Very attractive and detailed large format folding map of Minnesota, separately issued by George F. Cram in 1878.
An early and impressive Cram publication, substantially updated from his first separate map of Minnesota.
Cram published his "Sectional Map of Minnesota" in the early 1870s, with the "New Sectional Map..." taking over in the middle of the decade. That earlier iteration neglected to include the northeastern and northwestern corners of the state. What were in-progress railroads ten years earlier, have, in this edition, been replaced by definite routes across the western plains.
Interestingly, even with this updated version of the map, Cram still has not included all of the state; the inholding in the Lake of the Woods is not shown, nor is the northeast corner with Grand Portage.
The "New Sectional Map" was published into the 1880s, typically with several issues each year, each changing out publisher information below the line "Engraved From Official Draughts of each County". Some of these were published in St. Paul.
The northern quarter of the state, above Leech Lake (here "Leach Lake"), has yet to be surveyed in detail. A large "Unceded Indian Land" reservation stretches from south of Red Lake to the Canadian border. The Red Lake Reservation would later be substantially balkanized.
Much more accurate surveys of the Minnesota-Canada border had been conducted as early as the 1820s, however, they were not widely available and here Cram relies on rather crude information.
While these maps were issued in large commercial runs, they very rarely appear on the market. This is the first example of the map that we have had in over 25 years of business.
George F. Cram (1842-1928), or George Franklin Cram, was an American mapmaker and businessman. During the Civil War, Cram served under General William Tecumseh Sherman and participated in his March to the Sea. His letters of that time are now important sources for historians of the Civil War. In 1867, Cram and his uncle, Rufus Blanchard, began the company known by their names in Evanston, Illinois.
Two years later, Cram became sole proprietor and the company was henceforth known as George F. Cram Co. Specializing in atlases, Cram was one of the first American companies to publish a world atlas. One of their most famous products was the Unrivaled Atlas of the World, in print from the 1880s to the 1950s.
Cram died in 1928, seven years after he had merged the business with that of a customer, E.A. Peterson. The new company still bore Cram’s name. Four years later, the Cram Company began to make globes, a branch of the business that would continue until 2012, when the company ceased to operate. For the final several decades of the company’s existence it was controlled by the Douthit family, who sold it just before the company was shuttered.