Le Provincie Meridionali degli Stati Uniti x 4

…or a whole lotta Botta!

Four separate, but nearly identical, maps of the Carolinas, engraved and printed in Italy in the 19th century, are completely devoid of the letter “W”.   These four maps have an identical title, Le Provincie Meridionali degli Stati Uniti.  The maps were based, either directly or indirectly, on La-Rochefoucauld-Liancourt’s map of 1799. The maps are most often erroneously attributed to a nonexistent “scarce Italian translation” of La-Rochefoucauld-Liancourt’s work. I have yet to find any of these maps in any book other than one of the dozens of editions of Carlo Botta’s Storia Della Guerra Dell’ Independenza Degli Stati Uniti D’America.

Italian map of Carolinas
Le Provincie Meridionali, courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg. High resolution image available by clicking on the above image. This example corresponds to “B” below, but the image has been cropped too tightly to show the engraver’s (Pezze) imprint at lower right. The coloring is modern; I’ve yet to encounter any of these maps with contemporary color.

On each of these Italian maps, in every instance where a “W” would be required, a single “V” has been substituted.  One could reasonably assume that the absence of “W” in the Italian alphabet is the reason for substituting a “V” for every “W”. However, “K”, “J”, “X” and “Y” are also lacking from the Italian alphabet, yet are found in every required instance on the map.

None of the maps are dated, and only one of these four maps has an engraver’s imprint, that of Giuseppe Pezze. None of the maps carries a publisher’s imprint or any indication of the book for which it was intended. Without getting into the minutiae of very subtle differences in the engravings, the four maps can be distinguished by the title at the lower right, as follows:

Le Provincie Meridionali degli Stati Uniti

A.  Title without surrounding oval cartouche.
Published in 1822 by Leonardo Marchini in FIRENZE.
Published in 1825 by Formigli in FIRENZE.
Published in 1825 by Pietro Meucci in LIVORNO, Octavo, 7 vol

B. Title is in a simple oval cartouche. No flourish.
Engraver’s imprint lower right – Gius. Pezze (Giuseppe/Joseph)
Published in 1820 by Nicolo Bettoni in MILANO.
Published in 1827 by Antonio Fontana in MILANO

C.  Title is in a simple oval cartouche. No flourish. No engraver imprint.
Book source not yet confirmed.

D.   Title is in a simple oval cartouche with a simple curvy flourish below the title but inside the oval.
Book source not yet confirmed.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Two additional maps, each titled Carta delle Provincie Meridionali degli Stati-Uniti, are virtually identical to the above maps.

early 19th century Italian map of the Carolinas
Carta delle Provincie Meridionali degli Stati-Uniti image courtesy of the North Carolina Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill.

One minor difference is the use of a single “W” on each of the Carta delle… maps in naming the White River in southwestern Indiana. (The Le Provincie… maps all use a spelling  of Vhite.) On the  Carta delle… maps, in all other instances where a “W” would have been appropriate, a “V” was substituted. These two maps are nearly identical, though one has more skillful engraving. The easiest to spot difference, even on low resolution images, is the placement of the “DI” of “TERRITORIO DI CHERAV” (Cheraw).

Note position of “DI” as well as placement of text relative to rivers

Carta delle Provincie Meridionali degli Stati-Uniti

A. “DI” is centered above the “N” and “A” of CAROLINA.
Published in 1819 by Vincenzo Ferrario in MILANO.
Published in 1844 by Borroni and Scotti (“successors to V. Ferrario”) in MILANO.

B. “DI” is in between the “N” and “A” of CAROLINA. 
Book source not yet confirmed.

Botta’s Storia was published well into the mid 19th Century. There are many more editions from many more Italian cities than listed above.  Not all editions contained maps, but examples of the above maps can be found in some editions into the late 1850s. Therefore, the map publication histories noted above are by no means complete. Additionally, I do not know if any of these maps were used in any other Italian publication.

This information has been sitting on a “digital shelf” for a decade or more, waiting for me to learn accurate publication details for each of these maps. During that time, I’ve not succeeded in that goal, but I have managed to lose track of a few images, notably those corresponding to maps described under C. and D. above. Alas, I’m going to publish this work in its current incomplete state. I hope a reader of this post can provide new information and/or corrections. Please use the “What’s on your mind?” comment box towards the bottom of this web page.

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