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Antique Maps of North America
from the 19th Century

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[ 18th century maps of North America ]


Barclay North America
Brightly & Kennersley. "North America from the best Authorities." From Barclay's Dictionary of North America. London, 1806. 7 1/4 x 8 1/2. Engraving by Barlow. Hand color. Mat burn in margins. Else, very good condition.

A fine map of North America prior to the discoveries of Lewis & Clark. Quite a bit of information is shown. The Missouri and Mississippi Rivers are nicely rendered. Texas, San Francisco, Monterey, New Mexico are depicted in the West. A large lake is shown in present day Idaho. In the south, East and West Florida is also indicated. $225

Carey: North America
Mathew Carey. "A New and Accurate Map of North America from the best Authorities." Philadelphia: M. Carey, 1814. 13 3/8 x 14 1/2. Engraving. Original outline color. Full margins. Very good condition.

An interesting American map of the North America. Published by Mathew Carey in 1814 during the War of 1812, this map is from Carey's Atlas which represented the best American cartographic work of the period. Carey, an Irish immigrant, established the first American specialized cartographic publishing firm. He set up an elaborate cottage system of craftsmen for engraving, printing, and coloring his maps utilizing the best independent artists directed to a common end. Carey is important, then, not only for the excellent maps he produced, but for his setting the pattern for American map publishing, to be followed by the likes of John Melish and Henry S. Tanner.

The map shows the best understanding of the continent prior to the explorations of Lewis & Clark. The map does show the lands of the Louisiana Purchase as belonging to the United States, with the northwestern most part named as "Quivira." The coastline, though, is quite accurate being based on the recent explorations of Vancouver and La Perouse. The river systems in the west are roughly and incorrectly shown, including the "Columbia or River of the West" extending so that it comes very close to some of the branches of the upper Mississippi. Some of the Indian tribes are noted, including Apacheria, Pimas and Yama. The nature of the Rocky Mountains is clearly not known, with the Canadian chain ending above the "River of the West" and there being only a small compact range near the headwaters of the Rio Grande and Colorado Rivers. An excellent map of the period. $450

John Cary. "North America." From Cary's New Universal Atlas. London: J. Cary, 1816. 9 x 11 1/4. Engraving. Original hand color. Some scattered spots in oceans. Else, very good condition.

A detailed map of North America by John Cary (ca. 1754-1835), the founder of the famous English cartographic firm. From about mid-way through the eighteenth century, British cartographers were the best in the world, and the maps produced by Cary are good examples of the quality they achieved. Cary was very concerned with the changing political situation in the world, so this map shows developments in North America to that date. Rivers, towns, political divisions, and topography are presented with crisp engravings, the hatchuring giving the map a three-dimensional appearance. The subtle hand coloring adds a decorative touch to this fine early nineteenth century historic document. $175

J. Finlayson. "North America." From Carey & Lea's Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1822. Map, 14 x 13 1/8; full sheet with text, 16 1/2 x 20 1/2. Engraving by J. Yeager. Full original color. Slight darkening at centerfold. Else, 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 et al. of the area depicted.

This map of North America is a very fine example from the atlas. It shows the entire continent at an interesting period in its political development, in particular for the United States. The map was issued just after the Missouri Compromise, so that state is indicated, as is the Arkansas Territory just to the south, extending from the Mississippi to the border with Mexico, which follows the line determined by the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819. Of interest is that Finlayson shows the country as including the entire Missouri Territory extending as far north as where the "Russian Possessions" begin. This region was at the time under joint control by the British and Americans, with the final political settlement, with a border at the 49° parallel, not established until 1846. The text around the side of the map is quite interesting. $475

Hilliard Gray North America
"North America." Boston: Hilliard, Gray & Co. ca. 1830. 11 x 8 7/8. Engraving by H. Moss. Original ahnd outline color. Scattered spots and pencil notations. Else, good condition. $55

Freidrich von Stülpnagel. "Nord America." From Stieler's Hand-Atlas. Gotha: Adolf Stieler and Christian Gottlieb Reichard, 1832. Engraving by L. Thiel. Original outline color. Double-folio, 11 1/2 x 14 1/4. Faint waterstain and scattered spotting. Else, fine condition.

Stieler's Hand-Atlas was one of the finest world atlases of the 19th century. Known for its maps with clear and precise topographical detail, this atlas continued to include engraved maps to the end of the century. The maps were regularly updated and this shows the impressive amount of information. All of Stieler's maps show lakes, rivers, mountains, towns and cities of all sizes, and roads all clearly presented. A most impressive map detailing North America on the eve of Texas Independence. $575

Bradford North America 1835
"North America." From A Comprehensive Atlas. Geographical, Historical & Commercial. Thomas G. Bradford. Boston, 1835. 7 3/4 x 10 1/8. Engraving. Original outline color. Very good condition.

A small map published in Boston in 1835 showing North America in the first half of the nineteenth century. Information shown includes rivers, towns, counties and roads, both existing and proposed. Of particular note are the United States' borders with Canada and Mexico. This map shows the US claiming the Oregon Territory well into modern Canada, as well as showing the pre-Mexican-American War border with Mexico. In addition, this map also incorrectly shows two Salt Lakes, the southern of which has a river draining into the Pacific. An attractive map of an interesting period in the history of the United States. $95

Weiland: North America
Carl Ferdinand Weiland. "Nord America entworfen und gezeichnet." Weimar: Geographischen Instituts, 1837. 22 3/4 x 19 3/4. Engraving. Original color. Small smudge in bottom margin. Else, very good condition.

A large, highly detailed German map of North America. Topography is emphasized by the precise and bold engraving, highlighting the complex ridges and valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Rivers are also shown with some detail; capital cities are noted; and towns are marked according to size (as explained in the key). A color key indicates how to interpret the international borders, with green for Russia lands, red for Danish, yellow for British, red for Danish, pink for the United States, orange for Mexican, green for Guatamalan, and blue for French territories. Since Weiland's 1820 map of North America, the Canadian-American border had become slightly more defined along the 49th parallel, though it still lacked the final delineation, which would be determined by Polk's controversial 1846 compromise with the British. In the lower left hand corner, an inset details the Aleutian Islands. An impressive document both cartographically and aesthetically. $700

Carl Flemming. "Nord America." Glogau, Germany: C. Flemming, 1848. 12 1/8 x 16 1/8. Lithograph by C. Flemming. Original outline color. Spot at upper left and at bottom margin edge. Overall, very good condition.

Carl Flemming was the founder of an important German firm located in Berlin and Glogau and this map shows characteristic German detail. The focus of the map is on the topography and political situation in the continent. The Rocky Mountain chain is graphically, and somewhat confusedly, depicted, showing the Great Basin in the American southwest with no interior information. $425

Cowperthwait: North America 1855
"North America." Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1855. 15 1/2 x 12 7/8. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate. Original hand-coloring. Narrow margin at left due to original binding, else very good condition.

A strong and beautifully crafted map from the mid-nineteenth century, published by Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. This firm took over the publication of S. Augustus Mitchell's important Universal Atlas in 1850, and they continued to produce up-dated maps that were amongst the best issued in the period. This map issued early in 1855, for instance, is one of the first to show the Nebraska and Kansas Territories that had been formed from the Missouri Territory and some of the Indian Territory in May, 1854. The map has a striking appearance, with warm hand coloring that well complements the clear presentation. For its fascinating detail and decorative appeal, this is an excellent view of the period. $225

Colton North America 1857
"North America." New York: J.H. Colton, 1857. 15 1/2 x 12 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

An attractive and historically interesting map of the continent by one of the leading American mapmakers of the mid-nineteenth century. The map shows from the British and Russian Possessions in the north (this map was issued about a decade before the purchase of Alaska), to the West Indies and Central America in the south. Of particular interest is the depiction of the United States with an interesting rendering of the western territories. Produced just a year after the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, these two territories are indicated, as are large territories for Washington, Oregon, Utah and New Mexico. $175

W. Williams. "Map of North America. Showing its Political Divisions, and Recent Discoveries in the Polar Regions." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell Jr., 1860. 13 1/2 x 11. Lithograph. Original hand color. Decorative border. Very good condition.

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. With its bold hand-color, decorative borders, and interesting information from this interesting period of American history, this is a fine example of the Mitchell firm's output. Of particular note is the indication of different national control in Alaska, Greenland, and Canada, as well as information on Capt. McClure's explorations in the polar regions. $85

"Johnson's North America." New York: Johnson & Ward, 1863. 22 1/4 x 17 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Wear at center fold, into decorative border at left; scatterd spots and foxing. Else good condition.

A map of North America at an interesting period in its history. In the north, Alaska is still shown as "Russian Possessions" and what would, beginning in 1867, become Canada is still shown as "British America." In the south, Chiriqui and Veragua are shown as independent of Columbia, which at that time had control over Panama. In the United States, this map is interesting in showing the situation in the American West during the middle of the Civil War, including numerous new and proposed territories. The Arizona Territory is shown in its current position, although it includes the southern tip of what is now Nevada. Also of note, the Pony Express Mail Route is indicated crossing the continent. A nice map of the continent in the midst of the American Civil War. $90

W. Williams. "Map of North America. Showing its Political Divisions, and Recent Discoveries in the Polar Regions." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell Jr., 1872. 13 1/2 x 11. Lithograph. Original hand color. Decorative border. Smudge in bottom margin, not affecting image. Very good condition.

A strong, well-crafted map of North America from the latter half of the nineteenth century. Published by one of the leading U.S. cartographic firms of the period, this is an excellent example of American mapping at an important time in the development of the area. The region is divided up politically by country and topographical detail is quite impressive. Besides rivers, lakes, and mountains, political borders are indicated, as are towns and cities and major topographical features. Overall, an attractive and accurate map of the nation at an important time in history. $95

L.E. Desbuissons. "Amérique Septentrionale." From Géographie Universelle. Paris: J. Migeon, 1874. 11 x 14 3/4 (neatlines) plus full margins. With inset "Chute du Niagara." Drawn by Frederic Legrip and engraved by Schoeder. Map engraved by L.A. Sengteller. Original hand color. Very good condition. Ref.: Lane, Impressions of Niagara, 427.

Louis Edouard Desbuissons (b. 1827) was a prolific mapmaker who worked in Paris for many decades in the Ministère des Affaires Etrangères. This map, emphasizing the railroads of North and Central America, was published by Migeon in his Géographie Universelle. The inset view of Niagara Falls is interesting for its depiction of palm trees in upstate New York as Europeans had inaccurately shown it a hundred years previously. Niagara was a popular tourist site, accessible by railroad from British America as well as the United States, thus the connection of this map and its lovely view. $150

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