Rare H. F. Walling plan of Concord New Hampshire

Henry F. Walling Civil Engineer [with] John Hanson Assis[tan]t Eng[ineer] / Published by Rusus Merrill, Bookseller, MAP OF the VILLAGE of CONCORD MERRIMACK COUNTY, N.H. From Original Surveys… Opposite American House, Concord, NH, 1851.
Lithograph, 33 ½”h x 28”w at neat line plus margins, original color. Backed with linen and mounted on dowels.
$3,500

A rare, attractive and terrifically informative map of Concord New Hampshire by Henry Walling, arguably the preeminent American mapmaker of the mid-19th century.

This very rare map depicts the center of Concord at a terrific level of detail for the time. The very large scale of 500 feet to the inch permits Walling to show not only the street plan, rail lines, public buildings, businesses, and schools, but also landowners and even individual buildings in plan view. Of particular interest are the several rail lines and related facilities in the east end of town.

This map is just one of several dozen large-scale maps of Massachusetts towns issued by Henry Frances Walling in the first half of the 1850s, including no fewer than 15 in 1851 alone. Walling was perhaps the most accomplished and interesting American mapmaker of the mid-late 19th century, in no small part because of his prolific output: Between 1848 and 1888 he produced perhaps 150 large-scale, separately-issued maps of American towns and counties; several seminal state maps; numerous state and county atlases; and many maps for the U.S. Geological Survey. But arguably his greatest impact was as a serial innovator. He helped pioneer new models of partnership between commercial, local, state and Federal mapping enterprises; demonstrated that commercial mapmakers could produce high-quality, low-cost maps by drawing on the work of government scientific agencies; was a leading advocate of applying geodetic survey methods and tools to local and regional surveys; and catalyzed the first topographical (i.e., three dimensional) survey of an American state.

Rufus Merrill was a Concord New Hampshire book publisher and bookseller. With the exception of this map, his publishing ventures seem to have focused exclusively on children’s books.

References
Cobb, New Hampshire Maps, #200, giving only examples at Dartmouth and New Hampshire Historical Society. As of July 2018, OCLC #22755505 (Dartmouth, Leventhal Map Center) and 57274597 (New Hampshire Historical). Stevens, American Maps in the Library of the British Museum, p.6 adds a fourth institutional holding. Not in Antique Map Price Record; Phillips, A List of Maps of America; RareBookHub; or Rumsey.

Walter Ristow’s, American Maps and Mapmakers dedicates all of chapter 20 to a discussion of Walling’s career. For a discussion of Walling’s urban maps, see Buehler, “Henry F. Walling and the Mapping of New England’s Towns” in The Portolan no. 71 (Spring 2008), pp. 22-33.

Condition

Gently toned; a bit of the usual cracking, scuffing and soiling; long diagonal crease at upper left; selvage fraying. Withal better than very good for a mid 19th-century wall map.