19th Century Maps, American Maps, Engraving, Maps, New Additions, Stone

New Additions: US Maps

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSWe have three new maps if the United States in our inventory- all rare and unique representations of our country. These 19th century maps highlight pivotal moments in our history and development as a nation- our coast-to-coast expansion, creation of new western territories, and our country at the beginning of a long civil war. The maps are already up on our website, and can be viewed in our Georgetown gallery as well, if you want a closer look. Enjoy!

666681. United States of America, corrected & improved from the best authorities. Benjamin Warner. Published by B. Warner, Philadelphia. Engraving, 1820. 16 1/2 x 25 1/4″ (420 x 644 mm) plus hairline margins. Good condition and color. Backed on rice paper. Removed from original covers. Phillips, Maps, p. 881; Wheat 341. View on website.

One of the earliest separately published maps to show the United States from coast to coast. Wheat remarks that this is one of a series of maps issued between 1818 and 1820 which galvanized the mythological rivers of the west. It also shows a Michigan Territory, a double wide Arkansas Territory, and a Northwest Territory (Minnesota and Wisconsin).

89782. Central America II, including Texas, California and the Northern States of Mexico. Published under the superintendence of the S.D.U.K. by Chapman & Hall, London. Engraving with hand-colored outlines, 1842. Engraved by J. & C. Walker. Image size 12 5/16 x 15 1/2″ (313 x 394 mm). Good condition. Original outline color. View on website.

This SDUK published map of the American southwest shows the northern parts of Mexico, ‘Nueva California,’ and the independent republic of Texas. California was to remain under Mexican control until conquered by U. S. forces in the Mexican War (1846-47).  It is a highly detailed map, with many references to historic locales. The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, better known as SDUK, was an English enterprise devoted to spreading the most up to date cartographic information and enhancing geographical understanding and knowledge of the world.

796743. Mitchell’s Military Map of the United States, showing forts, &c. With separate maps of states, vicinities of cities &c. S. Augustus Mitchell. Published by S.A. Mitchell Jr. 31 S. 6th St., Philadelphia. Stone engraving, 1861. Image size 22 3/4 x 25 1/4″ (64.1 x 57.8 cm) plus margins. Good condition save for several short tears along sheet edges and fold lines. Small stain in upper title. Backed on rice paper. View on website.

This is a scarce, separately issued broadside map produced at the beginning of the American Civil War. The map shows the new territories that were made after southern states succeeded. As the trans-Mississippi region grew and developed during the 1850s, there was a call for the breaking up the very large territories from the beginning of the decade into smaller ones. However, every newly created territory had an impact on the power struggle in Congress over the issue of slavery, so between 1854, with its Kansas-Nebraska Act, and 1860, no new territories were created.  After succession, the northerners in Congress were able to act quickly and create three new territories:  a large Dakota Territory, Territory of Utah, and Colorado Territory- all shown here. Another feature of this map is the depiction of the never-existing horizontal border between the free territory of Arizona and slave territory of New Mexico. Two large inset maps show a county map of Virginia and North Carolina and a county map of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. Smaller inset maps show Hampton Roads, Washington, D.C., Pensacola Bay, Charleston Harbor, New Orleans, Louisiana, Baltimore and Richmond.

18th Century Maps, 19th Century Maps, American Maps, Copperplate, Engraving, Maps, New Additions

New Additions: US Maps and River Longue

New to the Old Print Gallery website are several maps of the United States. The maps range from 1711 to 1851, and mark the exploration and development of settlements beyond the East Coast. Development across the continent was slow after the initial East Coast settlements were established ( Saint Augustine in 1656, Jamestown in 1607, New Plymouth in 1620 and later Detroit in 1700 and New Orleans in 1718). Knowledge of the vast Northern interior was limited to a few miles either side of river courses and to the southwest regions thanks to the establishment of Spanish and later French missions. Accordingly,  much of the cartographical information of the United States before the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and Lewis and Clark explorations of 1804-06 was scarce and dominated by misconceptions.  With the beginning of the Nineteenth century,  North American maps tell a story of the great settlement of the west, the exploration of territories, and their subsequent achievements to statehood.

1) A New Map of North America According to the Newest Observations. This copper plate engraving is by Herman Moll.  It was published in London 1711 and is from his Atlas Geographus” . In this map, California appears as an island on the Sanson model. The myth of an insular California has been discussed before on the blog (read about it here and here). Above California, the Straits of Anian are sketchily outlined. The Great Lakes all appear and the Mississippi River is correctly located. In the interior, another early American map misconception is present-  Lahontan’s mythical River Longue.  (Detail of River Longue  below).

French manuscript maps of the 1670s propose a vast flowing river joining the Mississippi to the Pacific. In 1703, Baron Lahontan wrote and produced a map of the “River Longue”  that stretched from the Mississippi to a great range of mountains in the west. He depicted a short pass through the mountains from which another river flowed (presumably) into the Pacific. He included accounts of Indian tribes who lived on islands in a great lake near the source of the river, and tales of crocodiles filling the waterways. The story of the large river flowing from the west fired the imaginations of many of his readers, since early exploration of North America was inextricably linked with the quest for a route to the Orient. The River Longue was thus a variant of the North West passage myth, and helped keep it alive. Lahontan’s concept was copied by virtually all cartographers through the 18th century.

2) A Map of the United States of America, with Part of the Adjoining Provinces. This copper engraving, with original hand color, was published June 2, 1791, by R. Wilkinson, London. It was engraved by T. Conder. This map is an early map of the United States, with little development in the West. The Tennessee area has special interest: Clarksville and Knoxville both appear, but not the name Tennessee. Instead the area is divided between “Cumberland” and “Holston,” while still joined to North Carolina.

3) Map of the Northern Part of the United States of America. By Abraham Bradley Jr. This copper engraving was published by Thomas & Andrews, Boston, 1797. It is the first state of two from the “Morse’s American Gazetteer.” Notable for being one of the earliest maps printed in America to extend to the Mississippi River, Bradley’s map is equally important for outlining States I (Ohio), II (Indiana), III (Illinois), IV (Michigan) and V (Wisconsin) — the new states formed from the Old Northwest Territory, as proposed by the Ordinance of 1789.  On this map, the Western Reserve is called New Connecticut.

4) United States. By John Tallis. This steel engraving was published by the London Printing and Publishing Company, c.1851. This map is from “The Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World” and is a highly sought-after decorative map of the United States. It includes two portraits, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, as well as inset views of a Buffalo Hunt, Penn’s treaty with the Indians, and Washington’s Monument. It also shows a strangely configured Texas and New Mexico, a pre-Indian Territory region called Western Territory, a massive Missouri Territory, and a strangely elongated Nebraska Territory extending northward to Canada.

5) Map of the United States : Engraved to Illustrate Mitchell’s New Intermediate Geography. By J. H. Young. Published by S. Augustus Mitchell, Philadelphia. Engraved by E. Yeager. This is an informative United States map, especially in the West.  Despite vast developments, many areas retain their territorial status, including Montana, Wyoming, Dakota, Arizona and New Mexico, all of which did not gain statehood until 1889 or later.

To view these, and the other United States maps, available at Old Print Gallery, visit our website ( here) or stop by our Washington, DC gallery, located in the heart of historic Georgetown.