Map of the Southern States of America


A detailed post-colonial look at America’s southern and western frontiers.

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This map, drawn by John Russell and published by H.D. Symonds in London, shows a portion of the United States south of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi, extending to Mobile Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Unsurprisingly, the limited settlement in the area is confined largely to towns and cities on the coast and along rivers. Scattered forts compete with Native American villages for room in the interior, and a formidable mountain range, the Appalachians, bisects the territory.

However, it is possible that the level of development was intentionally downplayed by the author. Although the Jay Treaty had been signed the year prior to publication, American and English relations were still frosty in 1795, thus providing an incentive to minimize the image of U.S. presence.

Another interesting feature of the map reflects the haphazard system of early land claims, grants and surveying. Some organizations, such as the Ohio Company, had legitimate rights to land issued by either the federal or state governments. Other claims, like those of the Wabash and Illinois Companies, were eventually ruled illegal because they were made directly with Native American tribes. Several tracts, such as the Donation Land from the Commonwealth of Virginia and Army Lands, were granted to veterans of the Revolutionary War. The system that would eventually organize and settle these competing claims would be known as the Public Land Survey. The Seven Ranges, at the top of the map, was the first area surveyed using this new method.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1795

Author: J. Russell

Sheet Width (in): 20.2

Sheet Height (in): 14.6

Condition: B

Condition Description: Creasing along originally issued fold lines. Numerous separations and several edge tears repaired on verso. Uneven bottom margin, but overall a very good example - bold imprint on bright paper.


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