Item #46100 [Manuscript Map] Plan for Newburyport Turnpike [1803]. Newburyport Turnpike Corporation.

[Manuscript Map] Plan for Newburyport Turnpike [1803].

Newburyport, MA: [circa 1803]. 1 sheet docketed on verso. 12 x 8 inches. Very good, folded, edge worn, light soiling, small abrasions & holes from removal of seal. Item #46100

Early 19th century map docketed as "Newburyport Turnpike Plan." The Turnpike would later become part of Route 1. Most details are for the sections closest to Boston, with points located such as : Market in Boston, Charles River Bridge, Mill Pond, Charleston Mill Pond, Malden Bridge, Charles River, Malden River, Road to Medford, as well as suggestions for a new road to be built with some surveying notations.

In 1803, the Newburyport Turnpike Corporation was formed, with the intention of constructing a 30 mile toll road that would reach Boston. The highway opened on February 11, 1805, but was subject to a fair amount of criticism as it bypassed several key towns, including Salem, which was its intention. Moreover, in an effort to make the road as straight as possible, the route contained steep hills and dangerous ridges. In the 1850s, the road was turned over to Essex County and remained sparsely used, until the early 20th century when it became part of Route 1.

A banner on a blank section reads: Union Marine & Fire Insurance Office Newburyport. This company was formed about 1807 and lost its charter by 1815 due to financial shenanigans. The pastor of East Church in Salem, Willlam Bentley noted in his diary: "What is most interesting to us in this concern of our neighbors [is that] all these transactions have been covered with party zeal in Church & State in a town in which the highest pretentions to sanctity are made in all New England. The State of the Accounts alone may be reckoned a crime in such circumstances & breach of trust"

As the construction of the Turnpike was ongoing, it is possible that the map was drawn sometime between 1803 and 1815, and acquired by the Insurance Company between 1807 and 1815.

References: 1. See Historic Ipswich, Newburyport-turnpike; The Newburyport Blog 02.05.2022; 2. The Diary of William Bentley, D. D.: (Salem: Essex Inst., 1914) Vol. 4: 1811-1819, p 419.

Price: $850.00