Florida on the Eve of the Second Seminole War (1835-1842)
Rare 1834 edition of Finley's map of Florida, from Finley General Atlas.
The map is one of the earliest maps of Florida to appear in a commercial atlas.
The map is a significant departure from Finley's earlier map of Florida, which appeared in pocket map format in 1826 and in his New American Atlas. In place of the massive Mosquito County shown on the 1826 map, there is a large area (green) labeled Seminoles and Indian Reserve. The remainder of the Florida peninsula is dominated by Alachua County (extending from Charlotte Harbor to the Georgia State Line and Roe County. There are a few other county updates along the Gulf Coast.
The 1map is also significantly more detailed than Finley's earlier map. The mythical river near the East Coast of Florida is gone, replaced by hills and a number of early roads. Many more towns and other features are noted. Large insets of Tallahassee and Pensacola.
Late editions of the Finley Atlas are much rarer than the editions issued in 1824 and 1826. We have had the 1831 edition 2 times in 25 years, but this is the first example of the 1834 we have ever seen.
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.