1831 Map of the United States by William Thrall

This is a striking 1831 map of the United States published by William Thrall in Hartford, Connecticut. Thrall's map covers the United States from coast to coast, extending from Oregon to the Atlantic and from Canada to Mexico. As this map predates the Texas Revolution, the Mexican American War, and the Treaty of Guadeloupe-Hidalgo, all of the southwest, including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Texas are still part of Mexico. 

The map is most interested in its illustration of the western territories. The Oregon Territory extends from California to Canada, even extending beyond the maps border. Similarly, an immense Missouri territory extends from the Arkansas River north to beyond the map's border. The northwest territory, with a large Buffalo Plains, occupies modern day Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota. Noted on the map is the route of Louis and Clark to the Pacific. In Arkansas, near what is today’s Little Rock, then William Lewis's fledgling community is identified as Arkopolis.

The map features a handsome stippled head and shoulders portrait of George Washington in the lower right corner. Below the map is an illustration of the old Capitol Building, and inset maps of Washington DC, New York City, Boston, and North America. At the far right the map extends south of the border to include the Greater Antilles.

Cartographically, this map is based off a similar map issued in 1826 by Asaph Willard and Eleazer Huntington. Thrall acquired the plates for that map in 1829 and revised them somewhat for re-publication under his own imprint. As such this map is considered the third state of the second edition. Today all editions are quite rare, which indicates a small publication run. 

Willis Thrall (1800 - June 20, 1884) was an American businessman and map publisher based in Hartford, Connecticut during the early part of the 19th century. Thrall published numerous maps and also seems to have opened a tool and rule company in 1844, which he passed on to his son, Edward Thrall, as "Will Thrall and Son". Thrall engravings do not appear after 1837, suggesting he gave up the printing trade to focus on his tool company, which seems to have prospered.


Map is in very good. Map has been devarnished and laid down on fresh linen. Scattered areas of folds or cracking exist, but the map’s printed image is very much preserved. A few stains along bottom margin are present.

Map is archivally framed in a custom-built gold and black wooden frame with linen top mat, a decorative descriptive plaque, and gold inner fillet. Framed dimensions: 35”H x 42”W x 2”D.

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