Winter Speaker Series


George Sproule's
Mapping of the Mid-Coast, 1770

Matthew Edney
Osher Prof. in History of Cartography at USM

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
7:00pm Curtis Memorial Library,
Brunswick, Maine

George Sproule, 1772

Friends of Merrymeeting Bay’s (FOMB) fifth presentation of our 23nd annual Winter Speaker Series, entitled George Sproule’s Mapping the Mid-Coast, 1770, features Matthew Edney, Oster Professor in History of Cartography at USM. This event takes place in the Morrill Meeting Room of Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick on Wednesday February 12th at 7pm.
This presentation is also known as “George Sproule’s Mapping of Mid-Coast Colonial Maine: Local Colonists vs. Imperial Agents.” George Sproule (1743–1817) mapped Merrymeeting Bay in about 1770 as part of an imperial project to map the coasts of British North America. This heavily illustrated presentation explores the nature of Sproule’s work in the context of colonial mapping practices and the distinct nature of the imperial project. It is impossible to interpret Sproule’s maps correctly without understanding these contexts.
Matthew H. Edney, PhD is Osher Professor in the History of Cartography at the University of Southern Maine. He also directs preparation of the ongoing and already award-winning, six-volume The History of Cartography (Chicago, 1987–2024) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In particular, Edney has edited, with Mary Pedley, Volume Four of the series, Cartography in the European Enlightenment (Dec 2019).

The press now provides free public access to the published volumes: Edney is broadly interested in the history and nature of maps and mapping practices, originally in British India (Mapping an Empire [1997]), and then in British North America (e.g., essays on John Smith’s 1616 map of New England  and John Mitchell’s great map of 1755). His most recent book is Cartography: The Ideal and Its History (Chicago, 2019). He blogs at
FOMB hosts our Winter Speaker Series October-May, the second Wednesday of each month. Their March 11th presentation, “Redfin Pickeral: Endangered, Elusive & Here”, features Merry Gallagher, Fisheries Biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fish & Wildlife. This event takes place 7:00 pm at Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick. 
Speaker Series presentations are free, open to the public and supported by Patagonia, Inc. in Freeport. Visit to see speaker biographies, full event schedules, video recordings of past presentations, become a member, and learn more about how you can help protect beautiful Merrymeeting Bay.
For more information contact FOMB at 207-666-3372 or


Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler