19th century maps

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California middle school recalls yearbook after the word “n*gger” is discovered on cover

  • Administrators at Black Mountain Middle School in San Diego scrambled to take back about 1,000 yearbooks from students this week after some eighth graders noticed Monday that the word “nigger” was displayed on the cover, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
  • “This is something that we definitely need to look at in terms of how the yearbook gets edited and proof-read,” Christine Paik, director of communications with the Poway Unified School District, told the Union-Tribune. “Even if it was unintentional, it was still hurtful to people, and we don’t want to do it again.”
  • The racial slur appeared on a 19th century map of North County that served as part of the book’s cover. 
  • It was contained in the name given to a roadway that led to the home of a former slave, Nate Harrison, who was the area’s first black homesteader, according to the Save Our Heritage Organisation. Read more (6/8/17)

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Beautiful hand drawn Map of Matrimony from an album dated 1830

The fine detailed map including the River of Delight on the Land of Love, the Harbour of Hope near the bay of Botheration. Doubtful Bay and the Isle of Dreams, the Ocean of Admiration and the Land of Matrimonial Delight

A unique and fascinating find in an early 19th century album 

On this day in history, January 26, 1837, Michigan is admitted as the 26th U.S. state.

Street map or plan of Detroit, Michigan by Nathaniel Currier dated May, 1837. Printed on front: “City of Detroit, Michigan from late & accurate surveys, May 1837. N. Currier’s [undecipherable] cor. of Nassau & Spruce Sts. N. York. Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1837 by Morse & Brother in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the Southern District of N. York.”

Original map from the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.

  • Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library

Early 19th century Japanese map of the known world with examples of people from each region on the bottom. The locations listed include the “Pygmy country, 14,000 ri” (1 ri = 2.4 miles), “Woman country, 14,000 ri,” and “Black people country, 75,000 ri.” In the lower right, America is said to be populated by “people who are taller than in our country, white and beautiful… the further south you go, the bigger people become; at the southernmost end of South America lies the Chiika-koku (country of tall people).” 

Annexation Bill of 1866

The Annexation Bill of 1866 was a bill introduced on July 2, 1866, but never passed in the United States House of Representatives. It called for the annexation of British North America and the admission of its provinces as states and territories in the Union. The bill was sent to committee but never came back, was never voted upon, and did not become law. The bill never came to the United States Senate.

The bill authorized the President of the United States to, subject to the agreement of the governments of the British provinces, “publish by proclamation that, from the date thereof, the States of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada East, and Canada West, and the Territories of Selkirk, Saskatchewan, and Columbia, with limits and rights as by the act defined, are constituted and admitted as States and Territories of the United States of America.” It provided for the admission of all the colonies and the purchase of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s lands for $10,000,000. The American government would assume public lands and state-owned bonds and the right to levy taxes and, in return, would take over provincial debts to the total of $85,700,000 and give an annual subsidy of $1,646,000 to the new states. In addition, the United States would connect Canada with the Maritimes by rail and spend $50,000,000 to complete and improve the colonial canal system.

The bill was introduced by Congressman Nathaniel Prentice Banks, a representative from Massachusetts. It was intended to appeal to Irish Americans who supported the Fenian Movement and were aggressively hostile to Britain. Indeed, much of American public opinion at the time was hostile because of Britain’s perceived support for the Confederacy during the American Civil War. There was no serious effort in Washington to annex Canada.

Its introduction and a similar interest in annexation by the United States possibly provided a little incentive for the organization of Canada as an entity distinct from Britain; indeed, the bill’s introduction preceded Canadian Confederation by less than a year. However, the Fenian raids had much more influence in shaping determination to hurry the Confederation process.