A New Map of Part of the United States of North America, Exhibiting the Western Territory, Kentucky, Penssylvania, Mayland, Virginia &c. also the Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Ontario & Erie.
By: John Cary
Date: 1805 (dated) London
Dimensions: 18.25 x 20.25 inches (46.4 x 51.5 cm)
A superb example of one of the last maps to feature the Northwest Territory in its entirety, before being divided into states and smaller territories. While Ohio was admitted to the Union as an official state in 1803, the map reflects a time delay still common in early 19th century map publishing, making this map one of the last of its kind.
The Northwest Territory was originally formed in 1787 and encompassed all land and waterways northwest of the Ohio River to the furthers point of lake superior and as far west as the Mississippi River. Over the next four decades the region would be divided into the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. It is often regarded as the first major group of settlements on the Western Frontier, post-Revolutionary War. The so-called "Western Frontier," would continue to move west throughout much of the 19th century until the entire country was interlinked from coast to coast by telegraph and railroad lines.
Cartographic details presented in this map are excellent, with depictions and notes on Native American villages, boundary lines, and treaties, forts, early territorial settlements, outposts of fur trading companies, forests, rivers and road systems, as well as areas for portages and fording. One example of useful detail for would-be settlers is a portage area of 9 miles between the Wabash and Miami river where both a Miami village and Fort Wayne preside. This location operated as a trading post at an important link between Lake Erie and the Ohio River not too far from its confluence with the Mississippi.
Early Land companies such as the Illinois, Jersey and Wabash Companies can be found within the map. The state of Kentucky is shown one decade after statehood with great detail and a historic note about the early settlement of Daniel Boone and others. The Appalachians are rendered beautifully with vivid hachures and in this map, named the Cumberland or Great Laurel Mountains. In present-day West Virginia, (shown in this map as Virginia) one can find the early depiction of Indiana. This dates back to an 18th century trade dispute between the English Colonies and the Iroquois Nation where the tract of land was ceded by the Iroquois to settle the disagreement and keep the peace. For a time, Benjamin Franklin would try to form a state called Vandalia in this region, but it would never come to be.
While slightly anachronistic, a superb map of one of the most important and interesting periods in the history of the Midwest and the United States as a geographically growing nation. All things considered, this map offers one of the most accurate and graphic depiction ever issued of the old Northwest Territory.
Condition: This map is in A+ condition with original color, no tears, holes, or staining, and full margins on all sides. A wonderfully preserved piece of American cartographic history.
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