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2008 Catalog > 10. Ensign, Bridgman & Fanning, Map of Iowa


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An Exceptional and Rare Early Pocket Map of Iowa

10. Ensign, Bridgman & Fanning. “Map of Iowa” (New York: Ensign, Bridgman & Fanning, 1855). Lithographed pocket map with bright, original full hand color. Spectacular ornamental border of vines, trimmed close, as issued. 16 x 19" at border. Sheet size: 18 1/8 x 21 1/4". A population table at left compares the Iowa censuses of 1840 and 1850. With original 12mo red cloth booklet with title in gilt. Advertisement for the publications of Ensign, Bridgman & Fanning on front paste-down. Very faint scattered spotting in lower left portion of map. Overall, a near mint example with exceptional color.

Price: SOLD [ Order ]

Bright and beautifully colored, this impressive early map of Iowa is remarkable for its quality and condition. Counties are indicated in alternating colors, with ranges and townships delineated. The map shows the dense settlement that had occurred in eastern Iowa by the middle of the nineteenth century, especially along the Mississippi River. Equally, it indicates how sparsely developed the western portion of the state remained as one moved west of the major corridors of transportation. Indicative of the way in which farmlands were sectioned and sold, the counties throughout the state retain a relatively uniform size and shape. The map also features river systems, railroads, common roads, towns, and topographical features. Large sections of Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin are included. A list of Land Offices is posted at left. Likely the market for pocket maps in the mid-nineteenth century consisted largely of developers and settlers looking for opportunities to relocate west.

Click for image of cloth booklet cover

Timothy and Edward Ensign were lithographers in New York City, active in a series of partnerships between 1841 and 1861, first with Phelps and Humphrey, then as Ensign & Thayer (with Horace Thayer), and finally as Ensign, Bridgman & Fanning. They produced a number of notable prints on subjects from American history, as well as maps and U.S. travelers’ guides. The firm’s output, however, was limited by the short-lived period of collaboration between the partners.

This is a very scarce and wonderful map of early Iowa—a superb addition to any collection of nineteenth-century American cartography, especially fine for denizens of the Midwest or the Hawkeye State.

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