[Untitled Map of the United States.]
16 x 13 in (40.64 x 33.02 cm)
1 : 6500000
This is a fascinating and rare 1804 Sir Richard Phillips map of the United States, featuring the ephemeral states of Franklinia and Morgania. Printed shortly after the American Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783), it captures the new country as it was struggling to resolve issues of state vs. federal sovereignty. The map captures a time of endless possibility, where the ambitious could stake out settlements and build trade empires on loosely-policed frontiers. This map includes two such colonies, Franklinia and Morgania.
State of FrankliniaThe State of Franklinia was an extra-legal proto-state located in what is today eastern Tennessee. Franklinia was offered to Congress by North Carolina in partial payment of its Revolutionary War debt. It was assumed that Franklinia would become the 14th state with its capital at Jonesborough, so in 1785, a provisional government was established. The new Franklinia government ran contentiously in parallel with the established North Carolina bureaucracy, neither recognizing the legitimacy of the other. The creation of Franklin is novel in that it resulted from both a 'cession' (an offering from North Carolina to Congress) and a 'secession' (seceding from North Carolina when its offer to Congress was ignored and the original cession rescinded). Franklinia was the brainchild of Arthur Campbell and John Sevier, who adopted the name Franklin to garner Benjamin Franklin's influential support in Congress. Unfortunately for Franklinia, Franklin himself was in Europe at the time and was unwilling (and unable) to fully back the fledgling state. The North Carolina cession to the federal government stipulated that Congress would have to accept responsibility for the area within two years. Franklinia could not secure the 2/3rds vote required by the Articles of Confederation for admission as a new state without significant Congressional support. By 1789, after considerable conflict, momentum for Franklina declined and it was folded into the new state of Tennessee, which gained statehood in 1796.
The Morgania ColonyEven more obscure is Morgania, appearing here just west of the Mississippi River in what is today Missouri. This is the failed colony of Colonel George Morgan (1743 - March 10, 1810), a Revolutionary War officer and Indian Agent turned trader and land speculator. Following the war, Morgan was involved in several land schemes in the Ohio River Valley, Virginia (West Virginia), and in Illinois Country, all of which found themselves at odds with the fledgling state and federal governments. Meanwhile, on the opposite bank of the Mississippi, the Spanish began to recognize with concern the expansionist tendencies of the young nation. They developed a scheme to lure American colonists to establish settlements west of the Mississippi on the stipulation that they commit their loyalty fully to the Spanish Crown. With the support of Spanish ambassador Don Diego de Gardoqui, Morgan jumped at the opportunity, accepting a provisional 15-million-acre grant opposite the mouth of the Ohio River, between present-day Perry County, Missouri, and the mouth of the St. Francis River in Arkansas. Along the banks of the Mississippi River, he laid out the settlement of New Madrid on a grandiose grid. It was to be a utopian haven with an emphasis on fair trade relations, religious tolerance, and education. Despite high ambitions, Morgan's colony, Morgania, fell afoul of greater political machinations. The traitor, James Wilkinson, described by Theodore Roosevelt as the most despicable character in American history, had his own plans for a Transmississippi empire and wrote a letter condemning Morgan's character to the Spanish governor. The terms of Morgan's grant subsequently fell through. Morgan died in 1810, and his capital at New Madrid was destroyed by earthquakes in 1811 and 1812. Morgania itself appears on only a few maps issued between 1799 and 1809, after which it vanished from historical memory.
Publication History and CensusThis map was first engraved with the imprint 'Smith and Jones sculp. 13 Pleasant Row, Pentonville' in 1799, for inclusion in Sir Richard Phillips' Travels Through the United States by Rochefoucauld-Liancourt. Thereafter, it was reprinted with many state changes, as is thoroughly recorded in Dodson and Baker's Carto-Bibliography of Engraved Maps Depicting the State of Franklin. The present example corresponds to Dodson and Baker's state '1804 14a2', appearing in William Mavor's 1804 History of the Discovery and Settlement to the Present Time of North and South America. Mavor's History is well-represented in institutional collections, but the map is rare on the market and neglected in institutional collections: we see only nine examples of the separate map listed in OCLC.
Richard Phillips (December 13, 1767 - April 2, 1840) was an English author, publisher, and schoolteacher. Born in London, Phillips was a schoolteacher and bookseller in Leicester for a time before returning to London due to some 'political difficulties'. There, he established a business on Paternoster Row and founded The Monthly Magazine in 1796. In 1807 he served as Sheriff of London, at which time he was knighted. Phillips overextended his finances and declared bankruptcy during the Bank Panic of 1837. He died in Brighton. More by this mapmaker...
Very good. Left margin close but complete. Few marginal mends, not impacting image. Minor printers' crease.
Dodson, E., and Baker, K, Carto-Bibliography of Engraved Maps Depicting the State of Franklin, 14a2.