A New Map of the State of Illinois


Lovely antique map of Illinois with original hand color.

1 in stock

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American surveyors and cartographers were still in the process of refining their craft in the middle of the 1850’s, which may explain the two meridians (Greenwich & Washington) on this map of Illinois. Originally engraved and issued by Samuel Augustus Mitchell, this particular example is from the 1855 atlas published by Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. (using the same plates).

The image shows the Land of Lincoln while Honest Abe was still practicing law in Springfield and at a time when the transportation system was undergoing tremendous change. Railroads, roads, and canals were spreading across the western United States like wild fire, leading to increasing settlement and a wave of states newly admitted to the Union in the first half of the century.

Colored rail lines snake across the map and converge primarily in Chicago and St. Louis, two major depots for people and freight heading west. The Illinois and Michigan Canal, completed in 1848 connecting Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River, propelled Chicago forward as a city of industry and transport (shown on the map in blue).

Map Details

Publication Date: 1855

Author: Thomas, Cowperthwaite & Co.

Sheet Width (in): 13.70

Sheet Height (in): 17.00

Condition: A-

Condition Description: Faint offsetting visible in the upper and lower edges of the sheet. Narrow left margin and archival tape remnants on the verso from where the map was previously attached to a matte. A dark impression and lovely original oxidized color makes for a very appealing image.


1 in stock