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American Shores Maps of the Middle Atlantic Region to 1850 The New York Public Library
Map Collection
Overview Basics of Maps Maps Through History Geographical Areas

United States

On this map of the very young United States, we can still see the major Indian tribes identified across much of the south and the "Western Territory." Place names in the Middle Atlantic region are almost totally "Anglicized." The Louisiana Territory, in yellow at left, is only hinted at. The detail along the Missouri River, just west of St. Louis, implies that some information from Lewis & Clark's expedition, which had only begun in 1803, had reached this mapmaker in London.
A new map of the United States of America. 1806.
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Here we see the early outlines of the states prior to the Civil War. Note Virginia in its earlier enhanced occupation of space. After the Civil War, of course, West Virginia will appear on maps. Some early maps of the United States spout their messages of patriotism and independence with eagle and flag motifs. Another stroke for independence from English control is the location of Longitude 0 degrees at Washington, D.C. rather than Greenwich, England.
Map of the United States, ca. 1828.
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For further information on early mapping of North America, see the following sites:

The David Rumsey Map Collection

Hargrett Rare Library Map Collection - Colonial America

To read about the early mapping of America, examine The Mapping of America, by Seymour I. Schwartz and Ralph E. Ehrenberg. 1980.
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