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The Old Northwest Territory

An early rare map showing the Midwest and Upper Plains from Morse's American Geography.

The map represents the first attempt to issue a separate atlas map of the Old Northwest, extending from the (conjectural) sources of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers in the west to Lake Erie and the Connecticut Lands in the east, centered on the Mississippi Valley and extending south to the confluence of the Ohio River and New Madrid. North of the Ohio, Washington Co., the Virginia Lands, Connecticut Lands, and Indian Line from the Treaty of Grenville appear.

Many early forts appear, including Fort Knox, Post Vincennes Fort Detroit, Fort Joseph, Fort Defiance (with a battle note), Ft. Jefferson, Ft. St. Clair, Ft. Hamilton, Ft. Stuben, Ft. Recovery, Ft Washington, and others. The Ohio Company Lands are also shown, as are the 7 Ranges. In the west, the pre-Lewis & Clark knowledge of the Missouri is evident, with a note that the River is navigable for 1300 miles. Many Indian villages and important portages are shown. A high plain is shown in the Michigan Peninsula. The fictitious Bellin-Charlevoix Islands in Lake Superior are present.

The location of the Battle of Fallen Timbers is shown (Batt: 20 Aug 1794).

A note at the lower right indicates that the "dotted Squares, are the Refervations [sic] made by the Indians in their Treaty in 1795, and ceded to the United States," a reference to the Treaty of Grenville. The Treaty of Greenville was signed on August 3, 1795, at Fort Greenville, Ohio, after the Native American loss at the Battle of Fallen Timbers a year earlier. It ended the Northwest Indian War in the Ohio Country and granted to the United States strategic parcels of land to the north and west, typically at the confluence of major rivers. These grants, over time, become major American Cities or otherwise locations of strategic importance for early trade. These included the future site of downtown Chicago, the Fort Detroit area, Maumee, Ohio Area, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, the Lower Sandusky Ohio Area, and area just north of St. Louis, among others.

Another of the locations shown is "Girtys". This is a reference to Simon Girty, an American colonial of Scots-Irish birth who served as a liaison between the British and their Indian allies during the American Revolution. During the Northwest Indian War (1785-1795), Girty fought alongside the Wyandots and other Indians He fought the Americans at St. Clair's Defeat in 1791.

The parties to the treaty were a coalition of Native American tribes, known as the Western Confederacy, and United States government represented by General Anthony Wayne for local frontiersmen. The treaty also established what became known as the Greenville Treaty Line, which was for several years a boundary between Native American territory and lands open to European-American settlers.

The map was engraved by Samuel Hill, whose rare plan of Washington is one of the most highly sought after of all early American engravers. A scarce map, which rarely appears on the market.

Wheat & Brun 679