Map of the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway


The National Highways Association (NHA) was established in 1911 to promote the development of an improved national road network in the United States. Under the slogan “Good roads for everyone!” the NHA advocated the building and permanent maintenance by the federal government of a system of 50,000 miles (some 80,500 kilometers) of highways. This map, issued by the NHA in 1916, shows a proposed highway across the southern United States linking Miami and Los Angeles. Tentatively named the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway, the proposed route was to be composed of five other highways: the Borderland Trail from Los Angeles to El Paso, Texas; the Border Military Highway from El Paso to Brownsville, Texas; the Gulf Coast Highway from Brownsville to New Orleans; the Old Spanish Trail from New Orleans to Tampa; and the Tamiam Trail from Tampa to Miami. Besides issuing brochures and circulars aimed at convincing citizens of the need for a national road system, the NHA was a prolific producer of maps. Cartographic work was done at an office in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts, where approximately 40 people were employed on the property of Charles Henry Davis (1865–1951), president and cofounder of the NHA. Davis believed that these maps would be helpful to a national highways commission that he hoped would be established and that they would assist the states in integrating their roads into a national system. Congress never embraced the plan put forward by the NHA, but the organization and its maps helped to promote the cause of a national road network.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

National Highways Association, Washington, D.C.


Title in Original Language

Map of the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway: Borderland Trail - Border Military Highway - Gulf-Coast Highway - Old Spanish Trail - Tamiam Trail, Showing Every City, Town, Village and Hamlet Throughout its Entire Length

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : color ; 23 x 76 centimeters


  • Scale 1:5,000,000

Last updated: January 8, 2018