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1900 Department of Interior Map of Chickasaw Nation Indian Territory


Department of Interior Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes Map of Chickasaw Nation Indian Territory Compiled from Official Records of The United States Geological Survey.
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Title:    Department of Interior Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes Map of Chickasaw Nation Indian Territory Compiled from Official Records of The United States Geological Survey.

Description:    This is a scarce and beautiful 1900 R. L. McAlpine map of the Chickasaw Nation issued by the Department of Interior Commission of the Five Civilized Tribes and compiled from the official records of the United States Geological Survey. Part of modern day Oklahoma, the map is centered on Old Fort Arbuckle and covers the Chickasaw Nation as it was located between the Canadian River and the Red River. It notes several rivers, towns, and topography throughout. The map is covered in grids noting the survey conducted by the U. S. G. S. and is color coded to show agricultural land in yellow, mountain land in pink and rocky land in green.

During the Indian removal of the 1830s, known as the 'Trail of Tears', the Chickasaw Indians were forcibly relocated from their ancestral lands in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi westward to the federally recognized native American nation, the Chickasaw Nation, located in the Indian Territory (modern day Oklahoma).

The Chickasaw Nation was a member of the Five Civilized Tribes along with Cherokee, Seminole, Choctaw and Muskogee nations. The Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, or the Dawes Commission, was created in 1893 to negotiate with the Five Civilized Tribes to divide their lands amongst individual members of the tribes. This map was most likely used for that purpose. Eventually Oklahoma would be admitted to the Union in 1907 and the 'Five Civilized Tribes' would lose most of their tribal lands.

This map was compiled and drawn by R. L. McAlpine and engraved by Julius Bien and Co. Issued in the Eight Annual Report of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes as Exhibit 7.


Date:    1900 (dated)

Source:    Eight Annual Report of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, 1900.    

Cartographer:    The Office of the Coast Survey (later the U.S. Geodetic Survey), founded in 1807 by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of Commerce Albert Gallatin, is the oldest scientific organization in the U.S. Federal Government. Jefferson created the "Survey of the Coast," as it was then called, in response to a need for accurate navigational charts of the new nation's coasts and harbors. The first superintendent of the Coast Survey was Swiss immigrant and West Point mathematics professor Ferdinand Hassler. Under the direction of Hassler, from 1816 to 1843, the ideological and scientific foundations for the Coast Survey were established. Hassler, and the Coast Survey under him developed a reputation for uncompromising dedication to the principles of accuracy and excellence. Hassler lead the Coast Survey until his death in 1843, at which time Alexander Dallas Bache, a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, took the helm. Under the leadership A. D. Bache, the Coast Survey did most of its most important work. During his Superintendence, from 1843 to 1865, Bache was steadfast advocate of American science and navigation and in fact founded the American Academy of Sciences. Bache was succeeded by Benjamin Pierce who ran the Survey from 1867 to 1874. Pierce was in turn succeeded by Carlile Pollock Patterson who was Superintendent from 1874 to 1881. In 1878, under Patterson's superintendence, the U.S. Coast Survey was reorganized as the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (C & GS or USGS) to accommodate topographic as well as nautical surveys. Today the Coast Survey is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA. Click here for a list of rare maps from The United States Coast Survey.

Cartographer:    Joseph R. Bien was a topographer and an engineer working the later part of the 19th century. His name appears a number of state and regional atlases, including the important 1895 Atlas of New York. Most of Joseph Bien's work was published in conjunction with the New York Lithographing, Engraving & Printing Company, which was founded by Julius Bien. Joseph was almost certainly related to Julien, though whether he was a son, cousin, or brother, remains unknown. Click here for a list of rare maps from Joseph R. Bien.

Size:   Printed area measures 31.5 x 34 inches (80.01 x 86.36 centimeters)

Scale:    1 : 240000

Condition:    Very good. Minor wear along original fold lines. Minor spotting at places.

Code:   ChickasawNation-mcalpine-1900 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)

Tags:    U.S. Government Map , Bien , Geological Map , Indian Territory , Dawes Commission

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