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Illinois Shortly After Statehood

Great example of this early state of Finley's map of Ilinois, published 6 years after Illinois became a state in 1824.

The map is hand colored by counties, with much of the northern lands still dominated by Indians. Includes a number of oversized counties and several unnamed counties. Cook County is not yet shown.

A few early roads and settlements in the otherwise primitive north, plus Indian villages along Lake Michigan and the Mississippi. One of the best and earliest obtainable maps of Illinois, during a period of rapid settlement and expansion.

Anthony Finley was the dominant map maker in the United States from the earlys 1820s through 1831. His atlas was a huge success, far outselling rival atlases by Carey & Lea and Tanner. Its elegant engraving style, high quality paper and topographical detail made it the best regularly published atlas, with maps corrected and updated as often as yearly during the run.

Anthony Finley Biography

Anthony Finley (1784-1836) was an American map publisher. Little is known about his life. He is presumed to have been born in Philadelphia, where he also died. A publisher, Finley was also involved in several Philadelphia civic and professional societies such as the Philadelphia Apprentices’ Library. He may have been in business as early as 1809 and his first publication dates from ca. 1811.

His first maps also date from this year, with two maps in Daniel Edward Clarke’s Travels in Various Countries of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The first atlas published by Finley appeared in 1818, the Atlas classica, or, Select maps of ancient geography, both sacred and profane, for the use of colleges and schools in the United States. He is best known for his A New General Atlas Comprising a Complete Set of Maps (1824), which was a bestseller. There were two editions in 1824, with annual editions until 1834.

Finley was part of the first generation of American publishers who produced high quality, precise maps on American soil. He was in competition with other Philadelphia publishers, for example Henry S. Tanner. Finley’s A New American Atlas Designed Principally to Illustrate the Geography of the United States of America (1826) closely mirrors Tanner’s A New American Atlas Containing Maps of the Several States of the North American Union, with similar groupings of maps; the main difference is the smaller scale of Finley’s maps. Finley printed two editions of this atlas.