Catalog Archive
Auction 189, Lot 742

"The American Gazetteer, Exhibiting, in Alphabetical Order, a Much More Full and Accurate Account ... on the American Continent, Also of the West-India Islands...", Morse, Jedidiah (Rev.)

Subject: Geography Books

Period: 1797 (published)


Color: Black & White

5.5 x 8.8 inches
14 x 22.4 cm
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This is a first edition of this early American geography book that is considered to be the country's first gazetteer. The volume contains five (of seven) folding maps, including the Georgia Western Territory map which is not present in all copies. This interesting and historical map covers the region that would become Mississippi and Alabama. There is good information on watersheds, and some topography is shown. Many rivers are named, but only four towns: New Orleans, Natches, Mobile, and Pensacola. Along the Mississippi River are lands of the Upper Mississippi Company and the Georgia Company, and to the east is the Tennessee Company. These lands were a part of the infamous Yazoo Land Fraud. In 1795 the governor of Georgia, George Mathews, signed a bill that agreed to sell almost 40 million acres to speculators in the Yazoo Land Act. This corrupt land deal led to the downfall of many popular politicians. The populations of the states, cities and towns are reported according to the fledgling nation's first official census in 1790. The two missing maps are the northern part and southern part of the United States. The list of present maps include:

A. A New Map of North America Shewing all the New Discoveries.
B. A Map of South America and the Adjacent Islands.
C. A Correct Map of the Georgia Western Territory.
D. Chart of the New Discoveries East of New Holland and New Guinea.
E. West Indies from the Best Authorities.

Published in Boston by S. Hall and Thomas & Andrew. Hardbound in full original leather with gilt title on spine.

References: Howes #M-839; Wheat & Brun #60, 618, 699, 714, 911.

Condition: B

The maps have toning and offsetting. Text has scattered foxing and the front hinge is starting. Covers are lightly worn with bumped corners.

Estimate: $550 - $700

Sold for: $700

Closed on 9/14/2022