I love a great map, and today’s example is particularly fine in several respects: as a detailed view of our hemisphere at a particularly dynamic moment in U.S. history, as an excellent example of mid-19th-century cartography, and—as we’ll see in our next post—as a clear illustration of how members of Mequon’s Bonniwell family made their way to and from the California gold fields in the heady days of the early Gold Rush of 1849 and 1850.1
Gold! where it is and how to get there, 1849
Atwood, John M., Map of the United States, the British provinces, Mexico &c.: showing the routes of the U.S. mail steam packets to California, and a plan of the Gold Region. New York: J. H. Colton, 1849. From the collection of Millard Fillmore. Library of Congress.
I’ve published some great old maps on Clark House Historian, and this is one of my favorites. In our next post, I’ll annotate a copy of this map to illustrate the Bonniwell’s Gold Rush travels in 1849 and the early 1850s. But today I’d like to show the map as it was in 1849, with all its “extra features.” I recommend you begin by clicking the map image, above, which opens a much higher-resolution copy of the map in a new window (FYI, this may take a few seconds; it’s a big, detailed image).Continue reading