Desirable political map of the Western Hemisphere, including the Pacific and Eastern Europe.

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This map, published originally in 1813 by John Thomson of Edinburgh, shows the area from the Hawaiian Islands (seen here as the Sandwich Isles) and South Pacific (dangerous archipelago) to western Europe and Africa to the Ivory Coast. Its early publication date lends to a fascinating juxtaposition of cartographic accuracy, such as that seen along the coast of Alaska, and well known map myths. Greenland is shown connected to the upper Arctic, mythical islands appear in the Pacific and the legendary River of the West persists in a theoretical connection with the Columbia River. Regional names like New Spain, New Albion and Terra Firma allude to the previous century of exploration and discovery. The interior of America is left largely blank east and west of the Stony (Rocky) Mountains, especially when compared to the detailed information available in South America. Political borders are noted by various color outlines, but the mapmaker apparently was unable to keep up with the constant border changes that took place throughout the early 19th century.

John Thomson was a Scottish mapmaker and publisher active through the 1830’s who helped usher in a new era of cartography, along with his fellow Johns, Cary and Pinkerton, that focused on detail and accuracy, rather than decorative elements.

Map Details

Publication Date: c. 1817

Author: John Thomson

Sheet Width (in): 25

Sheet Height (in): 21.5

Condition: B+

Condition Description: The map is in very good condition, with original outline coloring and strong paper. Some discoloration and fading present along the engraved coastlines. Generous margins.