click for full image

A Map of New-England, Being the first that
ever was here cut....
[Boston: Printed by John Foster, 1677].
12 ¼ x 15 7/8 inches.
"White Hills" version of the map. MHS image number 3716.

About John Foster

Born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1648, John Foster developed a reputation among his contemporaries and later historians as a man of many talents. An "ingenious mathematician" and schoolmaster, Foster also became the first printer in Boston and the first engraver in New England. He graduated from Harvard in 1667 and, for a time, returned to Dorchester to teach school. On Christmas Day, 1674, just another working day in Puritan Boston, Foster purchased a printing press, which he moved to Boston and set up at the "Sign of the Dove." Foster's printing career was influential but brief. He died of consumption in 1681, at the age of 33.

In his own day, Foster was memorialized in verse in two funeral elegies printed in Boston. One elegy, by Thomas Tileston, describes Foster's life and education and then continues:

Adde to these things I have been hinting
His skill in that rare ART OF PRINTING
His accurate Geography
And Astronomick Poetry;
And you would say 'twere pitty He
Should dy without an Elegie


The Massachusetts Historical Society.
All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions.

About the Maps

 • Further Reading
 • Archives
 • About 'Our Cabinet'