A New Map for Travelers through the United States of America Showing the Railroads, Canals and Stage Roads, 1846


This 1846 map of the United States by John Calvin Smith is from Smith’s The Illustrated Hand-book for Travelers through the United States. Smith published editions of this popular guide, each of which contained a foldout map of the United States, in 1846, 1847, 1849, 1851, and 1856. Framed in decorative borders, the map indicates drainage and state boundaries, shows cities and towns with distances along roads and railroads, and identifies the major Indian tribes living west of the Mississippi River. The inset maps on the right show the increasing density of transportation infrastructure of the northeastern United States, as well as reflect the growing national interest in the Pacific. The top inset map shows the rail and canal routes in upstate New York linking Albany and Buffalo, the railroads between the cities of New York, Boston, and Albany, and the course of the Hudson River from New York to Albany. These were the major components of a network that provided economical rail, road, and water transport from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. Two other maps show the railroad routes from New York to Philadelphia and from Philadelphia to Washington. The fourth map shows Oregon, northern California, Santa Fe, and other parts of the Far West.

Last updated: October 28, 2014