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Map of the western hemisphere with proposed state of Franklinia and unusual boundaries

Place/Date: Paris / 1832
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Title: North & South America; for the Elucidation of the Abbe Gaultier’s Geographical Games
Dimensions
43 x 34.6 cm (16.9 x 13.6 in)
Identifier
NL-00004
Coloring
Hand color
Condition Rating
VG+
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Description

This is a very unusual and interesting map of the Western Hemisphere with a large inset of the United States, engraved for the “Geographical Games.” It presents an odd border between Mexico and the United States, and it also displays the British perspective for the boundary with Canada.

A large inset of the eastern United States gives a very late depiction of the proposed state of Franklinia. The circumstances that lead to the State of Franklin proposal can be traced to the 1750s, when colonial English settlers moved westward past the Appalachians to what is now western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Settlement increased over the next few decades, but neither Virginia Colony nor North Carolina Colony wanted jurisdiction and the responsibility to defend against Indian attacks that came with it. During the Revolutionary War, the area became part of Noth Carolina, but was ceded back to the Confederation Congress in 1784.

In response to this slight, the settlers assembled, adopted their own constitution, and appointed former native Virginia John Sevier as the first Governor of the State of Franklin. Although clearly named in honor of Benjamin Franklin, it is unclear what were Franklin’s exact thoughts on the matter. Congress turned down their appeal but the state maintained a legislature and governor until 1788. At one point Sevier was actually arrested for treason, but in 1796 Tennessee was granted statehood and Sevier served as the first Governor.

This ephemeral state appears on only a small number of maps and this is a late appearance of this frontier political experiment. This scarce map was not included in Baynton-Williams’ s seminal Map Collector article, “Maps marking the American State of Franklin.”

Engraved by Hewitt.

Cartographer(s)

Condition Description

There is minor soiling and an archivally repaired edge tear in the bottom blank margin.

References

Baynton-Williams, Ashley. "Maps marking the American State of Franklin," The Map Collector 72 (Autumn 1992), p. 12-7.

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