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First edition of this scarce regional map of South Africa and neighboring regions, published during the "Crisis in South Africa."
On December 30, 1880, a Boer republic was proclaimed and fighting broke out until the treaty of Pretoria (April 5, 1881) was signed that gave the South Africa Republic independence, though under the suzerainty of Great Britain. This treaty did not really solve the problems of the area, for Kruger, the president of the Republic, felt that the British were planning to annex the rich Transvaal, while the British felt that Kruger ultimately wished to drive them out of South Africa.
The mistrust led to the October 12, 1899 declaration of war between Britain and the South African Republic and their ally the Orange Free State. This map was issued shortly after the war started. It shows the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, with the main African cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Detail is impressive, with the roads, towns, rivers, and railroads clearly depicted.
A revised edition was issued in 1900.
Edward Stanford (1827-1904) was a prominent British mapmaker and publisher. A native of Holborn in the heart of London, Edward was apprenticed to a printer and stationer at the age of 14. After his first master died, he worked with several others, including Trelawny W. Saunders of Charing Cross. Saunders oversaw young Edward’s early career, ensuring that he became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Associations with the Society eventually brought Sanders much business and gave him a reputation as a publisher of explorers. As testament to this reputation, the Stanford Range in British Columbia was named for him by John Palliser.
Stanford briefly partnered with Saunders in 1852 before striking out on his own in 1853. He was an agent for the Ordnance Survey, the Admiralty, the Geological Survey, the Trigonometrical Survey of India, and the India Office. He also controlled the maps of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, another lucrative source of income. In 1857, Stanford founded his namesake Geographical Establishment, with Saunders and A. K. Johnston as engravers. Thereafter, Stanford was known for his “library maps”, particularly those of Africa and Asia.
Although he had authored many maps, the Harrow Atlas of Modern Geography and a similar volume on classical geography, Stanford is better remembered today as the leader of a successful map business. Ever in search of more inventory, he acquired the plates and stock of John Arrowsmith, heir of the Arrowmsith family firm, in 1874. By 1881 he employed 87 people at his premises at 6 Charing Cross Road, Saunders’ old address. As he aged, he phased in his son Edward Jr. to run the business. He died in 1904. The business survived him, and the Stanford’s shop is still a prominent London landmark today.
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