Auction 134, Lot 154

"States of America, Drawn from the Best Authorities", Russell, John C.

Subject: Eastern United States

Period: 1801 (dated)

Publication: Guthries New System of Geography

Color: Hand Color

17.7 x 15.6 inches
45 x 39.6 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.

Guthrie first published this map circa 1785 as "A Map of the United States of America Agreeable to the Peace of 1783," with continuing updated editions. This 1801 issue shows five divisions of land in southern Ohio named "Seven Ranges, Army Lands, Ohio Company, Donation Lands from the Commonwealth of Virginia and Col. Simmes". At the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers can be found "Illinois Company, Wabash Company, New Jersey Company and Army Lands. South of the Ohio River, in present-day northern West Virginia, is a chunk of land named "Indiana" which rests just below the Seven Ranges. The Twenty Leagues Line is drawn in the coastal Atlantic. Kentucky and the Tennessee Government appear and Georgia's boundary extends to the Mississippi River with numerous Indian tribes noted, primarily in the western portion. Maine has lost it's northern tip. Lake Superior has lost it's imaginary islands, Michigan is nearly blank with the name Utawas at its center, and several Indian tribes are located in the Wisconsin/Minnesota area, but little else is shown.


Condition: B+

A hint of occasional toning or soiling. Full margins and crisp impression with original hand coloring. The centerfold has been professionally reinforced on verso.

Estimate: $450 - $550

Sold for: $475

Closed on 12/1/2010