Dorothy Sloan -- Books

Copyright 2000-2017 by Dorothy Sloan-Rare Books Inc. for all materials on this site. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

AUCTION 19

Image (click to enlarge)

101. [MAP].  REES, James H. (land agent).  Map of the Counties of Cook and Dupage the East Part of Kane and Kendall the North Part of Will, State of Illinois, Compiled by James H. Rees, Land Agent Chicago, Ill. 1851. Entered According to Act of Congress in the Year 1851 by James H. Rees, in the Clerk’s Office of the District of Illinois. Engraved & Printed at Ferd. Mayer’s Lith. 93 William St. N.Y. [Published in Chicago and lithographed in New York], 1851.  Lithograph map in full original color, floral border.  Neat line to neat line: 108 x 101.8 cm, folded into pocket folder (15.5 x 10.5 cm), original dark brown roan blind embossed, upper cover decorated in gilt and lettered: Cook & Dupage Counties &c. James H. Hess. Except for minor loss of floral border along one fold at right margin and other trivial losses along a few other folds (some professionally strengthened), fine, crisp, and strongly colored.  Pocket folder expertly rebacked with sympathetic leather.  Overall a very good to fine copy of a rare map.  Modern printed ticket on inside upper cover of bookseller Joseph McDonough of Albany, New York.

      “One of the most important items in the history of Chicago. It is unknown to most collectors as nearly all the copies were destroyed in the Chicago fire” (Rosenbach 8:247).  (If that is true, the map must have indeed had a slow sale and distribution since the fire did not occur for another twenty years; perhaps the map was just used up in the rapid developmental period that followed 1851.)    This large map is an early map for the counties surrounding Chicago (Hutawa put out a similar map in 1849, which James H. Reese compiled with Rucker).  The map uses range-lines and township-lines to form a great pattern of squares with each township colored in wash and every county outlined in bold color; located are roads, railroads, canals, towns, schools, post offices, population of each township, etc.  At various places in the landscape, areas set aside for Native Americans are shown.  Just north of Chicago is the Ouilmette Reservation and at other places lands are noted as set aside or granted to various individual Pottawattamies.  The “Indian Boundary Line” runs prominently from the southwest to the northeast, terminating above Chicago.  Many plank roads are shown on the map, such as the one emerging from Chicago that would later become Milwaukee Avenue.  (A Russian import via Canada, plank roads were dying at this time, and the map probably shows the extent of their development in this area.) Also shown are the beginnings of Chicago’s burgeoning rail system.  The Galena and Chicago Union Railroad (Chicago’s first railroad, begun in 1848) extends prominently west into the prairies.  Also shown is the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad, which was begun the year of this map, and barely extends south of the city.  All in all, this map shows a prosperous, burgeoning area and is a worthy publication for real estate boosterism. James H. Rees was part of the firm that eventually became present-day Chicago Title & Trust Company.  For more on the Mayer lithographic establishment, see Peters, America on Stone (pp. 275-276) & Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers (2003 edition, p. 277, with a list of some of Mayer’s maps, but not this one).  ($2,500-4,500)

Back to Auction 19 Abstracts


Home | e-mail: rarebooks@sloanrarebooks.com