GARDINER, John (d. 1839)
Map of the Northern Part of Missouri Territory
[Washington: General Land Office, circa 1818]. Engraved map, 18 x 22 inches, small tear in lower margin (repaired on verso).
An important early Trans-Mississippi land survey - the first printed map to record General Land Office surveys west of the Mississippi.
A rare and important map - one of the first printed maps of the Missouri Territory, showing a large portion of the territory, including "bounty lands" available to veterans of the War of 1812 in reward for their service. It is the first printed map to record General Land Office surveys west of the Mississippi.
In May, 1812, Congress passed a law which set aside lands in what is now Arkansas, Michigan, and Illinois as payment for service in the War of 1812 (they had similarly given out lands in the Northwest Territory to Revolutionary War veterans). In 1816, Congress passed an act designating bounty lands in Missouri, and authorizing other lands for sale. Offering western lands was a means of doing well by doing good - the free lands would attract settlers and push the frontiers of American civilization westward. John Gardiner was the chief clerk of the General Land Office, and composed a handful of maps of available western lands during the 1810s. Congressional debates record that in December, 1818, Gardiner proposed that Congress give a copy of this Missouri map, as well as similar maps of bounty lands in Alabama, to each War of 1812 veteran, but that Congress rejected Gardiner's request. This Missouri map was almost certainly printed in a small number, and is rarely seen in the market.
The map shows most of the present-day state of Missouri. Much of the map is covered by a familiar grid pattern laying out ranges and townships. At the center of the map is the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, with the still small town of St. Louis situated nearby. The location of the "military bounty lands," just north of the Missouri River and the Boon's Lick Settlement, is prominently shown. Small rivers are located, such as the Osage, Des Moines, and Salt rivers, and the Ohio River branches off from the Mississippi at the bottom of the map. The Howard County District, which was only created in 1816, is shown, as is the St. Louis District. Several towns are shown on the map - working southward along the Mississippi from St. Louis we see Cahokia, Carondeleto, Rogers-town, Herculaneum, St. Genevieve, Potosi, Old Shawnee Village, Mine a la Motte, Little Delaware Village, Jackson, and Cape Girardeau. At the far west of the map are shown Osage lands and the "western Indian boundary," and at the northern part is another Indian boundary. Just to the east of the Illinois River is a small township grid, which would have been annotated in manuscript to specify a particular township and range (it is unaccomplished in this copy). The engraver and printer of the map are not identified, though the map might have been printed by Tanner, Vallence, Kearny & Co., in Philadelphia, the same firm that printed maps of the northern and southern districts of Alabama for Gardiner at about the same time that this map was printed.
Not in Phillips, Maps. "This interesting map is perhaps the first printed map of Missouri Territory" (Streeter). OCLC locates a total of only five copies of this map, at Yale, the Newberry Library, the University of Kentucky, the State Historical Society of Missouri, and the University of Missouri at Kansas City. An important and rare Missouri map.
Streeter Sale 1841; Karrow, Checklist of Printed Maps of the Middle West to 1900 (Missouri), p.137; OCLC 44706350, 773299244.