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[ 19th century regional maps of the U.S. ]
An interesting map of the Great Lakes showing an early stage in the development of the upper Northwest Territory. This territory was formed in 1787, bounded on the southeast by the Ohio River and extending as far as the Mississippi River and to the northwest of Lake Superior. The territory was slowly divided into smaller territories and then states as settlement expanded into the region. First Ohio was admitted as a state in 1803, followed by Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and finally Wisconsin. With the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, the region was steadily settled and political change was rapid. At the time this map was issued there was considerable controversy concerning the borders of the proposed state of Michigan. The Michigan territory at the time included what is now Wisconsin, and the exact limits of the new state were under consideration. A constitutional convention for Michigan met in 1835, but the state was not admitted until January, 1837, retaining the upper peninsula. The rest of the old Northwest Territory was constituted as the Wisconsin Territory. This map from 1835 shows some very interesting political divisions in the Michigan Territory. Southern Michigan is divided into small counties, while the northern part of the lower peninsula remains a single large county. The upper peninsula and what would become Wisconsin is named as "District of Huron," "Attached to Michigan." Wisconsin was constituted as the District of Huron for only about six months, and was very shortly thereafter made into the Wisconsin Territory. This district is divided into four counties: Chippeway, Michilimackinac, Crawford and Brown. A fascinating historical document, presenting a contemporary picture of a short-lived political situation in the upper Mid-West. JT OUT ON APPROVAL
After H.S. Tanner. "A New Map of Michigan with its Canals, Roads & Distances." Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1850. 14 3/4 x 11 3/4. Lithograph transfer from engraved plate. Original hand-coloring. Small spot just outside image on right. Otherwise, very good condition.
In 1850, publication of the old Tanner atlas changed from Mitchell to Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. $250
"A New Map of Michigan with its Canals, Roads & Distances." Philadelphia: Charles Desilver, ca. 1850. 14 3/4 x 11 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. With decorative border.
Charles Desilver, one of the many publishers working in Philadelphia during the mid-nineteenth century, issued an atlas of maps based on the famous Tanner-Mitchell-Cowperthwait series. Desilver used much the same information as originally drawn in the 1840s, but updated the maps with new counties, roads, towns, and especially the transportation network of canals, roads and railroads, always the focus of the maps from this series. This map is typical of the rather unusual and scarce Desilver atlas. The growth of roads and railroads in the southern part of the state is impressive and indicative of the huge growth in the region during the middle part of the century. An attractive and fascinating Michigan document. $195
"Michigan." New York: J.H. Colton & Co., 1856. 15 1/2 x 12 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.
Around the middle of the nineteenth century, American cartographic dominence moved from Philadelphia to New York, and the J.H. Colton firm was one of the main reasons for this. This is their detailed map of the lower peninsula. The map contains a surprising amount of detail of the physical and social situation in Michigan shortly before the Civil War, at a time when immigrants from Europe were flooding into the mid-west. The development in the state, especially in the lower half, is profound and this map displays that graphically. Of particular note is the copious infomation on the transportation network of roads, canals,a nd railroads. A nice decorative border surrounds the map. $165
"Johnson's Michigan and Wisconsin." New York: Johnson & Ward, ca. 1865. 17 3/8 x 24. Lithograph. Original hand color. Faint waterstain in bottom margin. Otherwise, very good condition.
A detailed early map of Wisconsin and Michigan by A.J. Johnson. Johnson, who published out of New York City, was one of the leading cartographic publishers in the latter half of the century, producing popular atlases, geographies and so on. This finely detailed map is an good example of Johnson's, and thus early American, cartography. Towns, roads, and other signs of progressing settlement are indicated. The clear presentation of cartographic information and the warm hand coloring make this an attractive as well as interesting historical document. $175
"Sketch of the Public Surveys in Michigan." Washington: General Land Office, 1866. 20 3/4 x 20 1/2. Lithograph by Bowen & Co. Original outline color. Some slight separation and wear on vertical fold. Else, very good condition.
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." Periodically the GLO would issue maps showing the progress of their surveys, and this map shows how Michigan was well covered by 1866. Interesting features are the many railroads in the state, as well as in lead and copper mines indicated in the northwest. $275
W.H. Gamble. "County Map of Michigan and Wisconsin." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1867. 11 1/2 x 13 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.
A third version of Mitchell's map of Michigan and Wisconsin (cf. above). This is an updated version of the W.H. Gamble rendering of 1863. Besides a change in the border style, the main change is that there is considerably more railroads shown in southern Michigan, showing the development of that state. $125
"Map of the state of Michigan Showing Counties, Townships, Railroads, Stations etc." 1873. Lithograph. Original hand color. 23 x 14. Some light spotting throughout, some short marginal tears and manuscript notation in Lake Michigan. Overall, good appearance and condition.
This map does contain much information on the townships and counties, settlements, etc. of the state, but the focus is on the railroads. These are boldly outlined and stations marketed and named along all the routes. $150
Eugene Robinson, City Surveyor. "Gray's Atlas City of Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan." Philadelphia: O.W. Gray, 1873. 11 3/4 x 14 1/2. Lithograph. Full, original hand color. Very good condition. $70
"Gray's Atlas Map of Lake Superior and the Northern part of Michigan. No. 2." Philadelphia: O.W. Gray & Son, ca. 1880. Lithograph. 12 x 14 3/4. Original hand color. Repaired tear in left margin, repaired crease in lower left margin, and minor browning at edges. Otherwise, very good condition.
Though the center of American mapmaking had moved to New York by the second half of the nineteenth century, the Gray firm was still publishing fine maps in Philadelphia. This is their map of the upper peninsula. By 1880, this section of the state was becoming more developed and this map clearly depicts the roads, railroads, and settlements in the region. $65
"Michigan." Philadelphia: O.W. Gray & Son, 1881. Copyright, G.W. & C.B. Colton, 1874. Lithograph. 23 1/4 x 16 1/4. Original hand color. Very good condition. Backed by maps of the upper penisula and Wisconsin.
A tall map of the entire state, reissued by the Gray firm from the Colton plate first published seven years previously. Detail is impressive, with each county and township indicated and named, and rivers and lakes depicted throughout. Of particular interest is the extensive network of railroad lines shown criss-crossing the state. $150
"Michigan." (With note: "For North West part of Michigan see Wisconsin Map.") From Bradley's Atlas of the World for Commercial and Library Reference. Philadelphia: Wm. M. Bradley & Bro., 1885. 22 x 17 1/2. Map extends past borders on top and left. Lithograph. Original hand color.
A precisely detailed map from the Philadelphia publishing firm of William M. Bradley & Bro. While Philadelphia was no longer the main center of cartographic publishing in North America by the late nineteenth century, many fine maps were still produced there, as is evidenced by this map. It shows the state with impressive detail, with emphasis on rivers, towns, and the myriad railroad lines criss-crossing the state. $100
"Michigan." Chicago: Geographical Publishing Co., ca. 1920. 21 x 14 1/2. Cerograph, printed in color. Very good condition.
A nice early twentieth century map of the state by one of the chief rivals to the Rand, McNally Co. The map is in two sections, with the upper peninsula on top, directly over the map of the lower peninsula. An inset shows Isle Royal. Good detail of roads, towns, and counties. $50
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