Dorothy Sloan -- Books

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4. [ATLAS]. UNION ATLAS COMPANY. Atlas of the State of Illinois to Which Are Added Various General Maps History, Statistics and Illustrations.... Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1876 by Warner & Beers in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C. Chicago: Union Atlas Co., Warner & Beers, Proprietors, 1876. 293 pp. (including 116 chromolithograph maps, 3 uncolored lithograph maps, and 37 uncolored lithograph views, scenes, and portraits). Folio, modern half black leather over black cloth, spine gilt-lettered, new endpapers, edges marbled. First few and last few leaves reinforced at gutters and professionally reattached, light waterstaining to blank margins of some leaves, otherwise fine, with excellent color retention. Four small ink stamps of the University of Texas on title page and first map.

     First edition. Bradford 1749. Phillips, America, p. 330. Phillips, Atlases 1513. Rumsey 1159. Another large compendium from the prolific nineteenth-century atlas publishers that contains maps, views, and textual information about Illinois. It also includes numerous statistical compilations for the whole country from the 1870 Census, such as “Class of Occupations, with Sex,” “Pauperism and Crime,” and “Illiteracy.” As always with such publications, this atlas is redolent with local history. Shown in Gallatin County, for example, are the infamous “Salt Mines,” run by John Hart Crenshaw. Situated near a town ironically named “Equality,” Crenshaw’s salt mines were the scene of one of the dark deeds in the entire history of the Underground Railroad and slavery. Crenshaw’s house, now known as the “Old Slave House,” was basically a prison for slaves that Crenshaw captured in nearby Kentucky and forced to work in his salt mines. The house, still standing, is one of the few structures associated with the reverse Underground Railroad whereby free African-Americans were captured and re-sold into slavery.

     The fine map of Chicago was published only a few years after the disastrous 1871 fire and gives no hint of the destruction; indeed, the narrative about Chicago and Cook County remarks merely that in 1872 great building projects began in the city. One bibliographic curiosity in this volume is page 16, a lithograph obviously printed from a cracked stone. Geographical curiosities include maps of Europe and Scandinavia, included for no obvious reason. ($400-800)

Sold. Hammer: $400.00; Price Realized: $470.00

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