Illustrated envelope, with enclosure, promoting the New York State Map and Atlas Survey

Rome, New York: Office of the New York State Map and Atlas Survey, 1861. Unbound. This envelope features a map of New York along with surveying and drafting tools and instruments. It is franked with a 3-cent stamp (Scott #65) and bears a double-circle Rome, NY postmark dated December 16, 1861. The enclosure is a $5 dunning notice for payment towards the “Map and Gazetteer of the State of New York.” Both are in nice shape; the envelope was trimmed along the right edge when opened. Good to Very Good. Item #009254

Despite its official sounding name, the Office of the New York State Map and Atlas Survey was not an agency of the State of New York. Rather it was part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Its goal was to create accurately surveyed maps of each county within New York, and then when finished to compile them into an accurate map of the entire state. Work began on the project in 1851 and over the years more than 60 people worked on the project. The result was the publication of the Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York State (R. P. Smith, Publisher, 1860) and a map titled, The State of New York from New and Original Surveys under the direction of J. H. French, C.E. (Robert Pearsall Smith, Publisher. Syracuse, 1860). For more information see Ristow’s American Maps and Mapmakers, which, the enclosure would suggest, was apparently sold on a subscription basis. Scarce. As of 2019, no other examples of either the envelope or enclosure or for sale in the trade or held by institutions per OCLC. Neither does the Rare Book Hub show any auction results.

Price: $200.00

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