Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account

Rare Promotional Map for the Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad, drawn by I.A. Soiecki.

This map is quite possibly the earliest printed map to focus on the Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad, focusing on railroad lines extending from New York to North Carolina, emphasizing the connections of the Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad.

The map is difficult to date, but the spelling of "Cleaveland" in Ohio with an "ea" is suggestive of a date in the mid-1830s and the progress of the railroads and canals suggests a similar date. Thomson lists it as a pre-1841 imprint (only recorded example in Pennsylvania Historical Society).

We note the existence of an I. A. Soiecki, whose son was likely Isadore A. Soiecki, born 1840 in Maryland. I. A. Soiecki appears to have also served as a draughtsman working on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, as of 1839. The 1839 Report of the General Committee of the Stockholders of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (p. 32) states:

The committee beg leave to recommend to the particular notice and examination of the stockholders two maps, drawn by Mr. 'Soiecki, a draughtsman in the employ of the company; the smaller one exhibiting the continuous route of the canal, with the country through which the contemplated extension to Pittsburg will pass; the other, a minute survey of the country around and above Cumberland. The former they earnestly recommend may be perfected and published, and they entertain no doubt that a sufficient number may be sold to reimburse the expense of the engraving.

We also note a credit to " I. A. de Soiecki (Vera Cruz City archives)" in The War With Mexico, Volume II, by Justin H. Smith, which suggests that the plan would have been drawn prior to 1846.

Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad

The Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad Company was chartered in Maryland on February 13, 1828, as the second designated rail system in the state with authority to construct a railroad from Baltimore northeast to the Susquehanna River. To reach the Susquehanna at any commercially useful point, the new line would have to cross the state line into York County, Pennsylvania. However, the Pennsylvania General Assembly rejected its charter for a connecting railroad.

Construction of the Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad began in 1829. The route reached as far north as the York Road at Cockeysville, north of Baltimore, by 1831. At that time, the B&S obtained an amendment to its charter from the Maryland legislature which allowed it to be built in a northwestern direction via Westminster, the seat of Carroll County. The line would continue into the headwaters of the Monocacy River and reach Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

New construction began at Hollins, Maryland and ran west through the Green Spring Valley north of Baltimore. The line reached the Reisterstown Road at Owings Mills on June 13, 1832. Despite continuing opposition from Philadelphia business and political interests, the Pennsylvania legislature finally chartered the York and Maryland Line Rail Road on March 14, 1832, authorizing it to connect the Baltimore & Susquehanna, at the Mason and Dixon Line/state line, with York, Pennsylvania, a commercial city center in the southern part of the Keystone State, with water access on Codorus Creek.

The directors of the Baltimore & Susquehanna did not immediately give up their planned route via Westminster, the terms of the new charter being somewhat onerous. The Adams County Railroad was chartered on April 6, 1832, in Pennsylvania, to run from Gettysburg to the Maryland state line, but was never constructed, nor was the line to Westminster (later known as the Green Spring Branch) extended further northwest. A further amendment to the York & Maryland Line's charter in 1837, allowed it the unlimited use of the Wrightsville, York and Gettysburg Railroad, which it had aided financially. The Baltimore & Susquehanna, and York & Maryland Line had eventually completed the line from Baltimore to York by 1838. This line included the use of the Howard Tunnel, near Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania, constructed 1836-1837, and opened 1838, the earliest railroad tunnel in the U.S. still in use today.

In 1832 the railroad purchased its first locomotive, the Herald, which was run along the route from Baltimore to Owings Mills. This purchase was a major undertaking, for it was built in England and transported by ship. Also, because the age of railroading was new to America, an engineer was sent with the locomotive to ensure that he could teach others the finer art of locomotive engineering.

Also in 1832, the Railway built Bolton Station, the first in Baltimore, with an adjacent roundhouse and shops, at Bolton and North Howard Streets in then old northern Baltimore City, overlooking the west bank of the Jones Falls, near the former George Grundy estate of "Bolton" mansion.

In April 1840, the Wrightsville, York & Gettysburg R.R. had been completed between York and Wrightsville, on the Susquehanna. There a connection was made to the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge, allowing trains to cross the river and reach the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad and later, the Pennsylvania Railroad just prior to the Civil War. The railroad provided an alternative method of shipping cargo from central Pennsylvania to the Maryland seaports versus the Tide Water and Susquehanna Canal. However, the cost of expansion and inconsistent tariff policies plagued the Baltimore & Susquehanna and limited further growth.


Thomson, Check list of publications on American railroads before 1841 . . . locates only 1 example of the map, in the collection of the Pennsylvania Historical Society (Boyd 14).