After the Revolution, historical maps became one of the most common and appealing ways to cultivate national loyalty in young Americans. Here you can trace the origin of historical atlases and timelines, and the spread of graphic illustrations of national history.
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Antique maps may command high prices today, but this wasn’t always the case. Here we examine how old maps came to be considered valuable, which was related to the rising popularity of historical atlases and the campaign to create a national archive of maps at the Library of Congress.
Here you can learn how medical men turned to maps in an urgent quest to solve the deadly mysteries of yellow fever and cholera. Their groundbreaking work was closely related to the race to map the environment in a nation that was rapidly expanding westward.
The sectional crisis sparked tremendous creativity in mapmaking, as Northerners began to use maps to measure the extent of slavery. This includes the first statistical maps of population made in the United States, which even captured the attention of President Lincoln during the Civil War.
After the war, the federal government sponsored the first national atlas based on the census. Here you can see how leaders experimented with cartography to measure the nation in new and unexpected ways, from the characteristics of its population to the distribution of its natural resources.