St. Louis: E.H. Ross, 1873 (or before). Lithograph map on banknote paper with original pale color wash for Arkansas counties; border to border: 86.3 x 73.2 cm; overall sheet size: 90 x 75.5 cm, ornate leaf border, folded into original brown blind-embossed pocket covers (15.5 x 10 cm), gilt-lettered on upper cover: New Sectional Map of Arkansas, Published by E.H. Ross, St. Louis, broadside printed on yellow paper used as front pastedown, reading: E.H. Ross, Western Map Emporium (advertisement). Map moderately stained in one panel where adhered to lower pocket cover, expert repaired tear at left margin, a few tiny separations at folds (no losses), light browning at some folds, overall very good. Pocket covers slightly bubbled in a few spots where original adhesive did not properly adhere, pastedown paper perished at gutter (not affecting text). Overall a very good copy of an exceptionally rare map. Preserved in a black cloth case. Very good. Item #3381
A rare, and extremely early map of Arkansas preserved in excellent condition, in the original publisher's chemise. The map shows "the Sections, Townships, Lines, Ranges, Principal Rivers, Creeks, Post Offices, Landings, Towns, Roads, Railroads, U.S. Surveys, Lakes, & etc." It will be seen that Railroads criss-cross the region, although many (most?) are “Proposed”; the few “Completed” railroads are mainly in in Mississippi and Tennessee. The Memphis & Charleston R. R. appears to be finished to Little Rock, but the Helena & Charleston R. R. appears complete only to the east bank of the Mississippi.
Remarkable is the attention to towns and settlements: “Benton” is found in both Newton and Saline counties, plus Bentonville in Benton county. At 10 miles per inch (!) this map extends into southern Missouri, Louisiana, East Texas and "Indian Territory."
The present map is a superb example of the use of lithography in cartographic art, and it is one of the most beautiful maps of Arkansas from any period. Credit goes to the talented lithographer Alexander McLean (b. Scotland ca. 1823-?), who is listed in the St. Louis directories from 1859 through 1875. He created a wide variety of prints, such as bird’s-eye views of various cities, including: Great Salt Lake (1852; Reps Views & Viewmakers of America 4018), Columbus, Mississippi (ca. 1871?; Reps 1970); Belleville, Illinois (1859; Reps 781). See Peters (America on Stone, pp. 277-278) and Groce & Wallace, p. 416.
Our undated map belongs to an undetermined edition, but it was certainly published in 1873 or before, as is attested by the fact that modern-day Baxter and Clay Counties (created on March 24, 1873) do not appear here.
1871 (formerly with Donald Heald);
1872 (University of Chicago & British Library, holdings confirmed). The British Library report of an 1874 edition is a ghost.
A note on the 1871 map: the date is found between the words “Western Map Emporium” and the shield around the key. In our copy that space is blank with no evidence of removal. In the 1871 example the border is a plain line, whereas ours features an ornate leaf border. The same fifty-eight counties are shown on both maps.
The publisher’s advertisements on the pastedown of the pocket folder state that the map could be obtained mounted and on rollers for $2.00, and the pocket map form cost $1.50. The other ad is for Ross’ Sectional Map of Kansas. The same description that Ross offers for his Kansas map applies to the present map as well: “The engraving is clear and beautiful, all Railroads, Stations, and Sections are plainly engraved. Great pains have been taken to make this a perfectly reliable and correct Map. In accuracy and completeness there is no other to compare with it, and, it is believed, will meet a long felt want of the public.”
Ross notes that his St. Louis Western Map Emporium kept in inventory a full line of maps from his own firm as well as Gaylord Watson of New York and George F. Cram of Chicago. It seems to have been a short-lived venture. All the maps that Ross is known to have created are contiguous to Arkansas to the north or west: Kansas (1871 & 1872), Texas-Indian Territory (1872 & 1873), Missouri (1872) and Saint Louis (1871).