(No. 1.) Sketch of the Public Surveys in Wisconsin and Territory of Minnesota.
1855 (dated) 19 x 22 in (48.26 x 55.88 cm)
This is an attractive example of the 1855 public survey map of Wisconsin and parts of the Minnesota Territory prepared by Warner Lewis, Surveyor General in the Surveyor Office in Dubuque. The map covers the entire state of Wisconsin and the parts of the Territory of Minnesota from the Big Cotton Wood River to Lake Michigan. The state of the Land Survey is also noted via a series of blocks representing the survey grid. A table in the lower left quadrant explains the various markings on the blocks. Various towns, military posts, rivers, lakes, Indian reservations and various other topographical details are marked. The Winnebago Reservation, the Menominee Cession of Oct. 18th 1848 and the Treaty Line of July 29 1837 are noted. Prepared for issue in the 1856 congressional report, Maps and Views to Accompany Message and Documents 1855-56.
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.
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.
Maps and Views to Accompany Message and Documents 1855-56, (Washington: Nicholson) 1856.
Very good. Original fold lines visible. Minor wear on original folds. Professionally flattened and backed with archival tissue.