District of Columbia.
10.5 x 8 in (26.67 x 20.32 cm)
1 : 120000
This is a rare and beautiful 1835 map of the District of Columbia by the important American mapmaker T. G. Bradford. It depicts the District of Columbia prior to the retrocession of Virginia, which included the lands donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia. It covers Washington City, and the Washington County along with the settlements of Georgetown on the eastern side of the Potomac River and the settlement of Alexandria and the County of Alexandria on the western side of the Potomac. The Capitol, President's House, City Hall and other important places of interest are identified with a key in the lower left quadrant.
in 1791, following the Residents Act, the District of Columbia was formed from the lands donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia. In the 1830s' after Alexandria went into economic decline due to negligence by Congress, residents petitioned Virginia to take back the donated land through retrocession. In 1847, the retrocession legislation was formally accepted and the county of Alexandria was returned to Virginia, leaving Washington County part of the District of Columbia and forming the current boundary of the county's capital, Washington DC.
This map was published as plate no. 37 in Thomas G. Bradford's 1835 Comprehensive Atlas Geographical, Historical and Commercial. Bradford's atlas, published in 1835 was an important work on many levels. First, it was one of the first American atlases to follow an encyclopedic format, offering readers extensive geographical and statistical tables to supplement the maps themselves. Second, it was published in Boston and influenced the city's rise as a publishing center later in the 19th century (at the time most publishing in the United States was restricted to New York and Philadelphia). Third, this atlas was the first to contain a separate and specific map showing the Republic of Texas. Fourth and finally, Bradford's atlas in some instances broke the Euro-centric mold regarding atlas production. Among other things, Bradford focused his atlas on the Americas and abandoned the classical decoration common in European atlases in favor of a more informational and inherently American approach.
Bradford published this atlas in several editions and with various partners. The first edition was published by William D. Ticktor and did not contain the iconic Republic of Texas map (although we have in fact seen Ticktor examples with a Texas map, suggesting, against conventional wisdom, that there may have been two Ticktor editions). The second official edition, published in the same year by the American Stationers Company, was the first to contain the Republic of Texas map, which is based on Austin's map, with two pages of descriptive text. A third edition was issued in 1836, also by American Stationers (though still dated 1835), and contained an unaltered Republic of Texas map with only a single page of descriptive test. A fourth edition appeared later, possibly 1837, and included an updated and revised map of Texas that replaces the old Mexican land grants with new inchoate counties. The maps from this atlas are an important addition to any collection focusing on early American cartography and Republic of Texas cartography.
All maps in this atlas, though not specifically noted as such, were most likely engraved by G. W. Boynton of Boston, who also engraved most of the maps for Bradford's later publication.
Thomas Gamaliel Bradford (1802 - 1887) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked as an assistant editor for the Encyclopedia Americana. Bradford's first major cartographic work was his revision and subsequent republishing of an important French geography by Adrian Balbi, Abrege de Geographie published in America as Atlas Designed to Illustrate the Abridgment of Universal Geography, Modern and Ancient. Afterwards Bradford revised and expanded this work into his own important contributions to American cartography, the 1838 An Illustrated Atlas Geographical, Statistical and Historical of the United States and Adjacent Countries. Bradford's cartographic work is significant as among the first to record Texas as an independent nation. In his long career as a map publisher Bradford worked with William Davis Ticknor of Boston, Freeman Hunt of New York, Charles De Silver of Philadelphia, John Hinton, George Washington Boynton, and others. We have been able to discover little of Bradford's personal life. Learn More...
George Washington Boynton (fl. c. 1830 - 1850) was a Boston based cartographer and map engraver active in the first half of the 19th century. Boynton engraved and compiled maps for numerous publishers including Thomas Bradford, Nathaniel Dearborn, Daniel Adams, and S. G. Goodrich. His most significant work is most likely his engraving of various maps for Bradford's National Atlas. He also engraved for the Boston Almanac. In 1835 Boynton is listed as an employee of the Boston Bewick Company, an engraving, stereotype, and printing concern based at no. 47 Court Street, Boston. Little else is known of his life. Learn More...
Bradford, T. G., A Comprehensive Atlas Geographical, Historical and Commercial (Boston), 1835.
Very good. Original platemark visible. Minor spotting overall. Blank on verso.
Rumsey 2643.037 (1838 edition).