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Mapping in the 18th and 19th Centuries

1799 -- Map covering the St. Louis area that was investigated and plotted by a French Army Lieutenant prior to the Louisiana Purchase.

    1799 map prior to the Louisiana Purchase

1803-06 -- Jefferson made great efforts to ensure that Lewis and Clark had access to the most recent maps and exploration narratives of their time. Upon their return from the west, Lewis and Clark brought with them knowledge of new lands and resources for the growing country. Clark used this knowledge to construct a new map of the West, which he completed in 1810.

Map of Missouri River and vicinity from Saint Charles, Missouri, to Mandan villages of North Dakota: used by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in their 1804 expedition up Missouri River. Created in 1798 by Nicolas de Finiels.
Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

    Nicolas de Finiels map used by Lewis and Clark

Nicholas King map used by Lewis and Clark, with annotations in brown ink by Meriwether Lewis, tracing showing the Mississippi, the Missouri for a short distance above Kansas, Lakes Michigan, Superior, and Winnipeg, and the country onwards to the Pacific, 1803.
Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

    Nicholas King map used by Lewis and Clark

A map of Lewis and Clark's track, across the western portion of North America from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean: by order of the executive of the United States in 1804, copied by Samuel Lewis from the original drawing of Wm. Clark, 1814.
Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

    William Clark's Map of America

1858 - Map of the territory of the United States from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean; ordered by Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War to accompany the reports of the explorations for a railroad route.

    Railroad explorations map

1867-71 - The Four Great Surveys of the West
    The Hayden survey in the Yellowstone area, 1871.

1879 - The U.S. Geological Survey was established on March 3, 1879 in response to a report from the National Academy of Sciences, which had been asked by the Congress in 1878 to provide a plan for surveying and mapping the Territories of the United States that would secure the best possible results at the least possible cost.     U.S. Geological Survey Science for a Changing World

1898 -- The Elk Point Folio, South Dakota-Nebraska-Iowa     Elk Point Folio

19th Century Mapping         20th Century Mapping        21st Century Mapping

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