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Description

A map of Atlanta included in a 1912 directory showing three and a half miles around central Atlanta. The city limits at the time are shown, with the West End, Atlantic Station, and Little Five Points on the outskirts of this city. Concentric circles are drawn at half-mile intervals, originating at or near the Georgia statehouse. All major roads, railways, "street railways," parks, and reservoirs are shown, with an associated index included.

In the map, Atlanta is divided into wards. The original five wards are at the center of the city, and additional ones would be added or pre-existing ones subdivided as was seen fit. The newest ward in the map was the tenth ward, added in 1910. Each ward elected a councilmember who would represent them in a bicameral legislature. This system would be in place until 1954 when the political system of Atlanta would be restructured.

Atlanta, poster child of the New South, is shown at a time when its many contradictions were coming to a head. The city had been destroyed nearly a half-century earlier during Sherman's March to the Sea but had managed to rebuild itself relatively successfully. Much of this involved moving away from an agrarian economy and towards a more diverse society, exemplified by the founding of the Georgia Institute of Technology, pictured here on the map. However, the city still suffered racial tensions and significant discrimination. While the city had initially moved away from overt racism, the 1906 race riots and lynchings would completely overturn this. Fueled by yellow journalism, this left over 27 people dead. Jim Crow laws were passed soon after, by the time this map was printed segregated facilities, restaurants, and neighborhoods were all established and enforced. The year after, official lines would be drawn up between white and black neighborhoods, a discussion which would have included maps like these. One of the few positives to come out of this period would be the rise of the Sweet Auburn neighborhood, slightly to the east of the downtown area, and not yet named in this map.

This map shows many landmarks including "Spellman seminary" [Spelman College], "Atlanta University" [Morehouse College], the closed Terminal Station, and much more.

This map was published as part of a city directory, run by the Atlanta City Directory Company based in the Five Points district. This would have originally been published with a long text and advertisements, which the cover does its best to promote.

Rarity

We were unable to locate other copies of this map. Emory University possesses the Atlanta City Directory Co's 1910 directory which refers to a separate 1909 map by W. T. Wilson that they advertise as "The First Official Map of Greater Atlanta," but it does not appear that they have either map. If this state exists, it would have been updated for this edition of the map.

Condition Description
Overleaf toning. Minor oxidation spots. Paper repaired in upper left. Archivally flattened and backed. Associated book cover is damaged.