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John Wilson (1789-1833), A Map of South Carolina, Constructed and Drawn from the District Surveys, ordered by the Legislature by John Wilson...[Includes inset map of Charleston Harbor]

John Wilson (1789-1833), A Map of South Carolina, Constructed and Drawn from the District Surveys, ordered by the Legislature by John Wilson...[Includes inset map of Charleston Harbor]

  • $ 32,000.00


John Wilson (1789-1833)

A Map of South Carolina, Constructed and Drawn from the District Surveys, ordered by the Legislature by John Wilson...[Includes inset map of Charleston Harbor]

The Astronomical Observations by Professor George Blackburn & I.M. Elford

Published, Henry S. Tanner (1786-1858), Philadelphia, 1822

Engraving with original hand coloring mounted on linen

Frame size 52 1/2 x 66 1/4"

Paper size 45 1/2 x 59 1/2"

This is the first large-scale map of South Carolina made after the establishment of the United States and the first official map of the state. Constructed from local manuscript surveys and compiled for use by state officials, it remained the foundation map for South Carolina until the Civil War. There is a large inset of Charleston Harbor showing flooded areas, shoals and channels. The official mapping of the United States began with the formation of the General Land Office in the late 18th century, and its formal organization in 1812.

State civil and military engineer Major John Wilson was assigned the task of creating this ambitious map of South Carolina based on new surveys which had just been completed by the state. It “was an expensive project, “ writes Ristow, “the total expenditure for the state map was upwards of ninety thousand dollars.” It was printed by Henry Tanner, who wrote in his Memoir that, “Wilson’s map is decidedly one of our best and most scientific maps, and was used in correcting the adjoining parts of Georgia and North Carolina.” The Wilson map is one of the first true "official" maps, in that it was wholly conceived of and executed under the auspices of a state government. As such it is one of the important foundations in the history of American map publication, as well aa key work in the mapping of the American southeast.


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