Phila. P.S. Duval, Lith.; On Stone by J. Probst, Feb. 1839. Map of the southeastern United States, including place names, rivers, and some geographical features. 55 x 74 cm. on a 61 x 81 cm. sheet. The map shows, via hand-colored lines and a manuscript key, the Georgia Rail Road (in red), other railroads completed and in progress (in yellow), and those chartered & proposed (in orange). Old fold lines, some faint old spotting, primarily to margins, else a very good copy. A small correction has been added: "Prepared by" on a slip of paper has been laid down above the printed name of the civil engineer. The area depicted on the map is the Mississippi River, from Baton Rouge to where it intersects the Missouri, east to the Atlantic Ocean, south to the Gulf of Mexico, and north to the Chesapeake Bay. Printed remarks under the legend at the lower right corner note that the Georgia Rail Road extended from Augusta, the "head of Navigation of the Savannah River to the Western and Atlantic Rail-Road - which it Joins - near Decatur. - Length 165 miles. Length of the W. & A.R.R. 130 miles - making the total distance from the Navigable Waters of the Atlantic to those of the Mississippi 295 miles. - The greatest Rise on this route is 36 feet per Mile and no Stationary power is required on the whole line." Item #64786
This map was probably made to accompany the Report of the Engineer in Chief, May 13, 1839. J. Edgar Thomson followed in his father's footsteps, becoming a civil engineer and working on various railroads in Pennsylvania. He was hired as chief engineer for the Georgia Railroad, making his first report on its progress in January 1835. The push for railroads in the South was spurred on by the need for easier and cheaper access to markets as cotton production from Southern plantations grew. One of the first railroads built in the South was constructed from Charleston, South Carolina to Augusta, Georgia. "Towns and citizens in middle Georgia soon after combined in the Georgia Railway Company to build a railway west from Augusta, which was expected to serve as an extension of the South Carolina Railroad.... The building and operation of these lines in Georgia, with others supplementing them, resulted in diminishing the cotton receipts and the commerce of Mobile and New Orleans and spurred those cities to railroad enterprise." [see: "History of Transportation in the United States before 1860," prepared by B.H. Meyer, Caroline MacGill, et al. (Peter Smith: 1948), pp.418-19]
OCLC lists four copies: Lib. of Congress, Georgia Hist. Soc. Lib., Penn State Univ., Univ. of Tennessee. The Univ. of Georgia, Hargrett Library has a copy on linen. The copy offered here may be an earlier printing than the Library of Congress copy, as it does not show canals marked in blue.