Detailed map of the area around St. Louis, prepared under the supervision of Robert E. Lee.
A fine map of the Mississippi River, centered on St. Louis. The map shows the area of the river from Cahoe Island in the south, to Cascarot Island in the north. Numerous measurements of distance and water depth are given from shore to shore. Connecting these cross section measurements are compass heading to get from point to point.
The banks of the river include topographical features and the location of individual building stores and some with family names.
The map centers on the city of St. Louis and Bloody Island. During the 1830s, the formation of Bloody Island cased the primary channel of the river to the Illinois side, causing an increasing buildup of silt in St. Louis Harbor. Robert E. Lee, then a young officer, was commissioned to come up with a plan to solve this problem. This map illustrates his plan to build two dykes on either side of Bloody Island that would redirect the main flow of water to the west side of the island, clearing all the silt from St. Louis forever.
The project proved to be a success and within two decades the silt was clear from St. Louis and Bloody Island had become a part of the riverbank on the Illinois side of the Mississippi.