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Friday, September 9, 2011

Rare Map of the Day: "Map of the United States, Exhibiting the Post-Roads, the Situations, Connexions & Distances of the Post-Offices..." Abraham Bradley, Jr.

 Bradley’s Groundbreaking Map of the United States

Abraham Bradley, Jr.
Map of the United States, Exhibiting the Post-Roads, the Situations, Connexions & Distances of the Post-Offices...

Engraving with original hand color
Sheet size: 38 3/4" x 53"
Philadelphia, 1804
Literature: Schwartz and Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America, pl 136.

Abraham Bradley, Jr.'s Map of the United States... as defined in the early nineteenth century was a landmark production, arguably the first such detailed map produced by an American mapmaker. It was nothing less than a visual testament to the growing expertise of the country's printers and cartographers after the triumph of the Revolution. An indigenous cartography sprang up and eventually flourished during the nineteenth century in response to nationalism, exploration, settlement, war, rising literacy, and finally, the exploitation of natural resources. Bradley was one of the first proponents of this burgeoning trade in domestic maps, and the high commercial value of his map for Americans at the turn of the century is indisputable.

Bradley's groundbreaking Map of the United States... constitutes a comprehensive and accurate record of roads, distances, post offices, and "ports of entry and delivery for foreign vessels," and includes plats in Ohio and Indiana. His map shows the great disparity of information that characterized knowledge of the East, which is exceedingly detailed, and that of the Midwest and beyond.  An inset of North America is all but blank beyond the Mississippi River, for this map was, in fact, executed on the eve of Lewis & Clark's great expedition into the Pacific Northwest. As such, Bradley's map captures a moment in American history, just before the extent of the nation's geography and (potential) expanse was about to change drastically. 

Inset Map of North America

Offered at $275,000.

Arader Galleries intends to have the lowest prices on ABE, Alibris, Biblio, AE, and Artnet while maintaining the highest levels of quality in the business for every offering. To inquire or view the complete offering, please contact our curators at info@aradernyc.com or call our 72nd Street NYC gallery at (212) 628-3668.

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Please do not hesitate to direct all comments, questions, and inquiries to grahamarader@gmail.com

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