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1833 S. D. U. K. Map of Michigan and Wisconsin (w/ Lake Michigan)

North America Sheet V The North West and Michigan Territories. - Main View

1833 S. D. U. K. Map of Michigan and Wisconsin (w/ Lake Michigan)


Early map showing a distorted Lake Michigan and the site of the Black Hawk War.


North America Sheet V The North West and Michigan Territories.
  1833 (dated)     13 x 16 in (33.02 x 40.64 cm)     1 : 1770000


This is a scarce and important map issued by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, or S.D.U.K. in 1833, depicting Lake Michigan, the second largest of the five Great Lakes, and the only one that lies entirely within the United States. Centered on Lake Michigan, it covers the surrounding region including the states of Michigan and Wisconsin. The map covers the Huron or Northwest Territory (modern day Wisconsin) and the Michigan Territory (modern day Michigan) along with parts of northern Illinois. It depicts territories and counties in outline color. Lake Michigan is slightly malformed and distended on the vertical axis. The map names several Indian tribes, including the Ottawa and the Chippeway. The Bad Axe River is also identified. It was near the mouth of the Bad Axe River that the Bad Axe Massacre or the Battle of Bad Axe was fought at the end of the Black Hawk War in 1832, a year before this map was issued.

The Black Hawk War was a battle fought between the United States state militia and the Native American tribes Sauk and Fox. The leader of the Native American tribes was a Sauk warrior Black Hawk, who hoped to resettle on the land that was ceded to the United States in a disputed 1804 treaty. The Bad Axe Massacre took place as an aftermath to the Battle of Wisconsin. In this historic last stand, a mere 60 Sauk warriors held off over 700 U.S. regulars and militia under the command of Henry Dodge while the Indian women and children crossed the river to safety. At dawn the Sauk chief Neapope, concealed in a tree, verbally offered to negotiate surrender. The U.S. soldiers, lacking an interpreter, ignored his plea. Fleeing the aftermath of the Battle of Wisconsin Heights the remaining Sauk, mostly women and children, were cornered near the mouth of Bad Axe River and slaughtered. The war is most remembered for giving young Abraham Lincoln his brief military service.

This map was originally published by Baldwin and Cradock and is copyrighted in 1833, but was issued in Volume two of Chapman and Hall's 1844 edition of Maps of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. It was engraved by John Walker of J. and C. Walker.


The "Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge" (1826 - 1848) was a Whiggish organization founded in 1828 at the instigation of idealistic British lord Henry Peter Brougham. The admirable goal of the Society was to distribute useful information via a series of publications to the English working and middle classes. It promoted self-education and the egalitarian sharing of all knowledge. While closely tied to the London University and publishing houses on the order of Baldwin and Cradock, Chapman and Hall, and Charles Knight, the Society failed to achieve its many lofty goals in finally closed its doors in 1848. Most likely the failure of the Society resulted from its publications being too expensive for its intended lower to middle class markets and yet not large and fine enough to appeal to the aristocratic market. Nonetheless, it did manage to publish several extraordinary atlases of impressive detail and sophistication. Their most prominent atlas consisted of some 200 separately issued maps initially published by Baldwin and Cradock and sold by subscription from 1829 to 1844. Afterwards, the Society combined the maps into a single world atlas published under the Chapman and Hall imprint. In its day, this atlas was unprecedented in its quality, scope, and cost effectiveness. Today Society, or S.D.U.K. as it is commonly known, maps are among the most impressive examples of mid-19th century English mass market cartographic publishing available. The S.D.U.K. is especially known for its beautiful and accurately detailed city plans. More by this mapmaker...

Baldwin and Cradock (fl. c. 1810 - 1860) were London based publishers working in the early to mid 19th century. They are best known for their publication of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge's ground breaking subscription atlas. They also published John Thomson's magnificent New General Atlas from 1814 - c. 1820. In addition to their cartographic corpus, the firm had wide ranging publishing interests in many other areas, including books, broadsides, and an investment in Blackwoods Magazine. They had their offices at 47 Paternoster Row, London, England. This firm also published under the imprint Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy and Cradock and Joy. Learn More...

John Walker, Alexander Walker and Charles Walker, known collectively as J & C Walker (fl. 1820-95), were engravers, draughtsmen and publishers working through the 19th century. They had several offices 47 Bernard St Russel Sq (from 1830 - 1836), 3 Burleigh St Strand (from 1837 to 1840), 9 Castle St Holborn (from 1841 to 1847) and 37 Castle St Holborn (from 1848 to 1875). The firm is best known for its work in conjunction with the maps issued by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge or, as it is more commonly known, the S.D.U.K. However, they also engraved a large corpus of work for the British Admiralty , as well as issuing several important maps of India and multiple issues of the Royal Atlas. Learn More...


Maps of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, (London: Charles Knight), 1833.    


Very good. Original platemark visible. Minor spotting.


Rumsey 0890.132. Phillips (Atlases) 794.