Part of the Province of East Florida


Romans, Bernard (1720-1778?)


This famous and rare map was based on a personal survey done by Bernard Romans beginning perhaps in 1763. Romans was born in Holland and moved to England and trained as an engineer. He came to the area maybe as early as 1757 and was later employed by the British Surveyor General William G. de Brahm as his “draughtsman, mathematician, navigator.” However, the two did not get along very well and Romans quit working for de Brahm after a few years and went out on his own, surveying the keys and coast of East Florida. He had a couple wrecks of his boats and went broke. After 1766, he went to Georgia and got an appointment as deputy to the Surveyor General of Georgia Henry Yange. This job didn’t last much more than a couple years. He continued to do surveys of East and West Florida on his own and for various employers, completing them around 1772. These were combined with information from other surveyors, such as George Gault, in his maps and charts. Romans became involved in other things such as botany, writing the book “A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida” and later in the American Revolution as an engineer for the colonists – another job which didn’t last long. Some of his maps were published after his death.
These 3 images are part of his maps, which also included some of the Bahamas & north coast of Cuba, the Keys and the Gulf of Mexico. The images are made from reproductions published in the reference #1 listed below.


References: Phillips, Lee. Notes on the Life and Works of Bernard Romans, a Facsimile Reproduction of the 1924 Edition with an Introduction and Index by John D. Ware. Bicentennial Floridiana Facsimile Series. A University of Florida Book. The University Presses of Florida, Gainesville 1975.
Diamant, Lincoln. Bernard Romans, Forgotten Patriot of the American Revolution. Harbor Hill Books. Harrison, N.Y. 1985.
Image: from Phillips.

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