Catalog Archive
Auction 184, Lot 227

"The Upper Territories of the United States", Carey, Mathew

Subject: Upper Midwestern United States

Period: 1814 (circa)

Publication: Carey's General Atlas

Color: Hand Color

12.6 x 17 inches
32 x 43.2 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

Mathew Carey was a seminal figure in early American publishing; establishing the first publishing firm to specialize in cartography and issuing the first atlas devoted exclusively to American maps. He set up an elaborate cottage system of craftsmen for compiling, engraving, printing, and coloring maps. This practice was emulated by later American cartographic publishers such as John Melish and Henry S. Tanner. The American Atlas concept was also adopted by other publishers in both the United States and Europe.

This early American map focuses on what was then the western frontier. It shows the new territories that had been created from the original Northwestern Territory of the River Ohio - Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and the remainder of Northwest Territory (Wisconsin and Minnesota). It shows Chicago in the Northwestern Territory, as the northern Illinois border is shown south of the present-day boundary without touching Lake Michigan. The spurious Phillipeaux Island still persists in Lake Superior. There is excellent detail of the Mississippi River and above to the Lake of the Woods. Detroit is shown with its Canadian neighbor, Windsor, named Sandwich. Numerous frontier forts and Indian villages are located, but much of the territory still appears unsettled. The apocryphal mountain ridges are the most prominent feature on the map. Engraved by Kneass & Delleker.

References: Karpinski (MI) p. 215; Phillips (Atlases) #1372-25.

Condition: B

Contemporary outline color that is a bit faded on a lightly toned sheet with some foxing, offsetting, and soiling. Centerfold separations at right and left and a few short edge tears have all been closed on verso with archival tape.

Estimate: $400 - $475

Sold for: $800

Closed on 9/15/2021