Pocket Maps from Donald Heald Rare Books
Pocket maps from Donald Heald.
Donald Heald Rare Books has issued a catalogue of Pocket Maps. These are 19th century American maps, generally used by travelers, shippers, and settlers as they made their way around the country in times when travel was slower and more complicated. Many show the routes of their day, generally rivers and canals in the early part of the 19th century, railroads and stage lines a few decades later. These maps usually folded out from hard covers that protected them. Today's automobile road maps are essentially disposable, readily available, inexpensively replaced. These were meant to last through long journeys and needed protection. While meant to show people the way at the time, today these maps provide a graphic history of the expansion and development of America. Now, geographical boundaries are mostly constant. In the 19th century, they were constantly changing. These are a few of Heald's old pocket maps.
Item 3 is the 1833 (second edition) of Mitchell's Travellers Guide Through the United States. A Map of the Roads, Distances, Steam Boat & Canal Routes. Of course, the United States was not so large then, but it covers everything from the east coast to the Missouri Territory, and shows the edge of Texas (then part of Mexico). Otherwise, except for the northern part of Maine and the southern tip of Florida, it is all there. The index includes information about steamboat and canal routes along with various statistics. Priced at $1,000.
By 1849, the means of transportation was rapidly changing. That is when this 70-page guide with a large fold out map of the United States was published: Phelps's Travelers' Guide through the United States; Containing Upward of Seven Hundred and Fifty Railroad, Canal, Stage and Steam Boat Routes. The map covers the same states, with northern Maine and southern Florida clipped off (they are shown on insets), but another inset now shows the states and territories to the west, all the way to the Pacific. This came just after the conclusion of the Mexican War, so California and a Texas much larger than today are included (Texas borders on California), though the Mexican border was farther north than it is today (this is pre-Gadsden Purchase). The map is bordered by images of American presidents and other important figures. As the title indicates, the transportation routes now include railroads, rapidly expanding at this time. Item 4. $1,250.
Item 21 is Anthony Findley's pocket map of Tennessee. It dates to around 1830. It shows towns, roads and rivers, with counties identified, except for the southeast corner, which is labeled “Cherokee Indians.” Those who grew up as fans of Davy Crockett will appreciate this map, as this is the Tennessee he represented in Congress, shortly before moving on to Texas. $750.
Item 24 is J.M. Atwood's Map of the Western States. The western states were not what they are today in 1853. They range from Ohio to Iowa, what we would consider the midwest now. The map provides detailed county breakdowns, and is preceded by a guide which includes railroad, canal, state and steamboat routes. $800.
Pocket Maps from Donald Heald Rare Books
Oregon and Washington were settled only near the coast in 1854.
Item 70 is the Whitman and Searl Map of Eastern Kansas, and though unstated, it represents a contentious moment in American history. It was published in 1856, when Kansas was commonly known as “Bleeding Kansas.” The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 had opened the territory to popular sovereignty on the issue of slavery, the result being that both abolitionists and slaveholders were settling the land in an attempt to create a majority. The publishers of this map were abolitionists, and its purpose was to assist fellow antislavery easterners settle the land. Though this is not mentioned, the map does show the free soil stronghold of Topeka as the “temporary state capital,” and another free soil center, Lawrence, is shown with a red dot and an American flag. $3,250.
Item 64 is an interesting map from 1877, one which would not stay this way too much longer: Rand, McNally & Co.'s Indexed Maps of Texas and Indian Territory... Texas is still Texas, but Indian Territory is now Oklahoma. Texas is broken down by county, but Indian Territory is divided by tribe. The map shows the various railroads, along with rivers, towns, and post offices. $1,200.
Item 51 is an early map of The Territories of Washington and Oregon. It was published in 1854 by J.H. Cotton. What is most noticeable is that while the map shows counties, there are very few of them. Oregon has ten counties, Washington but three, and all are located along the western edge of the territories. $3,500.
Donald Heald Rare Books may be reached at 212-744-3505 or email@example.com. Their website is found at www.donaldheald.com.