vessels than topography: the shipping in the harbor is carefully rendered, whereas simple bumps near the Common represent the “Trimontane” that once dominated the town.


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