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Rare Chesapeake & Ohio Canal map with interesting provenance

Separately issued presentaion copy of a map showing the route of the proposed Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, presented by General Simon Bernard to Mrs. Eliza Custis. After the Revolutionary, George Washington was the chief advocate of using waterways to connect the Eastern Seaboard to the Great Lakes and Ohio River. He founded the Potowmack Company in […]

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Drawn and compiled by W[illiam] H[enry] Swift Lt. Artillery, MAP of the TERRITORY of FLORIDA. From its Northern boundary to Lat. 27,° 30’N, Connected with the Delta of the Mississippi. Annexed to the report of the Board of Internal Improvement dated Febr. 19th, 1829, relating to the Canal contemplated to connect the Atlantic with the Gulf of Mexico and describing the Inland Navigation parallel to the Coast from the Mississippi to the Bay of Espiritu Santo; and from St.Mary’s Harbour to St.Augustine. Washington, D.C.: Board of Internal Improvement, 1829.

An essential Territory of Florida map

A scarce and imposing map of the Territory of Florida north of 28° latitude, depicting potential routes for a canal linking the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico. For its time the finest map of northern Florida and the Panhandle. From the earliest European settlement at St. Augustine, Floridians had dreamed of a navigable ship […]

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The Panama Canal, as seen from an airplane in 1925

A spectacular pictorial map of the recently-completed Panama Canal, based on sketches made by an airborne journalist. The map depicts the Panama Canal Zone and adjacent regions of Panama from an oblique bird’s-eye angle, purportedly as viewed by a journalist from an airplane high above the Pacific coast. The Canal and its facilities are shown in some […]

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1871 A Statement of the Rights, Franchises And Advantages of the Louisiana and Texas Canal Company

A massive land grab by the Louisiana and Texas Canal Company?

A rare pamphlet relating to the prospective construction of the so-called Louisiana and Texas Steamboat Canal, issued to publicize the promoter’s legal right to the millions of acres of land involved. Including a fine map of the area. On April 4th, 1865 the Louisiana legislature passed Act 52, to enable the principals of the subsequently […]

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Map advocating the Hennepin Canal

A very rare and interesting map promoting construction of the Hennepin Canal linking the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Construction actually began in 1892 and the first boat passed through in 1907, reducing the water route between Chicago and Rock Island by more than 400 miles. The Hennepin Canal remained open to commercial traffic until 1951 […]

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I. Palmer, engraver, A MAP of the STATE of VERMONT Drawn under the Direction of Ira Allen Esqr. late Surveyor Genl. of the said STATE for his HISTORY thereof. London: March 28th, 1798.

Ira Allen tries to write (and map) his way out of a corner

A rare and significant map of Vermont, compiled by Ira Allen for his Natural and Political History of the State of Vermont (1798). As a map of Vermont, Allen’s has at least two curious features, one glaring, the other subtle. The first is the coverage, exceedingly broad for a “state” map: Allen’s map takes in […]

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Early map of Reading, Pennsylvania, with wonderful folk-art additions

An all-but unrecorded map of Reading and Berks County, by an important Pennsylvania surveyor and with wonderful decorative elements. Reading was laid out along the Schuylkill River in 1748 and became the seat of Berks County in 1752. In the early 19th century it benefited mightily from the boom in canal and turnpike construction, followed […]

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1826 Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

A scarce Chesapeake and Ohio Canal map

A scarce, separately issued map showing the route of the proposed Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. After the Revolutionary War, George Washington was the chief advocate of using waterways to connect the Eastern Seaboard to the Great Lakes and Ohio River. To this end he founded the Potowmack Company in 1785, in order to improve the […]

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[Directors of the Middlesex Canal], Directions for the Superintendent & Agents of the Middlesex Canal. [Probably Boston or Medford, Mass., Oct. 1794].

1794 document laying out the structure of the Middlesex Canal Corporation

This three-page manuscript lays out in detail the management structure and policies of the Middlesex Canal Corporation, the greatest public works project attempted in the 18th-century United States. It is a seminal document in the history of American corporate management and governance. Background Running from Medford to the Merrimack River in Chelmsford, Mass., the Middlesex Canal […]

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Victor Gillam / Sackett & Wilhelm Litho. & Pr’g Co., A THING WELL BEGUN IS HALF DONE. UNCLE SAM—“Finish the canal, McKinley, and make our national expansion complete in your first administration.” New York: Judge Company, 1899.

William McKinley, Uncle Sam and the Nicaragua Canal

A wonderful 1899 persuasive map drawn by cartoonist Victor Gillam for Judge magazine, advocating for the construction of the Nicaragua Canal. More than any other historical moment, 1898 marked the emergence of the United States as a global power. In that one year it annexed the Republic of Hawaii and steamrolled Spain in the Spanish-American […]

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