Auction 129, Lot 211

"Map of the State of Kentucky; with the Adjoining Territories", Reid, John

Subject: Southern United States - Kentucky and Tennessee

Period: 1795 (dated)

Publication: American Atlas

Color: Hand Color

17.5 x 14.5 inches
44.5 x 36.8 cm

By the time of the Revolutionary War, the practice of awarding bounty land as an inducement for enlisting in the military had been a long-standing practice in colonial North America. Besides imperial bounty land grants, both colonial and municipal governments routinely compensated participants in and victims of military conflicts with land. Land was a commodity in generous supply, and governments seized upon its availability for accomplishing their goals.

Following this tradition, the Revolutionary governments used bounty land grants in their struggle for independence from Great Britain. They generally offered free lands in exchange for military service, provided they were victorious in their struggle. Thus, bounty lands were an effective technique for enrolling support for the war and encouraging re-enlistments. Generally the bounty lands were located on the western frontier, which provided another benefit to the government. Populating the frontier with citizens skilled in defense offered the best prospect in enticing other settlers to join them, thus eventually increasing the tax rolls.

This is a scarce and significant map depicting the entire state of Kentucky, most of Tennessee (labeled as South Western Territory), and the northern part of Georgia. The map was issued only three years after statehood for Kentucky and just before Tennessee became a state. The map was copied from John Russell's map of the previous year and provided the best information available at the time for the trans-Appalachian frontier. Seven subdivisions of the original three counties are shown and pioneer roads (called traces) are shown throughout both Kentucky and Tennessee. Towns such as Lexington, Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Boonsborough, and even mills and orchards are denoted. Of particular interest are the depictions of the planned, but never built, utopian settlements of Somerset and Franklinville. Several Bounty Land Grants are shown. Second state, published in 1796.

References: Wheat & Brun #647.

Condition: A

Nice impression printed on sturdy paper with some light surface soil in the map, else fine.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,300

Sold for: $750

Closed on 9/23/2009