Exhibit Section

  • I. Bird’s Eye Views of Maine

    Views of towns and cities may have been the most popular category of printed images in nineteenth century America. They have also been known as bird’s eye views, perspective maps and aero views. Although not drawn to scale, they show street pattern...

  • VII. Governmental Mapping: Topography, Coastal, Geological

    Mapping activities by the United States government were constrained by the strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution which prevailed before the Civil War. The division of responsibility between the Federal and state governments followed a simple...

  • VI. Manifest Destiny and the Popular Mapping of Wars

    The several wars fought by the United States during the mid- and late-nineteenth century attracted a great deal of popular cartographic attention. Much of the popular mapping associated with wars focused on the sites of conflict, as with the examples...

  • V. Geographical Atlases

    Mathew Carey’s American Atlas (see items 20-21) consolidated the practice of mapping the Republic as an assemblage of individual states. Indeed, this basic structure is still used today for atlases of the United States. However, publishers after Ca...

  • IV. Early Republic Gazetteers and Atlases

    The earliest geographical publications in the fledgling United States adopted one or other of the territorial and political conceptions of the Republic examined in the first half of this exhibition. Jedidiah Morse, often called the “Father of Ameri...

  • III. Constitutional Spaces: Mapping States

    The Constitution of the United States, which took effect in 1789, defined how the Union would function legislatively, administratively, and judicially. It also provided some arrangements for managing interactions between the states. But, other than g...

  • II. Spaces of Independence: Mapping the Union

    The Declaration of Independence established the idea of the Union of the original thirteen colonies—“one People”—opposed to British tyranny. Even so, Americans in the Early Republic adapted the standard British colonial geographical image for...

  • VIII. Conclusion

    The three key elements of a diaspora are the forced migration of a people, discrimination against that people, and a longing on the part of that people to return home. A diaspora can therefore be thought to be brought to an end when these elements ar...

  • VII. The Return to Africa

    The experience of African-Americans has certainly entailed a longing for their lost homelands. As a spiritual ballad of North American slaves and Rastafarians in Jamaica proclaimed, drawing on Psalm 137: By the rivers of Babylon, where we sat down, a...

  • VI. Africans in the Americas

    The Middle PassageThe “Middle Passage” is the name commonly given to the transatlantic shipment of slaves from African ports to the Americas. Because slaves were considered to be trade goods, their owners kept relatively accurate manifests for ea...