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The Historical Map in American Atlases

Lester J. Cappon
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Vol. 69, No. 4 (Dec., 1979), pp. 622-634
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2563133
Page Count: 13
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The Historical Map in American Atlases
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Abstract

The historical map was a latecomer in the United States, the initial incentive stemming from Francis A. Walker's areal statistical maps in the Census Bureau's Statistical Atlas (1874) and its more notable successor, Scribner's Statistical Atlas of the United States (1883) with historical maps, demographic and political. Fortuitously this achievement was coeval with the emergence of history as a professional discipline, the teaching of American history, and the use of maps in textbooks. Prof. Albert Bushnell Hart of Harvard University became the leading advocate of correlating history with geography and of teaching history with the aid of maps. His Epoch Maps Illustrating American History (1891), the protoatlas on this subject, based upon primary sources, was followed by his more comprehensive American History Atlas (1918). Its only competitor was William R. Shepherd's Historical Atlas (1911), and later editions, containing a section on American history. Hart had long since expressed the great need for an elaborate historical atlas of North America, ultimately met by Paullin and Wright's Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States (1932), brainchild of J. Franklin Jameson and twenty years in the making. Other atlases of American history, varying in quality, have followed but have not replaced Paullin and Wright. The Atlas of Early American History ... 1760-1790 (1976) filled the need for more detailed treatment of the Revolutionary Era.

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