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Rare American Geographical Chart & Teaching Aid

Extremely rare broadside "Geographical Chart," published in Albany by the Albany Register in 1805.

The chart provides a marvelous multi-column presentation of information concerning America, the United States, each of the original 13 states, Vermont, Maine, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, The North-western Territory, Louisiana, Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, Florida, New-Spain, Terra Firma, Peru, Chili, Paraguay, Brazil, Cayenne and Guiana.

Below the tables there are shorter bits of information on Newfoundland, St. John, Cape Breton, New Britain, Greenland, Amazonia and Patagonia. A second column details the West-India Islands, with a third table providing additional miscellaneous geographical information.

Geographical Charts in America

The present broadside is one of the earliest Geographical Charts published in America and relating to America. Other early examples include:

James Strong: A Geographical Chart of the American Federal Republic. Or, a comprehensive view of the most interesting particulars relative to the geography &c. of the United States of North America. Walpole, New Hampshire, 1806 (Advertised in the August 27, 1806, issue of the Vermont Centinel, Burlington, as "For sale at this office. - Chart in nineteen columns; printed area measures 45.6 x 54.1 cm. - Shaw & Shoemaker, 1371.)

John Dumont: A Geographical chart : being a compendium of the geography of the United States, Upper and Lower Canada, and the territories belonging to the United States. Pittsburgh, 1813.

We also note an earlier Albany imprint by Whiting, Backus & Whiting entitled Geographical Chart; or a Scheme comprehending the most important Particulars relative to the Geography of Europe, Asia and Africa. 1804. The titles of the two charts suggest they may both have been published for the same person.

John Barber

John Barber was born in Langford, Ireland in 1758. With his younger brother, Robert, he emigrated to America and arrived in Albany during the 1780s. John is said to have been a school teacher while Robert trained under Charles R. Webster and became a printer.

In 1788, "Robert Barber & Co." started the Albany Register - a political newspaper formed to oppose ratification of the Federal Constitution. Before long, Robert Barber left the paper and moved to Johnstown. Although not really a printer himself, John assumed ownership and operation of the newspaper.

John Barber died in July 1808. His obituary noted that he was "publisher of the Albany Register, died of consumption, aged 50. He was printer to the state, and a man very highly respected for his moral and social worth. Before he took charge of the Register, he had been a school teacher under Mr. Merchant."


OCLC locates 1 example (American Antiquarian Society).

Condition Description
Minor soiling and remnants of a wax seal at the bottom left. and elsewhere.
Early American Imprints, Series II: Supplement from the American Antiquarian Society, 1801-1819