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Maps of Michigan

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Burr Michigan Territory
David H. Burr. "Michigan." From A New Universal Atlas. New York: D.H. Burr, 1831. 12 5/8 x 10 3/8. Engraving by Illman & Pilbrow. Full original color. Very good condition. Denver.

An excellent map of the Michigan Territory 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. This map by Burr shows the Michigan Territory just before the outbreak of the "Toledo War."

The northern border of Ohio was originally described as running at the latitude of the southern tip of Lake Michigan, which was thought to run into Lake Erie north of the mouth of the Maumee River. When it was discovered that this was based on an incorrect mapping of Lake Michigan and that this line actually ran south of the mouth of the Maumee, Ohio lost an important strip of land. The state refused to concede this loss, however, and so came into conflict with Michigan Territory, which adamantly claimed this "Toledo strip." In 1833, Michigan applied for statehood, but was blocked from achieving this by Ohio's Congressmen, who demanded Michigan accept that the Toledo strip belonged to Ohio. Michigan mobilized its militia, which occupied the strip, and Ohio sent its militia to Perrysburg, just to the south. President Jackson cooled things off before any fighting, but finally in 1837 Michigan accepted Ohio's claim and was rewarded both with statehood and the Upper Peninsula.

This map shows the territory just before it first applied for statehood. The southern border in the east is shown with Michigan controlling the Toledo strip and the mouth of the Maumee. Further west, the border is shown with Indiana running to the original northern border, though Burr does indicate with a dotted line "Boundary Line as Claimed by Michigan Territory." In Michigan, each county is indicated with a different color and towns are noted throughout. With his access to information from the Post Office, Burr's depiction of the road system is accurate and up-to-date. Burr's maps are scarce and this is a particularly desirable example of his work. $975

Thomas Cowpertherwait
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, 1856. 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. $175

"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

County Map of Michigan, and Wisconsin." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1860. 10 3/4 x 13 3/8. Lithograph. Bright original hand color. Very good condition.

The first of a series of attractive maps of the two parallel states by Philadelphia publisher S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr.. Typical of his maps, the detail is clearly presented, with special attention paid to the roads and railroads in these important mid-west states. Surrounded by a decorative border and with bright original color. $150

W.H. Gamble. "County Map of Michigan and Wisconsin." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1863. 11 1/2 x 13 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

The second version of Mitchell's map of Michigan and Wisconsin (cf. above). It appears that Mitchell felt that the scale was too small on the former version, for the states are shown increased in scale by about one third. Mitchell did this by showing less of the surrounding region, but also by having the states cross over his decorative border. With the larger size, the copious detail is easier to read. $125

Johnson: Wisconsin & Michigan
"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

Colton's Michigan." backed with "Colton's Lake Superior and the Northern part of Michigan." New York: G.W. & C.B. Colton, 1866. Lithographs. Each ca. 15 3/4 x 13. Original hand color. Very good condition.

A Colton map from a decade later, this with the upper peninsula backed on the map of the lower peninsula. The continued development of the state is graphically demonstrated by the even more dense detail, with railroads, roads and settlements progressively expanding in the northern parts of the state. $155

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

County maps from the first state atlas of Michigan

Maps from Henry F. Walling's Atlas of the state of Michigan. Detroit: R.M. & S.T. Tachabury, 1873. Ca. 10 1/2 x 15. Lithographs. Original hand color. Occassional light spotting or stains, mostly in margins. A few with manuscript writing in margins. Overall, very good condition.

A series of colorful and informative maps of the counties of Michigan. It was in the 1870s that state atlases, comprised of detailed county maps, first began to appear. These were in response to the economic and social demands for those wanting to enact business dealings or travel in the states. One of the most important atlas producer of this period was H.F. Walling, who issued this, the first atlas of the state of Michigan. The boundaries of each county, and the townships within, are nicely set off with contrasting pastel shades applied with hand watercolor. These maps have excellent detail, precisely and neatly delineated. Topographic information such as towns, rivers, railroads and mountains are all depicted with great care. Aesthetically attractive and historically important, these are fine nineteenth century maps of Michigan.

Note: Each sheet has maps on both sides. Each sheet is listed multiple times so that each county depicted can be listed alphabetically.

"Plan of Detroit." From Mitchell's New General Atlas. Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1880. 10 x 13 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Light waterstain in left margin. Very good condition. Denver.

S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., of Philadelphia, was one of the largest map publishers of the middle of the nineteenth century. The firm was founded by his father, who from around the middle of the nineteenth century issued atlases and maps of all parts of the world in all formats. The Mitchell atlases contained up-to-date maps which were as attractive as they were accurate. In this map, Detroit is detailed with its streets named, wards indicated in contrasting colors, and major buildings identified. With its bold hand-color, decorative borders, and interesting information, this is a fine example of the Mitchell firm's output. $125

"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

"Plan of the City of Detroit." From Wanamaker Family Atlas of the World. Philadelphia: J. Wanamaker, 1894. Cerograph. 11 x 14. Very good condition. Denver.

S. Augustus Mitchell started issuing atlases and maps in Philadelphia about 1831 and his firm became one of the most important in the country for much of the following century. He was followed by his son, S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., who in 1860 began to issue his important New General Atlas, which he published for the next two decades. The atlas was taken over by other publishers in the following years, with regularly updated maps, to as late as 1894. This map came from an atlas published by John Wanamaker using Mitchell's maps. This map of Detroit shows the city with clear detail, showing streets, major buildings and the railroads entering and crossing the city. $150

"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

"Federal Map of Detroit and Environs Showing all New Streets and Changes, New Car Lines, Penn. Detroit Ry. etc." Detroit: Federal Lithograph Company, 1923. 16 5/8 x 24. Chromolithograph. With folds as issued. One small torn area near lower edge, away from image. Else, very good condition. $125


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