Maryann E. Martin (1813-1857) “The United States drawn by Maryann E. Martin, Williamstown.” [Vermont].
Drawn ca. 1830. Ink on wove paper. Original outline watercolor. 16 ¼ x 20 ¼. Map originally mounted to canvas backing and varnished. Browning in map due to varnish. Minor water stains along right hand side and into title at bottom, not affecting map. With original ribbon edging, hanging loop at top and rollers. Overall, good condition. A/A
As an outgrowth of the same educational thrust that drove the production of embroidery samplers, schoolgirl maps represent a progression in attitudes toward girlhood education and female intellect. Where embroidery showed off a young lady’s refinement and artistic skill, a hand-drawn map indicated those refinements as well as lessons on more worldly topics. Though such a map would hardly see use outside the domestic setting, the instruction of map-drawing for young girls indicates a desire for females to have greater knowledge of the shape of the world.
We attribute this map to Maryann E. Martin (1813-1857) of Williamstown, VT. Even a cursory glance at this schoolgirl’s map of the United States reveals that lessons in geography and history must have been extensive indeed. Maryann Martin’s meticulous map includes detailed topographic information. Her rendering of coastal inlets, bays, and islands is remarkable. Throughout the unsettled portions of the south and west, Native American tribes are noted. A decorative arch of beautifully, but not fully, drawn roses are part of the title.
We can determine this manuscript map to have been drawn about 1830 based on the age of Maryann at this time. She was most likely copying a map that was approximately published in 1820. The capital of Illinois at this time is Kaskaskia which is indicated on the map but not Vandalla which in 1819 became the capital. The town of “Croidon”, in bold letters, was the capitol of Indiana before being moved to Indianapolis in 1825. Murfreesboro, in large type, is indicated as capital of Tennessee until the year 1826. All in all, a quintessential example of the schoolgirl map.