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072 Michigan and North Western Territories c. 1817

072 Michigan and North Western Territories c. 1817

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This map of Michigan and the Northwestern Territories was produced by Lucas Fielding Jr. in the year 1817. It is an Atlas work, meaning it is one of several maps in a particular volume. The territorial boundaries are clearly delineated with hatchure marks. What makes this map truly unique is that there are only two copies of the original map known to exist. As is typical with the cartography of the time, less attention was paid to floral detail boundaries, and much more attention was given to the subject itself.

This was due to the fact that these types of maps were used by early explorers and voyagers to navigate the land. As such, rivers, mountains, and terrain variations are noted in great detail, as well as a more unique item swamps. This was crucial information to have as an explorer. The last thing any explorer wanted to do was come up against a swamp with no defined boundaries. There would be no way of telling how wide it was or what the shortest way around it would be. This inclusion makes this map particularly useful.

Many rivers in their respective tributaries are noted as those were primary waterways where commercial trade occurred on a daily basis. Also of note, local Indian tribes are recognized on the map concerning the areas where they live.

Copper and lead mines are also noted clearly on the map as this was a time when the industry was coming into for bloom. The Chippewa Indians that were indigenous to the area, but did not pursue mining. Most of the copper had been harvested a century before by the other native people who lived there. It was used to fashion tools, weapons, and the like.

To that end, when European explorers discovered the area, they were captivated by the abundant amount of copper they found in the area. As the precious metal industry continued to expand, so did the search for copper and lead. Since the previous Native Americans left behind abundant amounts of in streams, valleys, and mountain paths; it served as a sort of guide that led explores directly to the abundant metal mines. Some of these discoveries are what you see pictured on this particular map.

All sizes are approximate. 


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