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Description

Rare Richmond Imprint Centered on Charlottesville

Nice example of this rare regional map of Virginia, centered on Charlottesville and emphasizing the early railroads within the state.

The map was intended to illustrate the available railroad routes for tourist from the east (Richmond, Alexandria, Washington, DC, Petersburg, etc.) to the then thriving tourist hot springs locations at the western edge of the map.  The Directions for Tavelers at the top of the map provides route and distance details for 7 major railroad lines traversing the region.

The map is of great interest for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that is compiler, William Cooke, was then serving as a principal at the first North Carolina school for the deaf. It is also one of the first maps published in Richmond by Ritchie and Dunnavant, and includes a credit to J.A. Waddell, who would go on to collaborate with Matthew Fontane Maury on Maury's map of Virginia. The map also gives credit to the State Geological Survey.

Richmond imprints are scarce on the market and this is one of the most interesting we have encountered.

William Cooke

Born May 27th, 1811, in Williston, Vermont, William Cooke attended Middlebury College. In about 1833, he arrived in Staunton, Virginia, as a teacher. There he met and later wed Lucy Ann Waddell, daughter of Principal Lyttleton Waddell who oversaw the Staunton Male Academy. William accepted a position in managing the Academy with his father-in-law.

In 1839, Cooke began working with the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind. Five years later, while still at the school, he received an invitation from the Governor of North Carolina, J.M. Morehead, to discuss establishing a program for the deaf in North Carolina. After a direct personal appeal to the State Legislature, an appropriation for the school was granted and William became its first principal in 1845, a position he held for almost sixteen years.

In 1860 William was chosen principal of the Georgia School at Cedar Springs, but unfortunately two years later, due to the Civil War, the school would close, leaving him temporarily unemployed. It was during this time he worked in a publishing office in Richmond, Virginia.

Cooke apparently had a significant interest in printing. He also strongly advocated for instruction in the trades for his students, as there was none then being offered as part of the curricula. Printing was clearly a topic of great interest for Cooke, as he went so far as to establish the first newspaper to be published at a school for the Deaf while he was Superintendent at the North Carolina School in the 1850 and served as its editor. The shop there had been well equipped and took many outside jobs, many for the state of North Carolina itself. During the war, some Confederate money was printed there.

Cooke would go on to serve as the first Principal for the Maryland School for the Deaf in 1868, where he remained for a number of years.

Rarity

The map is of the utmost rarity. OCLC locates 4 copies (Virginia State Library, Virginia Historical Society, Rutherford B Hayes Presidential Library and British Library).

Condition Description
With original embossed covers. Map detached, with folds flattened and minor tears and repaired. Minor soiling.
Willliam D. Cooke Biography

Born May 27th, 1811, in Williston, Vermont, William Cooke went on to attend Middlebury College.  About the year 1833 he arrived in Staunton, Virginia, as a teacher. There he met and later wed Lucy Ann Waddell, daughter of Principal Lyttleton Waddell who oversaw the Staunton Male Academy. William accepted a position in managing the Academy with his father-in-law. It seems William began his work with the deaf in 1839 at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind. Five years later, while still at the school, he received an invitation from the Governor
of North Carolina, J.M. Morehead, to discuss establishing a program for the deaf in that state. After a direct personal appeal to the State Legislature, an appropriation for the school was granted and William became its first principal in 1845, a position he held for almost sixteen years.
In 1860 William was chosen principal of the Georgia School at Cedar Springs, but unfortunately two years later, due to the Civil War, the school would close. During this troubled time he worked in a publishing office in Richmond, Virginia, but it must have been a difficult period of his life.

Cooke apparently had a significant interest in printing.  Mr. Cooke also strongly advocated for trades instruction (for his students) as there was none then being offered. He undoubtedly had printing in mind; as the first Superintendent at the North Carolina School in the 1850s, he had established one of the first papers at a school for the deaf in this country and had served as its editor. The shop there had been well equipped and took many outside jobs, many for the state of North Carolina itself. During the war, some Confederate money was printed there.

Cooke would go on to serve as the first Principal for the Maryland School for the Deaf in 1868, where he remained for a number of years.