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Ohio (with State of Iowa on verso): Morse, c.1840

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  • Title: Ohio
  • Author: Sidney Edwards Morse
  • Date: c.1840
  • Medium: Lithograph 
  • Condition: On thin wavy paper, scattered stains, mild age toning.  Edge wear with soiling and evidence of stab binding.  
  • Inches: 16 x 13 [Paper]
  • Centimeters: 40.64 x 33.02 [Paper]
  • Product ID: 308075

This very early map of Ohio was first issued in part one of a three part supplement published from 1842-1845, as the Cerographic Atlas of the United States. The present map is from the scarce 1842 supplement, with early Iowa on the verso, showing the Mormon settlement of Nauvoo.  Map shows contemporary county formation with fine river and extensive railroad detail.  Depicts principal towns and county seats.  Locates several iron blast “Furnaces” in towns along the southern Ohio River Valley, an area historically known for steel making after the Civil War.  These furnaces may or may not have been in production in the 1840’s.  They were crude stone structures measuring approximately 24 feet square and 30 feet high, with two arches. 

On February 19, 1803, U.S. president Thomas Jefferson signed an act of Congress that approved Ohio's boundaries and constitution.  However, Congress had never passed a formal resolution admitting Ohio as the 17th state. Although no formal resolution of admission was required, when the oversight was discovered in 1953, as Ohio began preparations for celebrating its sesquicentennial, Ohio congressman George H. Bender introduced a bill in Congress to admit Ohio to the Union retroactive to March 1, 1803, the date on which the Ohio General Assembly first convened.  At a special session at the old state capital in Chillicothe, the Ohio state legislature approved a new petition for statehood which was delivered to Washington, D.C., on horseback, and approved that August.

Sidney Edwards Morse (1794 – 1871) was an American geographer, journalist, and inventor. He shared his innovative spirit with his brother, Samuel F.B. Morse, and his father Jedidiah Morse, who published the first geography book in the United States in 1784. He was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, graduated from Yale College at fourteen, studied theology at Andover and law at Litchfield, and at sixteen began writing for a Boston newspaper.   In 1823 he and his brother Richard established the New York Observer, which was widely hailed the foremost religious paper in the country at the time.  Morse took an active interest in science, geography and exploration.  He was among the earliest to use the printing process known wax engraving, or cerography, for which he received the U.S. patent.

His best-known works are A New System of Modern Geography (1823), the North American Atlas, the Bible Atlas, and a series of general maps. For several years the sales of the two first- mentioned works averaged 70,000 copies annually, and more than 500,000 copies of his System of Modern Geography were printed.

Verso:  IOWA