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Rare large format map of North America, with interesting detail, especially in the northwest and west of the Mississippi River.

Wheat notes that the map, which was issued one year after Melish's seminal map, incorporates the western notions of Nicholas King for interpretations of the explorations of Lewis & Clark. The Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin Branches of the Missouri are shown, but Wheat notes that the southwest is curious, with a mountain range called Berge des Platten Flusses extending easterly from California across the Mojave Desert and the Great Basin.

The Columbia River turns due north. The Spanish Provincial governments in Louisiana Territory are named, including New Orleans, Mississippi and Louisiana. Georgia still extends to the Mississippi River. A massive Northwest Territory is shown. Nicholas King drew a map for the War Department from the notes of Lewis & Clark, which now resides in the Boston Athaneum. Wheat makes an extensive discussion of the King maps, which we will not repeat here. The western extremity of the Gallatin Fork reaches the Sierras in California.

A fascinating early map of the west and northwest.

Wheat 323.
Christian Gottlieb Reichard Biography

Christian Gottlieb Reichard (1758-1837) was a German cartographer. Reichard studied law in Leipzig and found work as a town clerk in Bad Lobenstein. He had great personal interest in geography, history, and cartography, hobbies which gained him more renown than law. However, even after he began making maps, he continued working his clerk job, which gave him the financial stability to support his family.

Reichard is best known for his work on his Atlas des Ganzen Erdkreises in der Central Projection (Atlas of the Whole World in the Central Projection) in 1803 and the Orbis terrarum antiquus (Atlas of the Ancient World) of 1824. He is also likely the first published cartographer to adopt the Albers conic projection, in his map Die Vereinigten Staaten von Nord-America, nach den sichersten Bestimmungen, neuesten Nachrichten und Charten, in der Alber’schen Projection entworfen, (The United States of North America, after the safest regulations, latest news and charts, designed in the Alberian projection), where he references the Albers projection by name.

Reichard’s work was known by his contemporaries as highly accurate, and in fact this descriptor still holds up today. This accuracy, along with his skill, made him very publishable, and he worked on a number of atlases with other cartographers, such as Steiler’s Handatlas. Reichard’s style is simple but includes great detail, making his maps both recognizable at a glance and engaging upon deeper study.