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1827 Finley Map of Alabama


1827 Finley Map of Alabama


Showing Creek and Cherokee territory prior to the Trail of Tears.



  1827 (undated)    11.5 x 9 in (29.21 x 22.86 cm)


A beautiful example of Finley's important 1827 map of Alabama. Depicts the state with moderate detail in Finley's classic minimalist style. Shows river ways, roads, canals, and some topographical features. Offers color coding at the county level.

Finley's map of Alabama is particularly interesting and important due to its portrayal of the rapidly changing American Indian situation in the eastern part of the state. In 1827 a substantial part of northeastern Alabama was a confined territory assigned to the Upper Creek and Cherokee nations. Finley's map details several contracting borders to this territory noting the 'Indian Boundary,' the 'New Indian Boundary,' and the 'New Cherokee Line.' Also notes numerous American Indian villages and missionary stations within the Upper Creek and Cherokee territories. Just four years after this map was made the Creek and Cherokee would forcibly relocated westward in the infamous 'Trail of Tears.'

This map is also of interest as it details a territorial dispute between Alabama and Georgia. Early surveying errors attributed the same territory to both states. Shortly before this map was made, the territorial dispute was settled on behalf of Georgia.

Title and scale in lower right quadrant. Engraved by Young and Delleker for the 1827 edition of Anthony Finley's General Atlas.


Anthony Finley (c. 1790 - 1840) was an American map publisher based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His most prominent works, A New American Atlas and the New General Atlas… were published from 1824 to 1834. While little is known of Finley's personal life, he seems to have worked in the same publishing and engraving circles as Tanner. Though most of Finley's cartographic material was borrowed from European sources, his atlases were favorably reviewed at the time of their publishing. His works are known for being attractively sparse and minimalist, focusing primarily on clarity and only the most important facts.


Finley, Anthony, A New General Atlas, Comprising a Complete Set of Maps, representing the Grand Divisions of the Globe, Together with the several Empires, Kingdoms and States in the World; Compiled from the Best Authorities, and corrected by the Most Recent Discoveries, Philadelphia, 1827.    


Very good condition. Original pressmark. Blank on verso.


Rumsey 0285.022 (1831 edition) Phillips (Atlases) 4314, 760, 752, 6045. Mason, Sara E., A List of Nineteenth Century Maps of the State of Alabama, 15.
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