Catalog Archive
Auction 187, Lot 160

Large Format Map Used by Lewis & Clark

"[On 4 Sheets] A Map of the United States of North America Drawn from a Number of Critical Researches", Arrowsmith, Aaron, Sr.

Subject: Eastern United States

Period: 1815 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

27.8 x 24.3 inches
70.6 x 61.7 cm
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This influential map of the United States was issued on four sheets and published in Atlas to Thompson's Alcedo; or Dictionary of America & West Indies. The map has a long history due to its popularity - it was first published in 1796 and went through at least eight other editions through 1819. The 1802 version is notable for being used by Lewis and Clark to plan their famous expedition. Stevens & Tree note that beginning with the 1808 edition many new place names and rivers were added to the plates. This is the fifth revised edition with "additions to 1802-1815". Cartographically, the interior detail of the trans-Mississippi west was compiled largely from accounts supplied by Native Americans to Arrowsmith by the Hudson's Bay Company. The course of the Missouri River delineated on the map prompted Lewis and Clark to plot their course along the Missouri River, as it appeared to be the most direct route to the Pacific. In the south, Florida is divided between East and West, and Georgia's western border is on the Mississippi River. The map is filled with numerous notations describing the land and rivers, the location of Indian tribes, paths, rivers, and more. Decorated by a large engraved view of Niagara Falls inset with the title, along with a fascinating description of the Falls. If joined, the map would measure approximately 56 x 48". Published by Aaron Arrowsmith at No. 10 Soho Square in London.

References: Stevens & Tree #79(f).

Condition: B+

A strong impression on "J Whatman 1811" watermarked paper. There is faint offsetting, a few spots of foxing, and a small, 1" tear in a blank area just above the title cartouche that has been partially closed on verso with archival materials. There are remnants of a library stamp on the verso of each sheet which only partially shows through on the northeast sheet. Please note that the first image is a composite image - the map is on four separate sheets.

Estimate: $7,500 - $9,000


Closed on 4/27/2022