Virtual Exhibition: War, Maps, Mystery: Dutch Mapmaker Bernard Romans and the American Revolution

Extended Hours! Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm, until 8 pm on Thursdays, Sunday noon - 5 pm.

Your support helps to collect, preserve, and share Connecticut's culture and history. Give Today!

A 2019 exhibit shared the little-known story of Revolutionary War Patriot and Dutch mapmaker Bernard Romans. Romans came to the American colonies in 1757 during the French and Indian War, surveying for the British along the Atlantic seaboard.  Romans became a supporter of American independence, joined the Continental Army, and eventually settled in Wethersfield, CT. Both the British and Americans used Romans’ maps during the American Revolution.  In 1780, he was captured by the British and died in 1784, mysteriously, while a prisoner.

Incredibly rare maps from the CMCH collection, published by Romans and his contemporaries, as well as earlier Connecticut maps from the 17th and 18th centuries, were displayed.

With special gratitude to Priscilla Romans Hexter
and Madeleine Hexter

The Hexters are direct descendants of Bernard Romans and his first wife, Maria Wendell. Priscilla Hexter has done extensive research on the life of Romans. She identified his birth date of 1741 (not 1720, as claimed in several books and articles) and had his record at the Library of Congress changed.

The CMCH is grateful to Priscilla for donating the Holster Atlas (including Bernard Romans’ map of the British Southern Colonies) to the CMCH collection.

Virtual Tour



For a full-screen view of the virtual tour, please click the white X button in the upper right corner of the tour screen.

ASL Interpreted Labels

Watch ASD Executive Director Jeff Bravin interpret selected labels from the exhibit in American Sign Language.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter


One Elizabeth Street
Hartford CT, 06105



Museum Hours:

Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm, Thursday until 8 pm
Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm

Research Center Hours:

Tuesday-Saturday 12 pm - 5 pm, Thursday until 8 pm
Always by appointment only.