1500 - 1763 Discovery and First Spanish Period
1763 - 1783 English Period
1783 - 1821 Second Spanish Period
1821 - 1845 Territorial Period
1845 - Statehood
and Later
1861 - 1865 Civil War
Gulf Stream The Mapping of the Current

A Chart of the Gulf Stream
Poupard, J. Sculpt

About 1770 Benjamin Franklin, as deputy postmaster in London for the American colonies, created a chart of the Gulf Stream – the first – in response to the American complaints that it took two weeks longer to receive their mail from England. The original copies of this chart were not discovered until 1978. The present map was published by the American Philosophical Society in 1786, Vol 2 Pl. 5. It accompanied “a letter from dr. Benjamin Franklin. Containing sundry maritime observations. August, 1785.”

An inset in the upper left corner shows the migration of herring.

To the left of the map is a text titled “Remarks Upon the Navigation from Newfoundland to New York, In order to avoid the Gulph Stream.”