Antique Michigan Map Limited Run Reproduction
by J.H. Young. Philadelphia: Published By S. Augustus Mitchell. 1835 Sold by Mitchell & Hinman No. 6 North Fifth Street
Limited Edition Vintage Michigan Map. This Michigan map is a limited reproduction of a rare antique Michigan map originally published by S. Augustus Mitchell in 1835. Its unusual style and characteristics make it an especially collectable artifact among historians and antique map collectors throughout the Northwest.
This particular antique Michigan map is one of many published by the cartographer during the frontier days of this country. The original folded Michigan map was protected in a small booklet style binding measuring 3" x 5". Being a pocket map, these maps were typically handed out at railway stations to generate interest in the vast lands available in the midwest. Because of the folds and thin paper, very few have survived the years. This rare artifact has been reproduced to share with you some of the rich heritage of the state of Michigan.
At first glance, you will notice the state's unusual shape. The distortion is due to the limited means by which the pioneers were able to chart and measure the distances. Remember, most of Michigan was a vast unsettled wilderness at that time. Travel was accomplished primarily by stagecoach, steamboat, or horseback. The US Geological Survey was only recently under way in the lower half of the lower peninsula of Michigan. Much of the rest of Michigan had been charted by the early explorers and pioneers. During the official survey, distances were measured by using long chains that were dragged across the wilderness. This map was made prior to such precise measurements, resulting in the distorted shape.
The map's brilliant colors reflect the original hand water coloring used in these vintage Michigan maps. This technique, combined with the steel engraved printing process was typical of the era. Although the original map measured 13" x 15", the print was enlarged slightly to display some of the map's fascinating details.
Steamboat Routes. The four steamboat routes are charted on the right side of the map. The heading tells the beginning and ending points, as in "Detroit to Buffalo". Below each heading individual stops are listed, with the distance in miles between stops. The right column shows the cumulative distance from the beginning. You'll see that the boat to Chicago was especially long, since the route encircled most of the state. The total trip was 980 miles, one way.
Principal Stage Routes. Three stage coach routes are charted in the upper right corner of the map with less detail. The stops are listed, and the total distance is indicated.
Toledo, Michigan. Toledo is correctly shown as part of the Michigan Territory prior to the "Toledo War" of 1835-1837. The boundary dispute erupted over the small strip of land along Michigan's southern boundary when the land was grabbed by Ohio in their bid for statehood in 1802. Both states eventually sent militia, but a shot was never fired. The actual war lasted only a few days, and the only casualty is rumored to be a cow.
Although the dispute dates to 1802, the small village was not named Toledo until 1835. A compromise was made to settle the dispute so that Michigan would be granted statehood in January, 1837. In the compromise, Michigan gave up the Toledo strip and gained the vast majority of the upper peninsula. At the time, Michigan included only a small portion of the upper peninsula, approximately as shown in the map. In 1840, the land gained was heralded as having the richest copper and iron ore in the country. Nevertheless, the distrust for Ohio residents continues, especially during college football events.
Native Villages. A number of "Indian" villages are shown, many of which include tribal names. For instance, in lonia County, a Shinmacons Village and Co-Cooses Village are shown. A Genereaus Trading Post, apparently French, is shown nearby. Several Indian villages are identified near Green Bay Wisconsin. It is also interesting to note that the large Indian nations are shown as regions on the west side of Michigan, as well as near Saginaw Bay. The Indian nations are identified in large, hollowed lettering. A similar lettering style is used for Canada, a foreign country.
Military. Fort Gratiot, Old Fort St.
Clair, Fort Brady, Old Fort
Michillimackinac, Fort Maiden, and the
US Cantonment at Green Point are identified. Also, the location of Perry's
Victory from the War of 1812 with the
British is boasted in Lake Erie.
Roads. Although a number of roads and trails are depicted in the map, the vast detail on rivers reflects the importance of river transportation. With relatively short portages, one could travel across the state via the rivers. In the southern part of Ingham County, the portage rivers are noted, with only short land travel between branches of the Grand River and the Huron River. Although the map key lists railroads and canals, only one railroad and one proposed canal are noted on the map.
Cities. Several cities have changed names since 1835. Jacksonopolis is now known as the city of Jackson. Other changed city names include Dearbornville, Harlow, Powervilie, and Panama. In addition, the sizes and shapes of counties have changed a couple of times since the map's printing.
Geological Features. The map shows a number of outstanding geological features. Sand Hills are shown along the west side of Michigan, as well as along Wisconsin. Sleeping Bear Dunes is described as having a sand bank "200 or 300 ft. high and 8 miles long". White Rock is shown in Lake Huron, probably due to its importance in navigating along the coast. In Shiawassee County, slate and coal are noted near the Coal River. Along the southwestern edge of the state, several prairies are depicted. White Pigeon Prairie is noted in St. Joseph County. Several salt springs and rivers are shown, and a white marble spring is listed in Hillsdale County.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: Is this vintage Michigan map an original?
A: This print is a museum grade, very high quality reproduction. It was created using the latest technology and holds up to the highest level of scrutiny. It faithfully recreates the hand water-colored shades and reveals all of the details of the original – even the fold marks and discoloration of the paper. It is very hard to tell that a framed version is not in fact an original map. The photographic plate used to recreate the map cost several thousand dollars alone. There will not be any further reproduction of these maps by us, these were commissioned by a client (Kurschat & Company) who now allows us to sell the remainder. Production was strictly limited to 3300 hundred prints (an efficient press run for the equipment used for this reproduction). When these are gone, they are gone and they will soon be collectible in their own right.
Each print is individually hand numbered.
- Q: What are the dimensions of the vintage Michigan map?
A: The print is 16" x 20" with a 1 ½" white border, to allow for matting. This size makes it perfect for standard 16" x 20" frames, available at most framing retailers.
- Q: How long will it take for my vintage Michigan map to arrive?
A:Your map will be shipped within 2 to 3 business days by priority mail in a shipping tube.
- Q: Can I return my vintage Michigan map?
A: If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, you can return it within 5 business days for a full refund (minus shipping and handling).
- Q: Will you keep my payment and personal information secure?
A: We use Google Checkout to process payment information, so we never actually see your credit card information. We will not sell, rent or share your name or address with anyone outside of our organization.
- Q: How do I check the status of my order?
A: We will send you an email when we ship your order. The email will contain the fact that it was deposited into the U.S. Postal Service (or parcel service such as Fed Ex or UPS). If possible, a tracking number will be provided that will allow you to track your package. If you need to contact us for any reason, you can email and we will respond within 24 to 48 hours.