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Stock# 51457

The State of Franklin!

Scarce map of the United States, which includes the State of Franklinia in Western North Carolina.

One of the first and finest English maps to display the boundaries of the newly recognized United States. Faden published the map (originally titled The British Colonies in North America), in 1777, during the Revolutionary War, and regularly revised and updated it as new information became available. The map covers an area from Newfoundland and James Bay to the southern tip of Texas, here labeled "Cenis" for the Indian tribe that occupied the eastern region. The United States is rendered in solid yellow, while other political entities are indicated by colored outline. Faden distinguishes between the British territories of today's Canada and the Bahamas and the Spanish territories of Louisiana and Florida. He also notes the large "Western Territory" north of the Ohio River.

Faden's map of the US is one of the most fascinating maps of the period. While its most noteworthy feature is its references to Franklinia--New State of Franklin, it has a number of other fascinating bits of contemporary information. Beginning in Louisiana Territory, there are references to New Iberia and Arkansas or the Fair Nation. The borders of the Carolinas are shown extending beyond the Mississippi to the Pacific Coast, with a reference to the South Sea Charter. The source of the Missouri is noted as unknown. Massive Western Territory, covering Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and part of Minnesota.

Faden also depicts the various company lands, which existed in the West, including New Jersey Company, Wabash Company, the Army Lands, the Lands reserved for the Carolina Troops, Colonel Simms, Donation Lands, Seven Ranges, Virginia Troops, etc. Georgia runs to the Mississippi, with lots of Indian Tribes and East and West Florida shown. Several early roads in Texas. The Twenty Leagues Line is interesting to note and indicates that the British denomination of East and West Florida has been retained, although perhaps not adopted by the Spanish.

This is the 6th edition of the map and one of the most sought after. In this edition, there is an interesting notation added to the color key that all lands not settled by Europeans "should belong by right to the Aborigines." The sixth state is the first to name the "Tannesse Government" and to show the new national capital, "Washington or / the Federal City." The map is also one of the few maps to record the short-lived state of "Franklinia." Franklinia was formed by settlers in 1784, but it was never recognized by Congress. Eventually it was annexed by North Carolina and later reverted back to Tennessee.

LeGear, 6010; Sellers and Van Ee, Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, no. 733; Henry Stevens and Roland Tree, “Comparative Cartography,” no. 80f, in Tooley, Mapping of America.
William Faden Biography

William Faden (1749-1836) was a prominent London mapmaker and publisher. He worked in close partnership with the prolific Thomas Jeffreys from 1773 to 1776. In 1783, Faden assumed ownership of the Jeffreys firm and was named Geographer to the King in the same year. Faden specialized in depictions of North America and also commanded a large stock of British county maps, which made him attractive as a partner to the Ordnance Survey; he published the first Ordnance map in 1801. The Admiralty also admired his work and acquired some of his plates which were re-issued as official naval charts. After retiring in 1823 the lucrative business passed to James Wyld, a former apprentice.