Vividly Colored Map Documenting the Indian Relocation Act

The Young Republic Expands beyond the Mississippi

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333. [MAP]. MITCHELL, S[amuel] Augustus. Map of the State of Missouri and Territory of Arkansas compiled from the Latest Authorities. Philadelphia, Published by S. Augustus Mitchell. 1835. Sold by Mitchell & Hinman, No. 6 North Fifth Street. [above lower left border] Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1835, by S. Augustus Mitchell, in the Clerks office of the district court, of the Eastern district of Pennsylvania. [lower right corner, table in five columns] Steam Boat Routes. Philadelphia, 1835. Copper-engraved map on banknote paper (Missouri, Arkansas Territory, and Indian Territory divided by counties and identifying regions of Native American “resettlement” in the area), original brilliant full and outline color, 2 borders (piano-key and floral), 2 miniature engraved vignettes at center of upper and lower borders; top image of American eagle and stars; lower image with steamboat, Native American in canoe, and man in tall hat chopping a tree); neat line to neat line: 41 x 52 cm; border to border: 44.2 x 55 cm; overall sheet size: 45.3 x 57 cm; folded into original bright red roan pocket covers, title on upper cover within decorative gilt frame with gilt lettering Mitchell’s Map of Missouri & Arkansas; affixed to inside pocket cover is a printed broadside setting forth populations in various locations in Missouri and Arkansas. Map with a few early reinforcements of folds on verso, four small corrosion spots left of title, one clear tear at left margin where map is attached to covers, very light offsetting. Pocket covers moderately worn and stained. Overall very good. A scarce pocket map, here with exceptionally intense original color. An unusual Early American artifact documenting Native American history during the drive west fueled by the concept of Manifest Destiny.

     This updated edition of Mitchell’s map was the first to locate Native Americans in detail and name them by tribe. This version added multiple new locations (such as Indian Territory). Other changes were a second border, two miniature engravings, steamboat routes (replaced statistics), etc. Rumsey 4102 (1836 edition): “Covers also parts of Oklahoma (Indian Territory) and Kansas. Derived from the Finley 1826 American Atlas map and issued originally by Mitchell in 1831, this edition has many changes topographically and a new border. The western part of the old Arkansas Territory is now called ‘Indian Territory Attached to Arkansas.’ There are many new counties in Missouri and Arkansas, and a table of steamboat routes appears in the lower right corner of the map. The detail in the surrounding states is now filled in.” American Imprints 1835:33091. Karrow 9-0778. Ristow, American Maps & Mapmakers, pp. 303-304. There were subsequent editions of the map into the 1840s, but this is the most resounding edition, either before or after.

     Rumsey (3884:012) traces the evolution of the present map in his entry for the 1831 appearance of the map in Mitchell’s atlas:

Mitchell’s first atlas [was] published in the first year of Mitchell’s map publishing career [1831]. Mitchell purchased the plates for this atlas from Anthony Finley, who used them previously in his 1826 edition of his own atlas of the same title, “New American Atlas” [see Rumsey 0278:0279]. Mitchell reissued the atlas with Mitchell’s imprint on all the maps, with updating on the maps, and with new borders for the maps. This form of the atlas (folio) is most rare, with no copy in the Library of Congress and only two copies located by LeGear in her “American Atlases” bibliography. Dealers note only one copy for sale or at auction in the last decade. The maps included in the atlas were produced by Mitchell primarily as pocket maps and this explains the rarity of the folio atlas.

     The map shows Missouri, Indian Territory (Oklahoma), Arkansas Territory, and parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin Territory, etc. The only part of Texas shown is the long swath of land south of the Red River from Miller County Arkansas to the territory inhabited by the Comanche. Texas is shown as a part of Mexico. This was the first version of Mitchell’s map to identify Texas by name.

     Tribal territories in Missouri are indicated for the Kickapoo, Delaware, and Shawnee. Some Osage Indian settlements are shown, in addition, in (present-day) Kansas and Oklahoma. This map was made during the period following the Indian Relocation Act of 1830, the forced removal of many Native American nations from the southeastern part of the United States. In 1831 the Choctaw were the first to be removed, and they became the model for all other removals. After the Choctaw, the Seminole were removed in 1832, the Creek in 1834, then the Chickasaw in 1837, and finally the Cherokee in 1838. Among the tribes identified on this map are Cherokee, Picts(?), Kiowa, Kickapoo, Kanzas, Delaware, Shawnee, Piankashaw (Miami), Weas(?), Peoria, Osage, Seneca, Creek, Choctaw, Comanche, and Pawnee. The map seems to imply visually that the Native nations form an unbroken bulwark blocking further advance to the West, a concept not realized. The Trail of Tears which was so devastating physically and spiritually to Native Americans occurred initially in 1831. By 1837, 46,000 Native Americans from these southeastern states had been removed from their homelands thereby opening 25 million acres for predominantly white settlement. This map locates the tribes at a crucial turning point in their history.


Sold. Hammer: $1,600.00; Price Realized: $1,960.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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