Auction 135, Lot 329

"Sectional Map of Wisconsin, with the Most Recent Surveys", Chapman, Silas

Subject: Wisconsin

Period: 1855 (dated)


Color: Black & White

32 x 22.5 inches
81.3 x 57.2 cm

This is the first edition of Chapman's map of the state of Wisconsin. It covers the regions that have been surveyed; thus it does not extend to include the northern part of the state. Towns and settlements are concentrated in the southern part of the state, where the mapping of river systems is highly detailed and the divisions of townships and sections are complete. The counties north and east of the Wisconsin River are still largely unsettled. There are a few railroads and projected railroads serving Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha. Reservations are marked for the Menomonee and Oneida Indians. The locations of many native burial mounds are also shown. Printed on fine banknote paper and enclosed in a beautiful scroll border. While Chapman's maps of Wisconsin are among the earliest and most desirable maps of Wisconsin, we can find no sales records for this first edition. Further, there are publisher's notations on the verso that indicate this example to be a proof copy. The folds also do not correspond to pocket case map size.

Silas Chapman was an important Midwestern map publisher during the period of rapid expansion in the region (1850-1875). When he first arrived in Wisconsin he was an educator, co-editor of the Milwaukee Sentinel, and publisher of the Milwaukee Herald. He then turned his interests to book-selling, stationery, bookbinding and printing, at first in partnership with Philetus C. Hale and after 1850 alone. He was best known as a publisher of county, city, railroad, and geological maps focusing specifically on the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. Upon his retirement the Chapman firm was acquired by Dyer and Pasmore, who continued to update and republish his maps into the 1880s.


Condition: A

Issued folded, now flattened with minor, professional repairs on a few fold intersections. Manuscript notations on verso with minor show through at lower right.

Estimate: $500 - $700

Sold for: $375

Closed on 2/16/2011