Some Early Maps

This week’s reading was quite interesting. It provided a slightly different perspective on a lot of the information I read about in Derek Hayes Historical Atlas of the United States. It feels very much like a example of some of the things that we discussed earlier, especially the various purposes of maps. The 2004 electoral maps (which I remember encountering on the internet the year they came out) remind me of the maps I linked to in an earlier post.

New York, Circa 1776

This is a section of a hand-enlargement and coloration of a map in Judeth Buskirk’s Generous Enemies, which focuses on the interactions among various factions in Revolutionary Era New York City. I have chosen in this case to depict various features in different colors in order to provide clearer differentiation between them. Light blue areas are water, the brown areas are waterfront and building-less land. Green areas are city, purple depicts state and military buildings, red areas have religious associations, and the dark blue depicts other locations and buildings of interest. Unfortunately, I seem to have made some errors and some distortions have started creeping into the map, especially above and to the right of the section I have scanned and posted. I’m going to attempt to finish the map anyway, and the finished map will have a legend and possibly be labeled.

The above is part of a project that I have been fiddling with since we started working with the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. The maps of Luray, which I have a personal interest in (My parents are building a house in Page County just east of Luray) have several sets at 20-ish year intervals, which should allow some interesting comparisons and a look at how the town grew over the period from 1880 through the 1920s. This is the 1902 map. I have colored businesses in green, dwellings in yellow, government buildings in light red, and educational buildings in blue. Purple buildings are either not labeled or have labels that are not clear.

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