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Political Case Maps of the United States

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Tanner 1829 US
Henry S. Tanner. "United States of America." Philadelphia: H.S. Tanner, 1829. Folding map: four sheets joined, dissected into 60 sections, and mounted on linen. 45 1/2 x 59 1/2. Engraving by H.S. Tanner, E.B. Dawson, W. Allen, and J. Knight. Some minor spotting and surface wear, but overall very good condition.

Accompanied by Tanner's Memoir on the Recent Surveys, Observations, and Internal Improvements in the United States -- Intended to accompany his New Map of the United States. Philadelphia: H.S. Tanner, 1829. First edition. 8tvo. 108pp, and 8 page "List of Maps, Charts and Geographical Works, Recently published, and for sale by H.S. Tanner." Covers. 3/4 leather, with some wear. Interior with scattered foxing.

A first edition of Henry Tanner's important maps of the United States, along with his fascinating Memoir, which was intended as a description of the United States to accompany the map. Tanner considered this an important map so he issued it regularly, with updated editions to 1844. The copious detail is given with the care and precision for which Tanner is known. Towns, counties, roads, and railroads are clearly shown and named. The map extends to just east of the Rockies, and in the trans-Mississippi region Indian tribes are located and the river systems well delineated. The map has 14 inset maps of cities, as well as an inset of the tip of Florida and one of the Oregon and Mandan Districts, which takes the map to the Pacific Coast. Also included are profiles of canals and railroads, and a statistical table of the United States. With its attractive title cartouche, excellent information and impressive size and appearance, this is a superb cartographic document from Tanner. $4,500

Woerl US
Joseph Edmund Woerl. "Die Vereinigten Staaten Von Nord-America." Germany, 1838. Separately issued folding map; dissected into twelve sections and mounted on linen. 18 1/4 x 25 1/2. Lithograph by B. Herder. Original hand color. Paper toned throughout. Otherwise, very good condition. With original slip case with printed label.

A rare, detailed folding map of the United States by Joseph Edmund Woerl (also Wörl). Of particular note is the depiction of Texas as a republic, as well as interesting and impressive detail in what is today the western half of the United States, apparently based on Brué's 1833 map of North America and his 1834 map of Mexico. The map is quite up-to-date, showing, for instance, the new state of Arkansas (1836), though it is labeled as "Arkansas Terr." The remnant of the Arkansas Territory, essentially present-day Oklahoma, is also entitled Arkansas. Indians tribes, rivers, and some roads are indicated, and Woerl shows the Rocky Mountain ridge, which though not totally accurate, does give a good idea of its course and extent. To the west, between this ridge and the Pacific coastal lands, very little information is given, with a label indicating that this was "Oede Sand Waste." Woerl does include the geographic error of the double Great Salt Lake, but he doesn't include the usual companion error of rivers running from these lakes to the Pacific. This separately issued map is quite scarce, though a later edition did appear within a guide by Traugott Bromme. $1,600

"Phelps & Ensign's Traveler's Guide and Map of the United States Containing The Roads, Distances, Steam Boat and Canal Routes &c." Separately issued folding map on banknote paper. With original 53 page booklet listing stage, steamboat, canal and railroad toutes with distances from place to place. Copyright by Phelps & Squire, 1837. New York: T. & E.H. Ensign, 1845. 17 x 23. "Engraved on steel by J. Wells. Brooklyn, L. I." Strong, original hand color.

A wonderful map of the United States, issued folded into Phelps & Ensign's Travellers Guide Through the United States. In 1838, Phelps & Ensign began to issue a series of "Traveller's Guides" which appeared both as folding maps and as wall maps. Within the decorative map border, a detailed depiction shows the United States to the first tier of states west of the Mississippi River. This is accompanied by sixteen small inset maps of the vicinities of important cities and small regions of the country. The map proper gives much information on the cities and towns of the U.S., as well as roads between them, with distances indicated. The map has a particular focus on the transportation nexus in the United States. As it states in the title, the map "containing the roads, distances, steam boat and canal routes &c." Along each road are indicated the distances between the cities, which would be useful information for the travelers for whom this map was intended. Such separately issued, folding maps are rare and of considerable historic interest. This is a fine example. $2,200

Ensign: Map of the City of New York
Ensign & Thayer. "Map of the City of New York, with the Adjacent Cities of Brooklyn & Jersey City, & the Village of Williamsburg." New York, 1849. Lower right corner, "Drawn and engraved by John M. Atwood, 19 Beekman St. N.Y." and copyrighted by Humphrey Phelps in 1844 noted at lower left, bottom margin. Folding map backed on linen. Engraving (hand colored). 17 x 20 1/4 (full sheet). With gold stamped original cloth covers and with booklet. The back cover of the booklet is detached but can be easily attached, or remain separate if the map is to be framed or stored flat. Clean examples of the map and booklet.

The city plan shows Manhattan from thirty second street and then to downtown to the Battery. To the bottom left is the City of Brooklyn from the Navy Yard to Sackett Street. Two insets along the top border show "Jersey City" and the upper part of Manhattan to the top of the Harlem River. An exquisite map.

The booklet: A Map of the City and County of New York with the Adjacent Cities of Brooklyn and Jersey City and the Village of Williamsburg with a Street Directory of the City of New York. Collation: Title, 28 pp., 1 leaf of advertisement for Ensign & Thayer listing publications and services. $900

J.M. Atwood. "Map of the Western States." New York: Ensign & Thayer & Co, 1850. 22 1/2 x 27 3/4 (sheet & complete image). Lithograph. Original hand color. Former folds remain evident. Once was folded and inserted into Ensign & Thayer's Travellers' Guide. Fragile and brittle. Tooley's Dictionary cites an 1849 issue, but we find no other issues for sale until the 1852.

During the nineteenth century, separately issued maps were published for the use of wagon drivers, railroad passengers, and steamboat voyageurs in a new and rapidly developing country. The roughed conditions of travel insured much destruction of these documents which were sold at inns and stations. They were often updated, sometimes an undetermined number of times within a single year, because demand for the best information was startlingly real. These are maps of great historic significance for the history of the United States, for they were the maps actually used during the nation's great expansion. Everything about them, the ornamental borders, the fine calligraphy, the depth of engraving or lithography, and even the way they dramatically fold out present one of the best and most important graphic pictures of early America that remains to us.

This is a map of the "western states," from Ohio to Iowa, Missouri, and the Minnesota Territory. It was included in Ensign & Thayer's Travellers' Guide to the mid-west, which included brief descriptions of each state for use by travelers. Copyrighted New York in 1848 and published in 1850, this map would have served the many immigrants arriving at Ellis Island and then moving on through Chicago and Detroit into this region. As appropriate for such a document, excellent detail is given of towns, roads and railroads. While primarily a tool, the publishers obviously considered the map also a decorative item, and the hand coloring and fancy border are particularly attractive. The final crowning touch is the inclusion in the corners of four views, of St. Louis, Cincinnati, Chicago and Detroit. A marvelous item of American history. $1,100

J.H. Young. "A New Map Of The United States of America." Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait, & Co, 1850-1. 15 3/8 x 26. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate. Original hand color. "By J.H. Young. 1851." Full original color. With two insets: "District of Columbia" and "Gold Regions of California." Folded into an immaculate leather case with gold stamped cover reading "Mitchell's Map of the United States." Excellent condition.

A strong and detailed map of the entire United States from the mid-nineteenth century, published by the Cowperthwait firm of Philadelphia. Towns, rivers, orography and other surprising details are shown throughout. The Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. maps are especially known for their depiction of the transportation routes, and this map is no exception. Roads, and railroads are shown in the eastern part of the country, while west of the Mississippi are drawn the major trails such as those going to Oregon and Santa Fe. States and territories are named and highlighted in contrasting pastel shades, with this information being of particular interest in the trans-Mississippi region, which is shown in the configuration as determined by the Compromise of 1850. California is depicted as a state and large Utah and New Mexico territories are shown below the equally large Oregon Territory. The lands north of Texas are depicted as comprised of two large territories, Indian and "Missouri or North West Territory." To the east of the latter is the Minnesota Territory comprised of today's Minnesota and the Dakotas. Also of considerable interest is the large inset in the lower left corner of the "Gold Region of California," giving even more detail of the region involved in the great gold rush of 1849. Overall this is a fascinating map from an important time in the western development of the United States. $2,400

Fanning's Map of New York
Ensign, Bridgeman & Fanning. "Fanning's Map of New York Shewing [sic] the entire Island with the Cities of Brooklyn and Jersey City." New York, [1854]. 23 x 32 (full surface). Lithographed in the style of a wood engraving. Hand colored. Bright and clean. Decorative border on all four sides. Folding map backed on linen, folded into original booklet. A few separations at the folds but most are in the Hudson River. New spine, but boards are original gold stamped publisher's cloth.

The separately issued city plan shows Brooklyn at the bottom, Jersey City at the top, and Manhattan from the Battery to 88th Street. Also included but abbreviated are Williamsburg, Bushwick and Newtown. An inset shows Manhattan from 88th Street to the Harlem River connection with the Hudson River. This area of the grid plan was fully mapped but just beginning to develop rapidly. Two pictorial insets show the "High Bridge" over the Harlem River and "Trinity Church." Details are clear and clean.

The booklet: A Map of the City and County of New York with the Adjacent Cities . . . with a Street Directory of the City of New York. New York: Thayer, Bridgeman & Fanning, 1854. 12 mo. Collates: title, 28 pp, 2 leaves with lists of products and services. The text is a street directory. $850

"Map of the United States with the Railways." London: Routledge & Co., 1854. 17 x 21 3/4 (neatlines) plus full margins, close at top. Steel engraving. Bottom left cites, "Engraved by Becker's Patent Process, 11 Stationer's Court City." Fine condition. Conserved with separations at folds well repaired.

The map accompanies Routledge's American Handbook and Tourist's Guide through the United States. Collates: 3ll., 1-216 pp. Book is browned, brittle, and as found. Protected by an archival case.

The handbook is filled with information about how an Englishman saw areas of the United States and conveyed information on how to go from one place to another. The map dramatizes that the new railroads are the best way to go from one place to another. The pattern of few railroads is striking for how limited they were, and the obvious trend is that the railroads first replaced the canals, but had not yet paralleled the great river valleys such as the Ohio and the Mississippi. A constructed railroad goes to Alton, Illinois, but it does not cross to St. Charles or St. Louis. A number of longer runs are interrupted by unfinished or contemplated lines. $425

Ira S. Drake. "Mitchell's New Travellers Guide Through The United States. Showing Railroads, Canals, Stage Roads &c." Philadelphia: Charles Desilver, 1855. 21 3/4 x 28 1/2. Separately issued, folding map. Engraving. Original outline hand color. Few separations at folds, short tear near attachment to booklet. Overall, very good condition. Sold with original booklet with 124 pages on travel through the U.S. and a listing of publications by Mitchell.

A wonderful separately issued map of the United States issued by important Philadelphia publisher S. Augustus Mitchell and some contemporaries. This striking and highly detailed map shows the U.S. extending from the Atlantic to the first tier of states past the Mississippi River. Included are four insets of the route to California around South America, the gold district of California, Map of the New England or Eastern states, and the copper mine regions of Lake Superior.

Separately issued maps such as this were published for the use of wagon drivers, railroad passengers, and steamboat voyageurs in a new and rapidly developing country. The roughed conditions of travel insured much destruction of these little documents which were sold at inns and stations and called "Traveler's Companion" or "Stranger's Guide" or similar. These maps were often updated, sometimes an undetermined number of times within a single year, because demand for the best information was startlingly real. Thus, by their very nature they fulfill the primary role of published cartography. These are maps of great historic significance for the history of the United States, for they were the maps actually used during the nation's great expansion. They were made for lasting wear since the publishers used high grade paper, often bank note paper, and they were folded into leather and buckram covers. They appear to have brighter hand coloring than most other maps issued at the same time, in order to aid in reading under adverse circumstances. Everything about them, the ornamental borders, the fine calligraphy, the depth of engraving or lithography, and even the way they dramatically fold out present one of the best and most important graphic pictures of early America that remains to us.

This particular map was issued S. Augustus Mitchell, the pre-eminent name in American cartography in the 1830s and 40s. The original edition of this map was copyrighted in 1832, but as is typical of such separately issued maps, Mitchell updated his map regularly and this edition is updated to 1855. Like other maps of its type, it focuses on roads and canals which are shown crisscrossing the country, as well as the growing number of railroads. The canals and railroads are indicated with hand drawn lines in blue and red respectively. This information would, of course, have been crucial for the intended market of this map, the many "Travellers" on the move around the country at the time, many of whom were newly arrived immigrants. A highly decorative and historic artifact of America's past. $1,800

"Colton's Kentucky." New York, G.W. & C.B. Colton, 1872. 14 x 22 5/8. Folding Lithographed map published in lovely ornate style when the Colton second generation were located at 172 Williams Street in New York City. Original buckram covers are detached but present and clean.

Map provides a fascinating picture of post-Civil War Kentucky. Major roads and railroads run through the state which had suffered many strains through the Civil War. $700

"Map of the Railroads of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and Parts of Adjoining States, 1873, Prepared from Official data by J. A. Anderson." Philadelphia: J. L. Smith, 1873. 31 1/8 x 47. Lithography by James McGuigan. Separated into 32 sections and mounted on linen. Some separations along folds, including detached front and back covers. Otherwise very good condition.

This map shows the rail lines, and point-to-point distances of the lines, as they existed at the time of publication in all of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, plus bordering portions of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and New York.

A lifelong resident of Hunterdon County, New Jersey, John Alexander Anderson (1829-1917) began railroad work at age 19 as a rodman on New Jersey's Belvidere Delaware Railroad, which ran north along the Delaware River from Trenton to Belvidere. By 1872, when that line was acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad, Anderson became the superintendent of that company's Belvidere Division. His chief interest was in train dispatching; he literally wrote the book on the subject, The Train Wire (1891). From 1886 until retirement in 1900 Anderson was superintendent of the company's Voluntary Relief Department.

In 1845, Edward Pinkerton, Thomas S. Wagner and James McGuigan established a lithography business in Philadelphia. Pinkerton soon left; Wagner & McGuigan operated as a partnership until 1858, when the two separated, each to his own establishment.

Upon the retirement of Rufus L. Barnes (1794-1868), who had been in the map trade in Philadelphia since the early 1830s, John L. Smith (1846-1921) succeeded to his map publishing business. $650

G.W. & G.B. Colton. "Colton's Traveler's Map of the United States showing the Counties, Railroads, etc." New York, 1874. 25 1/2 x 29 (neat lines) plus full margins. Lithography. Black & white printing. The publishers still used their 1869 copyright. Folding map with original buckram case, although the case is damaged inside and back, the outside front is splendid. A fine presentation.

Most of the east coast is shown with the exception of northern Maine and southern Florida. Neither state show railroads in those extremities. The western extremity stops in the middle of Texas, Oklahoma (Indian Territory), Kansas, Nebraska, and Dakota not yet split between North and South. $875

"Scarborough's Map of Pennsylvania." With inset of "Philadelphia" in upper right corner. Boston: The Scarborough Company, 1903. 36 x 50. Lithographed large folding map. Hand color. Some minor discoloration at edges. Otherwise, very good condition.

A very detailed folding map of the state of Pennsylvania. As the title goes on to say, "Showing all Counties, Cities, Villages, Pot-Offices, Railroads and Stations, with Distances Between Stations in English Statue Miles." The map is very accurate and with the myriad details presented with clarity. Indexes by cities, county seats and larger cities. $300

Pennsylvania Department of Internal Affairs. "Railroad Map of Pennsylvania published by the Department of Internal Affairs." Harrisburg (?), 1910. 33 1/2 x 54 1/2 (neatlines) plus full borders. Colored lithograph. Credit reads, "Drawn and compiled by J. Sutton Wall." Folds, as issued; some splitting at joins of folds. Foxing evident on back, but not on front. Good condition with original cloth case.

This superb and dramatically large map of the entire state depicts five separate railroads according to the key: Pennsylvania Railroad System, Philadelphia & Reading, Lehigh Valley, Baltimore & Ohio, New York Central, plus one designation for many short line operations. Here is a superb map of the Pennsylvania railroad system as it approached its zenith in track mileage, freight and passengers carried, and profits. $450

R. Baxter Blair. "New York Social Studies." Chicago: Denoyer-Geppert Co., ca. 1925. Geographer, L.P. Denoyer. Cerograph. 29 x 41 1/2. Separately issued map, dissected into 15 sections and mounted on linen for folding. Very good condition.

An early 20th century folding wall map of New York, clearly intended for school use. The main map is brightly colored, with counties, towns, highways, canals and parks boldly identified. Included are three inset maps. The "Literary Geography of New York" indicates the locations of various literary works and includes a list of the principal authors of the state. The "Education" map shows colleges and schools. The final inset shows the great New York City region with indications of colleges and literary locations. $150

"Canal and Railroad map of the State of New York to accompany the Legislative Manual." Buffalo: J.W. Clement Co., 1928. 24 3/4 x 27 1/2. Wax engraving, printed in color. Printed by J.B. Lyon Co., Buffalo. Excellent condition. Folded into original art buckram case.

A transportation map commissioned by the New York State Legislature. It emphasizes railroads, canals, waterways, and even small creeks. Rail transportation is differentiated between main lines and suburban electric lines and the canals are clearly depicted. Roads are not shown, but many small towns as well as cities are located. Two insets are included: "City of New York" and "Southern Part of New York [Long Island]." A fascinating map of the entire state. $175


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Other political maps: [ The Americas | Africa | Europe | Asia ]

More separately issued maps:
[ Saddlebag maps | Mail coach era road maps | 19th century travel maps ]
[ Wall maps | Working marine charts ]

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