By: John Thomson
Date: 1817 (published) Edinburgh
Dimensions: 19.4 x 23.25 inches (49.3 cm x 59 cm)
This impressive, double page, map is a beautiful example of John Thomson’s 1817 first edition, and concentrates primarily on the southeastern part of the United States. Here a huge Georgia occupies the areas which are now the states of not only Georgia, but Alabama and Mississippi as well. The map covers territory starting from the entire eastern seaboard and extending well past Mississippi to the west, to just above the 42nd parallel in the north, including part of Lake Erie and as far south as northern Florida, though Florida was not yet part of the United States, and the Mississippi River Delta.
This map was prepared during the transitional period of expansion which followed the American Revolutionary War. Thomson took great pains to depict the American Indian territories and tribes of the day between the Mississippi and the Appalachians. A few of the tribes denoted include the Pootewamis, Meames, Mascotens, Chicasaw and Moscogees. Their hunting grounds, villages and fortifications are also noted. Much of the territory included was under the control of indigenous peoples. Thomson also depicts joint stock ventures such as the Wabash, Illinois and Jersey companies, which had formed during the colonial period with the purpose of acquiring, selling and colonizing American Indian lands. In this vein, Thomson includes coal mines along the Illinois River. The area north of the Ohio River is quite bare, with the exception of a few forts and other small settlements.
This finely engraved, elegant map, which shows the boundary line resulting from the Treaty of 1795, is among the most thorough treatments of this region prior to the U.S. Government Surveys, and includes a scenic vignette of the Hudson River in the upper left quadrant labeled ‘Characteristic Scenery of the Hudson River’ and which resembles the Palisades of the Hudson.
Condition: This masterful map is in A condition, printed on heavy paper. Published colored.
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