Map of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut


David H. Burr (1803–75) was a surveyor and cartographer, who served as topographer to the United States Post Office Department in 1832–38 and as geographer to the House of Representatives in 1838–47. Under the direction of the postmaster general, Burr compiled information from postmasters throughout the country about transportation routes—post roads, railroads, and canals—and the location of post offices to produce a large set of state and regional maps. Published in 1839 by the prominent London mapmaking firm of John Arrowsmith, Burr’s The American Atlas offers a detailed picture of settlement and transportation patterns in the United States in the decades before the Civil War. Shown here is Burr’s map of the six New England states, one of 13 maps in the atlas. The border between Maine and New Brunswick, Canada, was not settled until conclusion of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842, so the map shows as part of northern Maine lands that subsequently were ceded to Canada. The map also indicates the early development of Boston as a road and rail hub.

Last updated: January 4, 2016