William Mayo’s Map of Richmond, 1737

Collections in the Classroom

Grade Level

Elementary, High, Middle, Pre-K

Time Period

1600-1775: Colonial



Resource Type

Post-visit material, Pre-visit material, Primary Source

Collections in the Classroom: William Mayo's Map of early Richmond

Download Collections in the Classroom: Mayo Map (pdf)


  • Can you identify the James River on this map?
  • Look closely. What else do you notice?
  • How long do you think it took to walk across Richmond at the time that this map was created?
  • Who do you think lived here before the English colonists?


William Byrd II hired William Mayo to survey and develop a plan for the town of Richmond because it reminded him of the English shire Richmond on the Thames. Beginning as a small informal village that popped up around one of Byrd’s tobacco warehouses, Richmond soon grew to be a city of trade where goods from the European continent were imported and enslaved individuals, tobacco and cotton were exported.