1828 Finley Map of Alabama


1828 Finley Map of Alabama


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

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  1828 (undated)    11.75 x 8.75 in (29.845 x 22.225 cm)     1 : 2027520


This is an 1828 Anthony Finley map of Alabama. The map depicts the state from Tennessee to the Gulf of Mexico and from Mississippi to Georgia in Finley's classic minimalist style. Rivers, roads, canals, and some topographical features are illustrated. Numerous cities and towns are labeled, including Mobile and Tuscaloosa. Counties are easily differentiated as they are labeled and shaded various colors.

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 1828 a substantial part of northeastern Alabama was territory assigned to the Upper Creek and Cherokee nations. Finley's map details the contracting borders to this territory noting the 'Indian Boundary,' the 'New Indian Boundary,' and the 'New Cherokee Line.' Numerous American Indian villages and missionary stations within the Upper Creek and Cherokee territories are noted. 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.

This map was engraved by Young and Delleker for the 1828 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, 1828.    


Very good. 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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