Catalog Archive
Auction 147, Lot 181

Very Early and Scarce Map of Wisconsin Territory

"Map of the Settled Part of Wisconsin Territory Compiled from the Latest Authorities", Mitchell/Young

Subject: North Central United States

Period: 1838 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

17.6 x 21.8 inches
44.7 x 55.4 cm
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This very early folding map of Wisconsin Territory was published only 2 years after its formation, and was one of the earliest works to contain reliable information on the old Northwest Territory. It was compiled and engraved by J.H. Young and updated by Henry Abel.

The main map shows the settled areas of the territory bordering Lake Michigan, the Wisconsin River and the Mississippi River. A large area of northern Iowa bordering settlements is named "Neutral Ground," which was a stretch of land intended to keep the Sauk and Fox tribes from warring with the Sioux and Dakota tribes. An inset at top shows the vastness of the Territory covering today’s eastern Dakotas, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. This example is an earlier version of a map from David Rumsey’s collection with the same title and date, where Iowa Territory is separately named and 17 counties are shown versus only 8 with the present example. This underscores how quickly the area was developing in a span of less than a year.

Included on a separate sheet is the "Geographical, Geological and Statistical Chart of Wisconsin & Iowa" full of useful information to the emigrant including rivers, lakes, timber, government and "morals and education." There have been only two known appearances of this map in the last 30 years. Backed in linen and folds into original brown cloth boards.

References: Rumsey #4046.001; Streeter #1928.

Condition: B

Map has original color with light toning, scattered foxing, and a few small damp stains at bottom around the title cartouche. There are a few fold separations and very small areas of loss at fold intersections. The statistical chart has scattered foxing, light toning, and a few tiny separations at fold intersections. Covers are moderately worn and present but separated into two with one sheet affixed to each board.

Estimate: $4,000 - $5,000


Closed on 11/20/2013