back to the homepagelibraryclassroom resourcesfor familiesabout this sitesitemapsearchback to Thinkport

case studies



in the news


Augustine Herrman (1656-1697)

(Alternative spelling=Hermann)

Augustine Herrman became the first naturalized citizen of Maryland by order of Cecil Calvert, Second Lord Baltimore. He became famous in his own lifetime by drawing the first accurate map of the Chesapeake Bay. He presented the map to Lord Baltimore in 1670. Many people living in England first learned what Maryland looked like from the engraving of Augustine Herrman's map.

Herrman was born in Prague, a city in the eastern European country of Bohemia (now called the Czech Republic). He left his own country and moved to the Netherlands. Later, he sailed to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, located on the site of present-day New York City.

He first came to Maryland in 1659, as one of the ambassadors sent by New Amsterdam's governor, Peter Stuyvesant. Herrman and fellow ambassador Resolved Waldron with a few soliders and native guides went to assess the situation on the Eastern Shore. At this time Englishmen, Dutchmen, and Native Americans all claimed land on the Eastern Shore. These groups were fighting each other for control of the land. They met with Maryland's leaders to settle a border dispute between Maryland and Dutch settlements along the Delaware Bay.

Herrman had seen a large part of the Maryland colony on his journey, and must have admired the territory. Herrmann traveled south to Virginia before going back home to New Amersterdam.

In 1660, Herrman returned to Maryland and brought his family with him. The governor and council gave him limited rights of citizenship in the same year. He proposed to Lord Baltimore that he would draw an accurate map of the colony in exchange for ownership of land on the Eastern Shore, now in Cecil County.

The Calverts awarded him 5,000 acres of land in return for his map of Maryland. Herrman named his new property "Bohemia Manor," after the country of his birth. In 1663, the Maryland Assembly signed a petition naming Herrman and his family naturalized citizens of Maryland. He became a respected plantation owner and held numerous county offices.

Herrman spent about ten years charting the colony. He used this information to draw what was then the most accurate map of the Chesapeake Bay coastline. A London publisher printed engravings of his map beginning in 1673. Augustine Herrman died a wealthy man, and his son Casparius inherited 25,000 acres of land from him.

1Herrman's journal of this adventure is printed in J. Thomas Scharf, History of Maryland from the Colonial Period to the Present Day, vol. 1 (Hatboro, PA: Tradition Press, 1967), 244-249. The Calverts' response to their embassy is printed, ibid., 250-251. Herrman's journal is also reprinted in Clayton Coleman Hall, ed. Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1684 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1910), 314-333.

2See entry for Augustine's son, "Herman (Herrman), Casparus Augustus" in Edward C. Papenfuse, et al. Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789, vol. 1 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979), 438.

3GENERAL ASSEMBLY (proceedings), Archives of Maryland, vol. 1, p. 462, September 17, 1663, Maryland State Archives, See also Scharf, "Note on Augustine Herrmann and the Labadists of Bohemia Manor," in Scharf, History of Maryland, vol. 1, 42.

  • Maryland State Archives, SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Biographical Series), Casparus Augustine Herman file [Son of Augustine Herrman], MSA MSA SC 3520-642.

  • Papenfuse, Edward C., et al. A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789, 2 vols. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979.

  • Scharf, J. Thomas. History of Maryland from the Colonial Period to the Present Day, 3 vols. Hatboro, PA: Tradition Press, 1967.
  • Portrait of Augutine Herrman, excerpt from Map of Virginia and Maryland, 1670 [1673]. Library of Congress, MSA SC 5339-1-172.

  • Augustine Herrman, Map of Virginia and Maryland, 1670 [1673]. Library of Congress, MSA SC 5339-1-172. View online version of this map in "Putting Maryland on the Map: Charts and Maps Used by the Early Settlers of Maryland," Examples from Edward C. Papenfuse and Joseph M. Coale III, The Maryland State Archives Atlas of Historical Maps of Maryland 1608-1908. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.
back to top