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2007 Catalog > 11. Hood, Plan of the Defenses of the frontier


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11. Washington Hood. "Map Illustrating the Plan of the Defences of the Western and North-Western Frontier, as proposed by the Hon. J. R. Poinsett, Sec. of War, in his report of Dec. 30, 1837" (Washington, D.C.: Sen. Ex. Doc. No. 65, 25th Cong., 2nd sess., 1838). Published in Report from the Secretary of War. In Compliance with a Resolution of the Senate of the 14th of October, 1837, in Relation to the Protection of the Western Frontier of the United States. Folding lithograph, black and white as issued. 21 1/2 x 15 1/4" at neat line. Sheet size: 22 1/2 x 17". Light scattered spotting; otherwise, a fine example of this difficult-to-find map.

Price: SOLD.

This scarce early map of the frontier between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains shows the plans for a defense of the region, necessitated by the recent removals of eastern Indians to territory west of the Mississippi. The eastern tribes were relocated on lands already claimed by indigenous southwestern bands who were hostile to the newcomers. The question before the U.S. government was how to defend the region that had become rife with tribal warfare.

This map was one of two that illustrated the continuing Congressional debate over the defense of the area. At issue was the positioning of forts along the western boundary of the Indian lands. Hood compiled both maps in the U.S. Topographical Bureau under the direction of J. J. Abert, and they were published as illustrations for two reports to the 25th Congress, one report presenting the defense proposal of J. R. Poinsett, the secretary of war, and the other the proposal of Charles Gratiot, an engineer. The present map, representing Poinsett’s perspective, illustrates the states of Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and the newly established Indian territories bordering them on the west. Military forts and defense posts are shown from Fort Snelling in Minnesota to Fort Jessup in Louisiana with notations concerning lands ceded by Indians nations and the dates of the treaties.

A fine example of this scarce document regarding the protection of the western frontier in the 1830s.

Refs.: Streeter, Texas, part III, vol. II, no. 1338; Wagner-Camp, no. 72a; Wheat, Transmississippi West, vol. II, no. 426, p. 161n.

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