Papers of John Adams, volume 10

To Joseph Gridley

From Thomas Digges

From Joseph Gridley, 28 August 1780 Gridley, Joseph JA


From Joseph Gridley, 28 August 1780 Gridley, Joseph Adams, John
From Joseph Gridley
Sir post 28 August 1780

There is a very compleat Survey of the Gulph of the River Saint Lawrence, done by Capt. Holland, it takes in, the whole of the Shore from Gaspee, down to Cape North, Westerly, likewise the North and Easterly Shore down to the Labradore, including all the Islands in the Gulph, excepting part of Newfoundland, which indeed is not compleat, but is Nevertheless Mark'd out. You will be able to find all the Survey, in the New Atlass.1

There are seperate Maps of the different Islands, which may be had in England, and those Maps give a very particular description of the Harbours, Soundings, Rocks and Shoals round about each Island, but I never have seen any Book published, only one, Capt. Holland wrote to induce Inhabitants to settle on his Estate at the Island St. Johns, the Title of this Book I really cannot recollect.2

I am sir Your most obedt. Humble Servt.

Joseph Gridley

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “His Excellency the Honble. John Adams Esqr. Amsterdam”; endorsed: “Mr Gridley.”


The maps to which Gridley refers are those by Capt. (later Maj.) Samuel Johannes Holland, a Dutch native and British army officer, who had been appointed surveyor general of Quebec and the northern part of North America in 1764 (Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 13 vols. to date, Toronto, 1966–, vol. 5). The atlas to which Gridley refers cannot be positively identified, but it may have been Thomas Jefferys' The American Atlas, London, 1775, which contained maps by Holland and other cartographers.


The book reportedly written by Holland on the island of St. John (later Prince Edward Island) has not been identified.