One of the best large format maps of the United States published in the 1820s, including the location of several short-lived forts and Fur Trading houses between the Missouri and Mississippi River Valleys.
Walker's case map of the United States is one of the great rarities among early 19th Century English Case Maps of the United States. While based primarily upon David Vance's wall map of the United States of 1825, published in Philadelphia, Walker takes Vance's information and presents a magnificent map, of identical scale to the Vance, but which vastly surpasses the Vance in both detail and accuracy.
The scale of Walker's map and its shear size dwarf contemporary maps by John Melish and others. Because of its scale and significant detail, it is arguable the most significant map of the United States published in England after Arrowsmith's map.
Includes a double-wide Arkansas Territory, extraordinary detail west of the Mississippi (including very early counties in the South and Midwest), the trader's route from Missouri to New Mexico, the Great Spanish Road, Road to the Pawnies, and early Western Forts and settlements. The treatment of Michigan Territory, Illinois, Northwest Territory and Missouri Territory, including the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers, is unsurpassed for this period.
This is one of the few maps to name "Fort Calhoun," on the Missouri River. The fort was located near the meeting place between Lewis & Clark and the Otoe Indians, which came to be known as Council Bluff. The name "Fort Calhoun" first appears on one of the maps made by Major Long, in 1819-20, designating the fort ordered by Secretary of War, John Calhoun, to protect the fur trade. It does not appear in American military records. The "works at the Council Bluff" was, instead, named "Fort Atkinson" in 1821 in honor of the first commander. Fort Atkinson was garrisoned for eight years, serving the fur trade. The fort was abandoned in 1827, and the soldiers moved down river to Fort Leavenworth.
The map also locates Fort Mandan. Constructed by Lewis & Clark in November 1804, this was the location of the winter quarters of the Lewis & Clark expedition in modern day North Dakota. When the expedition returned to the area in 1806, the fort had been burned and was never again occupied.
The map also identifies "Indian Fort." Indian Fort was the location of an Indian on the Missouri River, west of the upriver from the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers, near the modern Wolf Point, Montana.
Beyond the headwaters of the St. Peters River, below Lake Travers (Traverse), is the "Columbian Fur Co. Establishment." This is a reference to the main trading house of the Columbia Fur Company. When the Hudson's Bay Company merged with the North West Company in 1821, 900 employees were dismissed. These fur trappers formed the Columbian Fur Company in 1822, which operated between the upper Mississippi River and the upper Missouri River. In July 1827, about the time of the publication of this map, John Jacob Astor bought out the Columbia Fur Company and reorganized it as the Upper Missouri Outfit, centered at the Mandan villages on the northern Missouri River. Kenneth McKenzie was put in charge, and he immediately established Fort Floyd at the mouth of the Yellowstone River. Soon renamed Fort Union, it was one of the greatest American posts in the region. The combination of the Upper Missouri Outfit and the Western Department gave Astor near total control of the Missouri River fur trade.
The map provides a detailed treatment of the North West Company Houses and Factories.
J. & C. Walker was the imprint used by the Walker family of engravers and printers. They produced numerous high-quality geographical maps and nautical charts for a variety of institutions in the nineteenth century. John Walker (1787-1873) held the position of Hydrographer to the East India Company, a position also held by his father and namesake. John worked in partnership with his brothers, Charles and Alexander. The brothers published over 200 maps for the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. They produced maps for James Horsburgh and the Admiralty, as well as the influential Indian Atlas.