Carey & Lea Illinois 1827


“Illinois.” From A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas.  Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1827. 12 x 8 3/4 (map); 16 1/2 x 20 3/4 (full sheet). Engraving by J. Yeager. Full hand color. Very good condition.

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An original antique map of Illinois.  In 1822, Henry Charles Carey and Isaac Lea published their American Atlas. This volume was based on Emmanuel Las Cases’ Atlas Historique of 1803, with updated maps and text modified by Carey, a political economist. He considered himself an American foil to John Stuart Mill and the London economists who were proclaimers of “the gloomy science” influenced by Ricardo and Malthus. Instead of preaching overpopulation and degeneration of the human species, Carey illustrated the nations of the western hemisphere through maps that showed an expanding region with ample promise of developing into lands of great new opportunity and growth. The sheets from this atlas, which cover North America, Central America, South America and the West Indies, are comprised of an engraved map surrounded by text documenting the history, climate, population and so forth of the area depicted. The atlas is particularly known for its excellent early maps of the states and territories of the United States. Many of these maps were drawn by Fielding Lucas Jr., an important Baltimore cartographer. All of the maps show excellent and very up-to-date detail, providing fine verbal and graphic pictures of states and territories in the early 19th century. A later edition of the Carey & Lea map of Illinois, issued five years later. Here the “bounty lands” to the west of the Illinois River are now shown broken up into counties and townships. The “Indian Boundary Line” is shown to the north of this area, running from Fort Armstrong to just north of Chicago.