Very rare first edition of this large cornerstone map of Florida, produced during the Third Seminole War.
The map was issued to illsutrate Memoir to accompany a Military Map of The Peninsula Of Florida, published in 1856.
The main areas of activity during the Third Seminole War, the territory just west of Lake Okeechobee, and the northern end of Big Cypress Swamp, are shown in incomparable detail. Ives shows all of the local Indian settlements and the locations and dates of relevant skirmishes and battles up to April of 1856.
Third Seminole War
The third and final Seminole War started when a surveying expedition under command of Lieutenant Hartsuff, who stumbled upon a garden owned by Billy Bowlegs, an important local Seminole chief. Hartsuff's party began to destroy the garden and were discovered doing so by Bowlegs. He objected to the destruction of his crops and was brutalized by the soldiers. While Hartsuff's team was preparing to leave for Fort Myers the next morning, they were attacked by Bowlegs and a group of Seminole warriors. Four of the eleven members of the party were killed and scalped, while the rest were able to make it back to Fort Myers. Hartsuff's route and the location of the skirmish are both noted on this map.
The war continued for three years. Bowlegs was eventually convinced to accept a cash payment from the United States government, and he moved his people west to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. It is said that when they went through New Orleans on their way to the Indian Territory, Bowlegs had two wives, several children, $100,000 in cash, and many slaves with him. When Bowlegs established himself in the Indian Territory, he was said to have been one of the bigger slaveholders in the region.
The small territory that was still occupied by the Seminole Indians at the outset of the third war, is described on this map in great detail. The map shows the extent to which the Indians had been pushed deep into Big Cypress Swamp and up to the northern edge of the Everglades by the previous wars and the policies of Andrew Jackson. Ives gives a good sense of the distribution of the Seminoles who had remained in Florida to the mid-1850s with the depiction of the villages in Big Cypress Swamp: Billy's Town, Billy Bowlegs Old Town, Sam Jones Town, Bowlegs Town, Stuttering Bill's, etc.
At least seven battlegrounds from the Second and Third Seminole Wars are shown on the map. They date up to 1856 and include the following:
Battle of Okeechobee December 25, 1837
Jesup's Battle January 24, 1838
Battle of December 20, 1841
Lieut. Hartsuff's Skirmish of December 1855 (marking the beginning of the third war)
Battle of January 1856
Battle of April 7, 1856
Battle of March 29, 1856 (the map was published the following month)
The map illustrates over 45 forts or military depots. Interestingly the vast majority of these are unoccupied; of the forts shown, only nine are labeled occupied on the map. The map illustrates the following occupied forts:
Fort Simon Drum
And these unoccupied forts:
Old Fort Lauderdale
Old Fort Jupiter
Fort T. B. Adams
Fort Van Swearingen
Old Depot No. 2
Temporary Depot No. 1
Temporary Depot No. 2 / Old Fort Foster
In addition to the battles and forts described on the map, its other major contribution to our understanding of the military history of South Florida is its inclusion of the routes of 25 military surveys and expeditions spread between the Second and Third Seminole Wars. The routes are as follows:
Major Lauderdale's route
Colonel Harney's route
Colonel Taylor's route
General Twigg's route
Colonel P. Smith's route
Captain Waites's route
Captain Wright's route
General Eustis's route
Captain Pratt's route
Colonel Taylor's route
Lieutenant Hartstuff's route of 1835
Captain Allen's route of 1838
Colonel Davenport's route of 1839
Major Graham's route of January 1842
Captain Wade's route of 1842
Captain Wade's return route
Captain Ker's route of 1842
Lieutenant Benson's route of 1854
Captain Dawson's route of 1855
Lieutenant Haines's route 1855
Major Hays's route 1855
Lieutenant A.P. Hill's route of 1855
Lieutenant Platt's route of 1855
Major Hayes's route of 1855
Human and Natural Geography
The map features a stunning level of ecological detail; six categories of land are differentiated: sawgrass, swamp, marsh, scrub, wet prairie, dry prairie, wet hammock, and dry hammock. The map also specifies the following forest types: pine, palmetto, oak, cypress, and "koontee" (also called "koonti", and now referred to as Florida arrowroot or wild sago).
The map's coverage of the entirety of the Everglades and surrounding areas, as well as the present-day metropolitan areas of Miami, Palm Beach, Tampa Bay, and Fort Myers, offers a peerless opportunity to contrast south Florida's pre-development landscape with how it looks today.
The map shows very few American towns. Tampa is shown as a village and there are single dwellings scattered around the bay but other than that there is very little development. There are collections of houses near Indian River and in the Florida Heartland. In fact, there were few enough houses that Ives could name the individual owners of many of them.
Two lighthouses are shown, namely those on Key West and at Cape Florida on Key Biscayne.
Particular care was taken to describe various transportation routes: wagon roads, blazed routes, and trails are shown separately. Indian boundaries are shown. There are proposed canal routes as well.
Joseph Christmas Ives
The map was compiled by Joseph Christmas Ives (1829-1868), under the orders of then-Secretary of War of the United States, Jefferson Davis. Ives was an important figure in the mapping of the American frontier. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1852, and from 1853 to '54 he served as a Second Lieutenant with the Topographical Engineers on Whipple's Pacific Railroad survey of the 35th parallel.
After the completion of his map of Florida in April 1856, Ives led an expedition over two years, to explore the upper Colorado River. As a result of this expedition he was responsible for the earliest scientific mapping of the Grand Canyon and its environs.
From 1859 to 1860, after his expedition out west, Ives worked as an engineer and architect on the Washington Monument. At the beginning of the Civil War he declined a promotion in the U.S. Army. And in spite of having been born in New York City, Ives took a commission with the Confederates. He filled several engineering roles until he became aide-de-camp, with the rank of colonel, to President Jefferson Davis. He served in this capacity from 1863 to 1865. It is noteworthy that he also served under Jefferson Davis when Davis was Secretary of War during the 1850s. It has been suggested that this relationship is what led Ives to fight for the Confederacy.
After the war Ives returned to New York City and died there on November 12th, 1868.
The map echos Washington Hood's 1838 Map of the Sea of War in Florida, and McKay & Blake's 1839 derivative map. Ives's map, however, is much larger and more detailed.
There is a 1911 photolithographic reproduction that is sometimes encountered. This, the original edition, is much rarer; this being the first time we have handled it in over 25 years of business.