Map of Cuba, Porto Rico, and Jamaica with Map of the Plant System [Title on Cover]

Rare map of the Plant System shortly after the outbreak of the Spanish-American War.

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Description

This incredible lithographed composition was published in Buffalo by the Matthews-Northrup Works in 1898 on behalf of The Plant System. The brainchild of its owner and organizer, Henry B. Plant, the Plant System was a connected network of railroads and steamship lines in operation throughout the American South between 1882 and 1902 (when it was acquired by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad). It included connections to Cuba and other destinations across the Caribbean, and these would play a particularly important role in the ongoing Spanish-American War. According to the Plant Museum;

“In the months preceding the invasion of Cuba, Henry Plant exchanged letters with Secretary of War Russell Alger requesting the defense of Tampa in the event of war. Plant also sent his lieutenant Franklin Q. Brown to Washington to speak on behalf of the city to be selected as the official port of embarkation for the war.  The Plant System of railways transported troops to Florida and Plant Line steamships carried troops and supplies to Cuba. The Tampa Bay Hotel became the headquarters for the U.S. Army officers awaiting the order to embark.”

The map reflects such preparedness on the part of Plant and the United States Army. The center image shows the primary network of railroads and steamship lines in operation (over 5,000 miles in total) across the southeastern United States, described in further detail with text in the lower right. The upper right presents a bird’s eye view of Tampa, Florida that shows the location of Army camps and their lines of departure from the port. A map of southeast Asia and the Philippine Islands, another target for the U.S. Navy, can be seen on the left side of the sheet. The verso presents a detailed overview of the theater of war across the West Indies; with insets of Havana, Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, and Matanzas and a large map of the island of Cuba.

Source: Plant Museum

Map Details

Publication Date: 1898

Author: Matthews-Northrup Works

Sheet Width (in): 19.9

Sheet Height (in): 15.7

Condition: A

Condition Description: Pocket map folded into 24 segments and affixed to original stiff orange paper wraps. Creasing along fold lines and the covers show moderate wear, consistent with age. Near fine overall.

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