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John Bachmann, THE SEAT OF WAR AT THE WEST. BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF JUNCTION OF THE OHIO & MISSISSIPPI RIVERS, SHOWING CAIRO AND PART OF THE SOUTHERN STATES. New York: A. Rumpf, 1861.

Prescient 1861 bird’s-eye view Mississippi Valley by John Bachmann

A scarce, striking and prescient bird’s-eye view of the Mississippi Valley, issued in 1861 before the region became a critical theatre of the Civil War. After the capture of Fort Sumter on April 14, 1861, President Lincoln declared the South in a state of insurrection and called for 75,000 volunteers to augment the tiny U.S. […]

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A highly important Illinois Country manuscript

A fascinating early 19th century manuscript map and merchant’s inventory from the Illinois Country. The map shows the area between the Mississippi and Kaskaskia rivers, from their confluence north to the approximate latitude of Edwardsville. This strategic region, which lies near where both the Missouri and the Ohio rivers enter the Mississippi, was originally settled by French Canadians […]

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The first printed map of Natchez

This interesting little map is in fact the first printed image to provide any detail of the French settlement in the Natchez area on the east bank of the Mississippi River. Settlement in the area began in or around 1714 at a trading post in close proximity to Natchez Indian settlements, in particular the “Grand Village […]

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[ St. Louis Fire ] Drawn by L[eopold] Gast / Jul[iu]s Hutawa Lithr, View of the City of ST. LOUIS, MO. : The great Fire of the City on the 17th and 18th of May. 1849. St. Louis: Julius Hutawa, June 1849.

Dramatic map and view of the 1849 St. Louis Fire

A dramatic, informative and very rare image of the 1849 St. Louis Fire, rushed into print within days or weeks of the catastrophe. Background In 1849 St. Louis, Missouri was a booming city of some 63,000, benefitting from its role as a major Mississippi River port and as the last major city where settlers and gold […]

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Dramatic Civil War bird’s-eye view of the Gulf Coast

A remarkable bird’s-eye depiction of the seat of civil war in the southeastern United States, centered on the Mississippi Delta and covering much of the western Gulf Coast. Drawn from an imaginary viewpoint far above the Gulf of Mexico, the view extends inland as far as Jackson, Vicksburg, Selma, Montgomery and Macon. Designed for an audience on the home front […]

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“A classic of the Mississippi Valley” (Reese)

A lovely copy of this essential first-hand account of the Mississippi Valley from immediately after the end of the French and Indian War. Pittman first came to the Mississippi Valley as a lieutenant in the British Army, soon after the Treaty of Paris was concluded in 1763. By his own account he spent “five years residence […]

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St. Lewis [sic] from the observations of an 18th-century spy

One of the first printed maps of ” St. Lewis ” [sic] or for that matter of any city west of the Mississippi, from George Henry Victor Collot’s exceedingly rare “Journey in North America.” Collot’s maps were praised by Eberstadt as “the very perfection of the engraver’s art and of the greatest value to the […]

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