Historical Hall of Fame: Herman Boye (1792-1830) was the Cartographer who prepared the "9-Sheet" Map of VA which was first
published in 1827
Virginia History Series
Boye, Herman (1792-1830), cartographer and engineer, was born in Rudkobing, on the Danish island of Langeland, the son of Christen
Nielson Boye, a merchant and shipowner. On 14 September 1811 Boye received a certificate of proficiency in navigation from the Board
of Longitude in Copenhagen.
In order to facilitate Virginia's internal improvement program of road and canal construction, the assembly
on 27 February 1816 passed "An Act to provide an accurate chart of each county and a general map of the territory of this Commonwealth."
At that time, Boye worked as principal assistant to John Wood, who was overseeing the drafting of county maps preparatory to producing
a map of the whole state. Following Wood's death, Boye applied to the governor for the vacant position on 15 May 1822, observing
that he had actually executed "the graphical part of all the work, done by Mr. Wood for the public on this occasion" and asserting
his "perfect competency for the geometrical and astronomical part still unfinished." Isaac Briggs, who was completing the term of
the recently deceased principal engineer of the Board of Public Works, endorsed Boye's application, praised his mathematical skill,
and described him as "intelligent and ardent in pursuit of science, yet modest and amiable in his manners."
On 22 November 1822,
Boye was awarded the contract to complete Wood's work by finishing maps of two counties and directing the preparation and printing
of the state map, which he did using drafting instruments he borrowed from Thomas Jefferson.
The Map of the State of Virginia
Constructed in conformity to Law, from the late Surveys authorized by the Legislature and other original and authentic Documents was
printed in Philadelphia from nine copper plates that engraver Henry S. Tanner executed under Boye's supervision in 1825 and 1826.
It was copyrighted on 14 April 1826, and most copies were printed and distributed in 1827.
A Map of the State of Virginia, In Conformity to Law: by Herman Boye. Engraved by H.S. Tanner and E. B. Dawson. Entered ... the 31st
day of October 1827 by W.B. Giles ... Virginia