1856 North America

1856 North America

The Vintage Map Shop

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By: Joseph H. Colton

Date of Original: 1856 (published) New York 

Original Size: 16 x 13 inches (40.5 x 33 cm)

This is a fine print reproduction of a map of North America by Joseph H. Colton, published out of New York in 1856 when the United States was in its pre-civil war era of westward expansion driven by the idea of Manifest Destiny.

The map shows the geo-political makeup of the North American continent during the mid-19th century. The western United States is comprised of several large territories that were still largely unsettled by Anglo-European Americans. Some of the largest territories include New Mexico, Nebraska, Kanzas, Utah, and Oregon. Curiously, the locations of Native American tribes are entirely omitted from this map, as are railroads in the east. These omission are likely due to the size constraint of the single page used for this map.

The northern portion of the map shows Alaska as Russian Possessions and a rather obvious Northwest Passage which was fair easier to navigate in this map than in real life as the labyrinth of arctic sea ice was ever changing. 

Inventory #NA100 

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What can be referred to as modern cartography has been around for over 550 years. Throughout that time an enormous amount of new land was discovered, cities were founded while others perished. International trade and travel became the norm, political borders were ever-changing, and numerous wars were waged. With all that being said, hundreds of thousands of maps were created that show such events and episodes in time. 
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