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1820 Caleb Atwater Map of Ohio

Map of the State of Ohio Drawn by A. Bourne.  Including the Indian Reservation, Purchased and laid out Counties and Townships in 1820.

1820 Caleb Atwater Map of Ohio


One of the finest large format American maps of Ohio obtainable.



Map of the State of Ohio Drawn by A. Bourne. Including the Indian Reservation, Purchased and laid out Counties and Townships in 1820.
  1820 (dated)    19.5 x 16.5 in (49.53 x 41.91 cm)     1 : 950400


One of the earliest obtainable specific large format maps of Ohio from the early part of the 19th century. This 1820 map of Ohio was engraved by Abner Reed and published by Caleb Atwater in his Description of the Antiquities discovered in the State of Ohio (Archaeologica Americana, Vol 1, 1820). The map covers all of modern day Ohio from Lake Erie to the Ohio River and from Indiana to Pennsylvania. It offers exceptionally fine detail along the southern tier and in the southeastern quadrant where topography is finely rendered using hachures. Fully 70 counties are identified, as are most major roadways, rives, and important settlements. The Black Swamp in northwestern part of the state, the 'Limestone Region' in the southwest, and the 'Unbroken Sandstone Region' in southeastern Ohio are all identified.

In the upper left quadrant there is a disputed boundary with Michigan associated with the bloodless Toledo War of 1835 and 1836. Both states laid claim to a sliver of land known as the Toledo Strip, valuable for its access to the a the valuable Toledo Port on Lake Erie. Both states raised militias and threatened military action from across the Maumee River, but nothing more severe than taunting ensued. Michigan acquiesced to Ohio's border demands in order to be admitted to the Union in 1837, gaining in consolation the mineral-rich Upper Peninsula.

This map consolidates the work of two influential Ohio mapmakers, John Kilbourne of Columbus, who authored the Ohio Gazetteer), and Alexander Bourne. The intention of the map, to illustrate Atwater's work on the American Indians of Ohio, manifests in the form of increased colonial encroachment into Indian lands, identified as 'Reserves' throughout the map.

All in all, a scarce and important map of Ohio. Engraved by East Windsor Connecticut in July of 1820 by Abner Reed.


Atwater, Caleb, Description of the Antiquities Discovered in the State of Ohio‚Ķ, 1820.    


Good. Minor stain lower right quadrants. Right margin extended. A few minor verso reinforcement.


Rumsey 0086.000. Phillips (Maps) 627. Karrow 2-1806. Ristow, W., American Maps and Mapmakers: Commercial Cartography in the Nineteenth Century. p 146. Smith, p167-168.
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