Auction 136, Lot 169

"The United States of America, according to the Treaty of Peace of 1784", Russell, John C.

Subject: Eastern United States

Period: 1795 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

8 x 7.3 inches
20.3 x 18.5 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.

A very early map that details the fledgling states and the Indian lands east of the Mississippi River. The map is particularly interesting for the depiction of the Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants. Ohio is a small area labeled Ohio Company and Donation Lands with no sign of the other bounty grants named on Russell's larger, derivative map. Other interesting designations west of Ohio bear the labels Illinois Company, Wabash Company, Army Lands, and New Jersey Company. The area northeast of the upper Mississippi River is largely unorganized with a few rivers, forts and settlements. Locates Detroit, the Lake of the Woods, and Upper and Lower Iowa in this region. Army Lands are located in both Kentucky (unnamed) and in the Tennessee Government. Tennessee had recently split from western North Carolina and would soon gain statehood. Georgia is listed at the fifteenth state and appears to extend to the Mississippi River. Florida is divided into east and west regions. Under the control of Spain, Florida had been ceded by England to the Spanish in gratitude for their neutrality during the American Revolutionary War. Various Indian tribes, forts, and villages are indicated throughout. The Twenty Leagues Line is drawn in the Atlantic. Near the left margin is the "References to the States," listing only fifteen. The title misdates the Treaty of Paris to 1784, instead of 1783.

References: McCorkle #795-11.

Condition: B+

Repaired tear in upper right margin that extends to the neatline.

Estimate: $150 - $180

Sold for: $110

Closed on 6/1/2011