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One of Mark Twain's Sources For Huckleberry Finn

Impressive Civil War-era hand-colored wall map of the Mississippi River from St. Louis and the junction of the Missouri to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico, delineated in five sections.   

Lloyd's map of the Mississippi was the most comprehensive commercially map of the river at a time when the Mississippi River was arguably the single most important commercial thoroughfare in America. Moreover, at the time of its publication, it was also part of a complex relationship where access to the River was shared by enemy combatants, with a general policy toward open and free trade to all states who shared the valley, but including policy limitations imposed by the Confederate states on the flow of certain goods to the north, both combatants concerns with the flow of contraband, Kentucky's policy of "Armed Neutrality," and the concerns this armed neutrality raised with the neighboring states of Ohio and Indiana, which did not share access to the River, but were impacted as a result of downstream commerce for the Ohio River.

The map is extremely detailed and shows plot-level plantation detail, along with owner's names, along the Mississippi north from the delta.  The present example, in full wash color, is the post deluxe presentation. Lloyd's map was offered in several formats, including one in which the strips were cut and joined to form one long column, this is often the case with the 1875 edition of the map.

Interestingly, the map is updated from the first edition to describe the so-called "Grant Vicksburg Cut-Off". This was an abortive attempt by General Grant to have the Williams Canal and across the DeSoto Peninsula, avoid the batteries at Walnut Hill and Vicksburg. Although the project was abandoned in March 1863, the river would accomplish the task on its own by 1876.

The map records the following 1862 Civil War events:

Warrenton - "Destroyed by Gun Boats June 1862"
Grand Gulf - "Shelled by Gun Boats May 18, 1862"
Confederate batteries at Walnut Hill and Vicksburg.
"Johnsons [sic.] killed 1862"

There are a number of highly sought-after maps of the lower Mississippi from this period, probably most notable among them is the chart by Persac, titled: Norman's Chart of the Lower Mississippi River, by A. Persac. Published by B. M. Norman, New Orleans, LA. 1858, which was published six years before the present map. The Persac is notable among map collectors for having twice recently achieved a six-figure sum at auction, both times at Neal Auctions in Louisiana. That map has been called:

perfect picture of the windings of the Father of Waters from this city to Natchez, with every plantation on its banks, drawn out and colored, with the name of the owner and whatever name he may have given his plantation… Mr. A. Persac, who descended the river in a skiff, landing at every mile, and drawing every plantation line and taking down every name and landmark on both banks of the river, deserves the highest credit for his very able and useful labor. (New Orleans Crescent, April 1858)

The Lloyd map is comparable in most ways to the Persac, in that both show plot-level plantation detail in Louisiana and are presented in a strip form. In many ways the Lloyd is a continuation of the tradition of the Persac, updated for the Civil War.

J. T. Lloyd had offices in London, New York, and Philadelphia. He compiled steamboat directories in 1857 and 1862. He used intaglio plate-transfer lithography to produce this map, which was relatively new at the time of issue.

According to the definitive scholarly appraisal of Mark Twain's complete works, the author consulted Lloyd's map of the lower Mississippi when writing Huckleberry Finn. This should not come as much of a surprise, as Twain was a successful riverboat captain from 1857 until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.

This is the 1863 (1864) second edition of the map, following the 1862 first.  The present is a very good example of the wall map format, which when it is rarely encountered is often in poor condition.


The map Lloyd Mississippi has made as much as $26,887.50 at Neal Auction Company in 2011. Before that, Goodspeed offered a dampstained copy for $5.00 in 1946.

Condition Description
Mounted on modern linen with remnants of pink silk selvage at left and right. Some general dust surface soiling, namely in the top of the map.
See Rumsey 4472.