LANDMARK ARROWSMITH MAP OF THE UNITED STATES

 

$18,000

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AUTHOR:

ARROWSMITH, A.

TITLE:

A Map of United States of North America Drawn from a number of Critical Researches By A Arrowsmith, Hydrographer to his Majesty. No. 10 Soho Square

CONDITION:

Original outline color. Four large folio sheets, each dissected and backed with linen, and forming a 48” x 55” wall map when assembled. Minor signs of ageing, but overall a very good example. Each of the four sections has the sales label of William Faden.

DATE:

1796/1802-[1808]

DESCRIPTION:

Aaron Arrowsmith was the “leading British map publisher in the late 18th and early 19th centuries... All his working life [Arrowsmith] concentrated his energies on the production of large scale general maps and the recording of the latest geographical discoveries. Hard working and conscientious, he constantly revised his sheets with the result that his maps more than any others provided the most reliable and valuable cartographic records of his own time... [his maps] became foundation or prototype maps of the area and were extensively copied by other publishers” -- Tooley.

Arrowsmith’s map of the United States was the most detailed and accurate for the new nation published between the Treaty of Paris in 1783 and the appearance of John Melish’s map in 1816. Originally published in 1796, the map was revised eight times by 1819. This is Stevens & Tree’s fourth state, with “Additions to 1802”, but with the paper watermarked 1804. The 1796 edition (of which there were three issues) was the only edition published in the eighteenth century.

The map is a masterful composite of the nation’s geography on the eve of the Louisiana Purchase (1803). Large portions of the Midwest and Mid South are still blank, indicating the rudimentary state of knowledge for these areas. Kentucky and Tennessee are the only states shown west of the Appalachians. Numerous settlements are shown throughout Kentucky, but settlement in Tennessee is limited to the bank of the Cumberland and the eastern watershed of the Tennessee River. The entire Midwest is one [unnamed] Northwest Territory, and an oversized Georgia extends to the Mississippi River. There is excellent detail for Indian tribes and villages throughout.

REFERENCES:

see Stevens & Tree, Comparative Cartography, 79e.

Inventory No. 7791

Cohen & Taliaferro

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