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Antique Maps of the United States

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Gussefeld: Charte der XV Vereinigten Staaten
Rigobert Bonne. "Carte de la Partie Nord, des Etats Unis, de l'Amérique Septentrionale." From Bonne's Atlas de toutes les parties connues du Globe Terrestre. Paris, 1780. 8 3/8 x 12 1/2. Engraving. Very good condition.

Rigobert Bonne was the Royal Hydrographer of France, so his primary interest was in marine charts. However, with his Royal connections and access to the cartographic documents in Paris, Bonne was able to compile maps containing some of the most up-to-date information of his time. This map is of the region running from the southern part of Maine (here shown as part of "Machasuzet Bay") to the Chesapeake Bay, and extending to the "Montagnes D'Allagany." It was issued just at the end of the American Revolution, and indeed this is one of the earliest maps to name the United States ("Etats Unis"), not surprising for a French map. The northeastern region was fairly well settled by the Revolution, and Bonne had good information to show towns, rivers, forts and other features in the area. The detail is clearly presented, and fascinating to study. This is a fine map of the American northeast from the very beginning of our country's history. $250

Mathew Carey after Abraham Bradley. "The United States of America." From American Pocket Atlas. Philadelphia: M. Carey, 1801. 9 3/4 x 12 5/8. Engraving by W. Barker. Two inch expertly repaired tear. Map has been backed with rice paper. Cf. Wheat & Brun: 131.

An excellent map of the United States from Carey's American Pocket Atlas of 1801. Unlike many other cartographers of the day, Carey updated his maps in every edition of his atlases, which made his maps as up-to-date as any issued at the time. The maps from the Pocket Atlas are good examples. This map shows what was then Georgia, stretching from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi, including most of present-day Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. The short lived Mississippi Territory is depicted wedged between Georgia and western Florida. In the Northwest Territory the "Grand Portage" and Bellin's mythical islands are shown at Lake Superior. Information is excellent, showing towns, rivers, and some physical characteristics with a number of names added since the 1796 edition. For instance, in New England, Maine and Vermont are added, with the Canadian border left uncertain. Overall this is an excellent American map based on Abraham Bradley's important compilation. $525

Gussefeld: Charte der XV Vereinigten Staaten
Franz Ludwig Güssefeld. "Charte Der XV Vereinigten Staaten von Nord-America." Weimar, Germany: Geogr. Instituts, 1804. 18 1/2 x 20 3/4. Engraving. Original hand color. Very good condition.

Güssefeld was a German cartographer who had issued a fine, early map of the United States for the Homann Heirs firm in 1784. In the next two decades many changes took place and much interest remained about America in Germany, so he produced this new map for the Geographic Institute in Weimar. The eastern states are shown with considerable accuracy and quite a bit of detail concerning rivers and major settlements, both coastal and inland. The information west of the Appalachians is more spotty, for though Kentucky is shown, Tennessee is not. Georgia is correctly shown in close to its present-day shape, but the Mississippi Territory, which was created in 1804, is not named and includes Tennessee. The Northwest Territory is shown in its original form, even though Ohio had been broken off in 1803. One of the most interesting aspects of this map is the indication, just east of Kentucky, of a non-existent region called of "Franklin." This reflects the one-time 'state' of Franklin, even though it is misplaced too far north, for Franklin was actually in what is today eastern Tennessee. Franklin was formed out of western North Carolina in 1784, with John Sevier appointed as Governor. However, the state was never recognized by Congress and when Sevier's four year term ended (he was later to become the first Governor of Tennessee), the region was again annexed by North Carolina to disappear from history except for in books and on about 20 maps, of which this is one. This demonstrates that despite the interest in America, it was hard for European cartographers to keep their maps up-to-date. This map is a good attempt and it does contain lots of interesting information, very attractively presented. $1,850

Melish United States
John Melish. "United States of America." From Carey & Lea's A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1822. 17 x 21. Engraving by Benjamin Tanner. Full, original hand coloring. Some trimming to right margin and chipping in top right corner; expertly conserved and filled. Otherwise, very good condition.

In 1822, Henry Charles Carey and Isaac Lea published their A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. This volume was based on Emmanuel Las Cases' Atlas Historique of 1803, with updated maps and text modified by Carey, a political economist. He considered himself an American foil to John Stuart Mill and the London economists who were proclaimers of "the gloomy science" influenced by Ricardo and Malthus. Instead of preaching overpopulation and degeneration of the human species, Carey illustrated the nations of the western hemisphere through maps that showed an expanding region with ample promise of developing into lands of great new opportunity and growth. The sheets from this atlas, which cover North America, Central America, South America and the West Indies, are comprised of an engraved map surrounded by text documenting the history, climate, population and so forth of the area depicted. The atlas is particularly known for its excellent early maps of the states and territories of the United States. This map of the United States and its territories as a whole served as the initial and index map, depicting the nation extending from the Atlantic seaboard to the Rocky Mountains. It is a later edition of the map issued in the Lavoisne atlas of 1821. $1,400

After John Melish. "États-Unis D'Amérique." From Jean Alexandre C. Buchon's Atlas Geographique des deux Ameriques. Paris: J. Carez, 1825. 16 5/8 x 20 7/8. Engraving by Ales. Original hand color. Very good condition.

Three years after Carey & Lea's important American Atlas, Jean Buchon issued his revised, French edition of the atlas. This is the general map of the US from that atlas, based on John Melish's rendering. Michigan is shown as a territory, and present-day Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota are designated as the last of the "Terre. Nord Ouest" The remainder of the Louisiana Territory is shown as the Missouri Territory and the Arkansas Territory. The area of today's plains states is labeled "Grand Désert Américain," derived from Stephen H. Long's important expedition of 1819-20. This map presented the best information on the United States to date and it would have been of much interest to the audience in Europe. $1,100

Streit US
F.W. Streit. "Charte von dem Nordamericanischen Staatenbunde nach den neuesten vorhandenen Hulfsmittleln entworfen und gezeichnet." Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs'sche Buchhandlung, ca. 1825. Engraving. Original outline color. 15 1/4 x 18 1/2. With soft creases; map attached to linen backing.

An early map to show the United States stretching from coast to coast, this German map shows the political situation of territories and states, with each having a colored outline identified in a color key in the top right corner. The map was drawn by F.W. Streit, a mathematician, cartographer and engineer in the Prussian artillery. It shows the United States after the creation of the Arkansas Territory (1819) and the state of Missouri (1820), but before the western half of the former was cut off for Indian lands (1824). The map has an incredible topographical underpinning using hatching, upon which are indicated rivers and major towns and forts.

The trans-Mississippi West is depicted with very interesting information. The geography is based on the explorations of Lewis & Clark (1804-6) and, Zebulon Pike (1806-7). Of note is the depiction of Pike's Peak as "Gr. Spitz B." (standing for large, pointed mountain). It is from the slopes of this mountain that Streit shows the Rio Grande, Arkansas, Platte, and Missouri Rivers all flowing, an interesting representation of a common error of the period. The Rocky Mountains are shown as a narrow ridge running just west of Pike's Peak, with the lands to the west appearing to be open to the Pacific, including a representation of the "River of the West," flowing from two large inland lakes (one "Salz S.") to San Francisco Bay. Also in the trans-Mississippi region, Streit shows a great number of Indian tribes. A fascinating map of the period. $450

Hoffmann U.S.
After John Melish. "Vereinigte Staaten von Nord America." From Carl Bernhard's Reise durch Nord Amerika in 1825 und 1826. Weimar: Wilhem Hoffmann, 1828. 16 1/8 x 20 1/2. Engraving. Original outline color. With folds and narrow bottom left margin, as issued. Some transferring, but overall very good condition.

A German version of Melish's important 1822 map of the United States. The German's were very interested in the United States during the nineteenth century, and this is a fine topographical picture of the country issued for that market. By using Melish's map, Hoffman made sure to have an excellent image of the United States in the third decade of the nineteenth century. $650

Burr U.S.
David H. Burr. "United States." From Universal Atlas. New York: Illman & Pilbrow, 1833. 10 1/2 x 12 1/2. Engraving by Illman & Pilbrow. Full original color. Very good condition.

An excellent map of the United States by David H. Burr, one of the most important American cartographers of the first part of the nineteenth century. Having studied under Simeon DeWitt, Burr produced the second state atlas issued in the United States, of New York in 1829. He was then appointed to be geographer for the U.S. Post Office and later geographer to the House of Representatives. The states and territories to just beyond the Mississippi, including those in the old Northwest Territory, are shown with good detail or rivers, towns, and mountains. To the west is a single large "Missouri Territory" with its rivers detailed carefully. The tip of Florida appears in an inset. Also of interest is the depiction of the Erie Canal and a canal running south from Cleveland. Burr's maps are scarce and quite desirable. $350

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