Today we are excited to share this beautiful map of the United States and lower Canada, published by Laurie & Whittle, in London in 1794. This map was published shortly after the signing of the Treaties of Versailles in 1783, and offers a nice detailed look at the original colonies, East and West Florida, and Spanish Louisiana. In the preliminary Articles of Peace signed in 1783, Spain negotiated rights to Florida, with Spain keeping West Florida and gaining back East Florida in exchange for the Bahamas. This map accurately depicts both East and West Florida in yellow, to represent Spanish holdings. Article III of the Treaty, concerning fishing rights, is reprinted next to the cartouche, which includes one of the earliest representations of an American Flag to appear on a printed map. There is also excellent detail on the various Indian tribes in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys, including the Choctaws and the Cherokees.
Both of the maps featured in today’s post appeared in Rand McNally’s “Universal Atlas” and depicted the early configuration of present day Oklahoma. As a result of the Oklahoma Organic Act of 1890, the western portion of present day Oklahoma became the Oklahoma Territory. (The name was derived from a Choctaw term, which means “red people.”) The eastern portion of the state remained the Indian Territory. Originally, both areas petitioned to become separate states, but they were refused. Rather, in 1907, they combined and Oklahoma became the 46th state. Although published only two years apart, the later map is far more detailed than the identically titled map published in 1893. Indexes in the upper and lower margins speak to the huge boost in settlement population, especially in the northwest section of the Oklahoma Territory.
Image on Left: Western Portion of Oklahoma. [Indian Territory.] Published by Rand McNally & Co. Multi-color wax engraving, 1893. From Rand McNally’s “Universal Atlas.”
Image on Right: Western Portion of Oklahoma. [Indian Territory.] Published by Rand McNally & Co. Multi-color wax engraving, c.1895. From Rand McNally’s “Universal Atlas.”