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Rare Navigational Chart Showing the Confluence of the Erie Canal and the Niagara River, Just over a Decade After the Canal's Completion. The Year After the Incorporation of Tonawanda.

Rare and detailed original antique navigational chart of the Niagara River just above the falls, with substantial inland detail extending into Tonawanda and Whitehaven.

The map shows the course of the Niagara River with soundings through its center, through numerous cross-sections, and through various side channels of the river. The map shows lot sizes in the neighboring region, naming all streets and showing any major places of interest. Information regarding Whitehaven and Tonawanda is given in notes surrounding the map.

In 1835, a plan for an artificial harbor was proposed for Tonawanda that was meant to allow commercial shipping to make its way around Niagara Falls and thereby transit between the western Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.

Tonawanda was a relatively young city in 1837. The first settlement at Tonawanda was in 1808 when Henry Anguish built a log home there. The arrival of the Erie Canal in 1825, which finished along the Tonawanda Creek, led to a boom time for the area. It was incorporated as a city in 1836, the year before the publication of this map.

This map was constructed by Civil Engineer D. Jays Brown and lithographed by T. Moore in Boston.


Deaccessioned from Rochester Historical Society.


We trace three examples of the map, at the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, and the Royal Danish Library.

Condition Description
Four sheets joined as one. Mounted on linen and trimmed to neatline, with some loss past neatline in areas including upper left. Minor foxing and old tape stains. Pastedown with 461 written on it. Overall, Good.