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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

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

Flemming US
Carl Flemming. "Vereinigte Staaten Von Nordamerika." Germany: C. Flemming, 1853. Separately issued, folding map: dissected into 24 sections, mounted on linen. 20 5/8 x 28. Lithography by Handtke. Original outline color. A very little light spotting in lower left margin. Otherwise excellent condition. Housed in clamshell box. Denver.

Carl Flemming ran an important German publishing house in Glogau and Berlin in the middle of the nineteenth century, issuing atlases and separately issued maps like this one. The Germans were very interested in America at this period, with large numbers having emigrated to Texas in the 1840s, and more taking advantage of the opportunities of land and employment by coming to the mid-west and into the far west. This map includes great detail of rivers, towns, railroads and canals, all engraved with typical German precision and clarity. The map is particularly interesting for its depiction of the trans-Mississippi region. Shown are large territories for Oregon, New Mexico, Utah, Missouri, "Minisotah," and a large Indian Territory. A fine European map of the U.S. at mid-century. $950

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

Theodor Ettling. "United States of North America (Eastern & Central)." London: Weekly Dispatch, ca. 1860. 38 x 35 1/2. Lithograph transfer from engraving by T. Ettling. Printed by Day & Son. Original outline color. Dissected into 24 sections and mounted on linen. Very good condition. Denver.

A British separately issued map of the United States up to the Rockies by Theodor Ettling. Ettling was a Dutch draughtsman, engraver and lithographer who worked first in Amsterdam, later moving to London where he produced maps for some of the British papers of the mid-nineteenth century. This map was published by the Weekly Dispatch, which issued an atlas in 1858 with maps by Ettling. Ettling seems to have made quite a study of North America, issuing a number of fine examples such as this large folding map. Detail is copious and precisely delineated in a typically neat British style. Roads, towns, rivers, lakes, and topographically are all accurately and clearly rendered. The map shows the United States as it was situated at the beginning of the Civil War, and its depiction of the trans-Mississippi region is particularly interesting. This map was issued a short time after the Kansas-Nebraska Act, so a large Kansas Territory includes today's Colorado, and a very large Nebraska Territory runs up to the Rocky Mountains, with New Mexico, a tiny bit of Arizona (the proposed, but never established southern Arizona territory), Utah, and Idaho shown at the western edge of the map. The detail in this region is also of considerable interest, with proposed railroad routes and Indian tribes indicated throughout. Besides its historic interest, this rare map is also decoratively very attractive, with the soft pastel outline color and hatchured topography lending it a nice visual appeal. $950

Edward Stanford. "Stanford's Map Of The United States And Territories. Together With Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and The Gulf Of St. Lawrence." Eastern sheet. London: E. Stanford, Dec. 23, 1861. 33 1/4 x 29 1/4. Lithograph. Full original hand color. Separately issued map dissected into sections and mounted on linen for folding. Very good condition.

Another excellent British Civil War related map. The Stanford cartographic firm, still in existence today, issued a two part map of the United States at the end of 1861, of which this is the eastern half. Equally detailed to the map above, but with a slightly different geographic focus. $1,250

General Land Office Maps of the US

The U.S. General Land Office (GLO) was established in 1812, with responsibility to survey and control the dispersal of public lands. All public land was required to be surveyed prior to settlement, and the first director of the GLO, Thomas Hutchins, set up a systematic process of rectangular survey for the public lands and launched the great national project to survey and map the public domain in the entire country, a procedure which got under way in the famous "seven ranges" of southeast Ohio. Each surveyor was to record not only geography, but also features of the landscape with economic import, such as roads, Indian trails, existing settlements, Indian lands, mineral deposits, and of particular interest, railroads and their rights of way. Of note is that unlike most surveys of the time, the surveyors were instructed not to apply new names to the landscape, but to use "the received names of all rivers, creeks, lakes, swamps, prairies, hills, mountains and other natural objects."

By mid-century the GLO had completed most of the surveys for the lands between the Appalachians and the Mississippi, and so focused most of its attention to the American west for the rest of the century. The GLO published mostly state maps, which were issued in annual reports, bound into state atlases, and in a few atlases that combined all the current maps in progress. These maps produced by the GLO are the most accurate and detailed maps of the U.S., based on rigorous and comprehensive surveys not hindered by commercial concerns. These maps proved very useful to private American mapmakers, and they were often the basis for state and county maps in the second half of the century.

Beginning in 1866, the GLO began a series of maps of the entire United States which reflected the sum of their mapping of the country. Each year they updated the maps to show new political and social developments. One of the most interesting features was the inclusion of the trails crossing the western U.S., but also the railroad lines, both proposed and existing. Also of note are the indications of mines for gold, silver, copper, etc.


Stanford Handy US map
Edward Stanford. "Stanford's Handy Map of the United States Distinguishing The Unsettled Territories; The Railways; The Cities & Towns according to Population, also the State Capitals & County Towns." London: E. Stanford, 1870s. Separately issued map dissected into sections and folded into original covers. 37 3/4 x 21 1/2. Lithograph. Full original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.

A handsome map of the United States from British publisher Edward Stanford issued sometime in the 1870s. The map was likely intended for the British traveler to America, for it includes such "handy" information as state capitals, populations, topography, and with a focus on the burgeoning rail network throughout the country. The map was issued shortly after the completion of the first transcontinental railroad, highlighted on the map, as well as the connection of Denver both to this railroad and to Kansas City via the Kansas Pacific RR. The craftsmanship of British mapmaking is nicely illustrated in this map, with its precise rendering and lovely hand color. $975

"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


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

More separately issued maps:
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[ Wall maps | Working marine charts ]

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