1855 Public Survey Map of the Tampa Land District, South Florida
Description: An appealing 1855 Florida Land Office survey map of the Tampa Land District, South Florida. This map covers peninsular Florida from, roughly, Merritt Island and the modern day Chassahowitzka Wildlife Refuge south as far as the everglades and the Florida Keys. Though there are no labels, the map offers some interesting topographical details regarding the rivers and swamps throughout the region. The state of the Land Survey is also noted via a series of blocks, mostly confined to the upper quadrants and the eastern seaboard, representing the survey grid. Blocks marked with an asterisk indicate that the survey is complete, box with a circle suggest work in progress, and unmarked blocks are planned but uninitiated surveys. Though lacking attribution, this map was most likely prepared by John Westcott, director of the Florida Land Office in 1855. It was engraved by A. Hoen and Company, government printers, in Baltimore, Maryland for issue in the 1856 congressional report, Maps and Views to Accompany Message and Documents 1855-56.
Date: 1855 (undated)
Source: Maps and Views to Accompany Message and Documents 1855-56, (Washington: Nicholson) 1856.
References: Servies, J. A., A Bibliography of Florida: 1507-1845, #4073.
Cartographer: The General Land Office, created in 1812, was an independent agency charged with the administration and sale of public lands of the western territories of the United States under the Preemption Act of 1841 and the Homestead Act of 1862. During a time of frenetic energy and rapid westward expansion, the Land Office oversaw the surveying, platting, mapping and eventually the sale of much of the Western United States and Florida. The structural layout of the western United States that we see today, and many of their district and county divisions, are direct result of the early surveying work of the General Land Office. More importantly, as a branch of the Federal Government in Washington D.C. and the only agency able to legally sell and administer public lands in the western territories of the United States, the General Land Office played a pivotal role in consolidating power away from the original states and into the hand of the centralized federal government. The General Land Office was absorbed into the Department of Interior in 1849 and in 1946 merged with the United States Grazing Service to become the Bureau of Land Management. Today the Bureau of Land Management administers the roughly 246 million acres of public land remaining under federal ownership. Click here for a list of rare maps from The General Land Office.
Cartographer: August Hoen & Company (fl. c. 1840 - 1981) was a Baltimore based engraving and lithography firm active in the middle part of the 19th century. A. Hoen & Co. was originally founded by Edward Weber under the name "E. Weber & Company". Weber died in the early 1850s and his company was taken over by German immigrant August Hoen (?? - 1886) and his brothers, Henry and Ernest Hoen. As general interest lithographers, the Hoen firm's corpus includes posters, cigar boxes, sheet music covers, and posters as well as maps. They are best known for their pioneering multi-color lithographic techniques. After the death of August Hoen, the business passed on to his son, Albert Hoen. Another son, Earnest A. Hoen, moved to Richmond, Virginia and opened a branch of the firm there where he was granted a charter to produce Civil War era Confederate Currency. Their contributions to the cartographic field are generally in association with engraving and printing work done for Jacob Monk and the U.S. Geological Survey. The Hoen family maintained an active interest in the firm for the next 100 years or so until it finally filed for bankruptcy in 1981. Click here for a list of maps by A. Hoen and Co.
Size: Printed area measures 11 x 16.5 inches (27.94 x 41.91 centimeters)
Condition: Very good. Original fold lines. Professionally flattened and backed with archival tissue. Some wear and toning on original fold lines. Left margin extended.
Code: SouthFloridaTampaDistrict-pubicsurvey-1855 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)