The Miller Map - 1695

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Engraving of the Miller map from New York Considered and Improved Fort Albany Dutch church Schuyler house Elm Tree Corner - Livingston/Van Rensselaer House Trading area Trail to Schenectady Pearl Street Legend Lutheran Church Lutheran burying place Court Street Dutch Reformed burying place Johnkers/State Street Handlaers or Market Street City Hall Rensselaerswyck

John Miller: First see, our online biography and excerpts from his narrative! Because, it appeared so often in publications during the nineteenth century, the map shown here (copied from an office edition of New York Considered and Improved . . .) still is among the most frequently used cartographic representations of the layout of early Albany. The best engraved image (even though it omits the development north of the stockade) we have found is available via Wikapedia An online offering from the New York Public Library is particularly noteworthy and user-friendly. However, the most "picturesque" version is a color print in the collection of the Albany Institute of History and Art.


1. The Fort of Albany
2. The Dutch Calvinist Church
3. The Dutch Lutheran Church
4. Burying Place
5. The Dutch Calvinist Burying Place
6. The Dutch Calvinist Min's House (misidentified here should be city hall)
7. The Blockhouses
8. The Stadthouse
9. A great gun to cleare a Gulley
10. The Stockado
11. The gates of the City 6 in all

Landmarks shown as printed on the engraving.

Compare this representation with the engineer's map made by John Wolfgang Roemer dated just a few years later.

Now more than fifty years ago, the first representation of Albany I encountered was an engraving of the "Miller Map" as it appeared in Weise's history of the city - which I "found" in the Albany Room at the old Public Library on Dove Street. It has always intrigued me for the questions it raised about the colonial city and its people - particularly about the artistic renderings of houselots. For a number of years I thought lightly of it as this and other common representations of it clearly had been "victorianized." However, by the 1980s, more experience and particularly the counsel of Len Tantillo first gave me new respect for this "first" serious depiction. When correlated with the earliest census of the city's households taken in 1697 and other surrounding survey documents, we first were able to study the city and its people in a more systematic and/or comprehensive way.

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first posted 7/10/03; most recently considered and improved 12/3/15