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Political Case Maps of the United States

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"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

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

Rand McNally 1897 NJ folding map
"Rand McNally & Co.'s New Jersey." Chicago: Rand McNally & Co., 1897. Lithograph. 16 3/4 x 12 1/4. Expected wear at folds and remnant of folder from which it was detached on reverse. Else, very good condition.

This map appeared in a small folder labeled "The Rand-McNally Vest Pocket Map of New Jersey." The publisher was a Chicago company that helped shift the center of cartographic publishing from the east coast to the mid-west.

With inset maps of the vicinities of Camden and Jersey City, the map is thick with locations in the state, showing railroads which served them. There is a map key of chief cities, and a list with populations. On the reverse is a key to "Counties, Creeks, Islands, Lakes, Mountains, Rivers and Towns." $95

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

"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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