Map of North and South Carolina


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 North Carolina and South Carolina, one of 13 maps in the atlas. Charleston, South Carolina was the most important Atlantic port south of Baltimore, and the terminus of one of the oldest, and for a time the longest, railroads in the world. The South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company was chartered in 1827 and in 1833 began operating a 219-kilometer line from Charleston to Hamburg, South Carolina. The main purpose of the railroad was to carry agricultural produce from the interior of the state to the coast. Compared with South Carolina, North Carolina was at this time sparsely populated and had few large towns or cities.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

John Arrowsmith, London


Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map from loose-leaf atlas : hand colored, mounted on cloth ; 130 x 130 centimeters or smaller, folded in case 50 x 33 x 7 centimeters

Last updated: January 4, 2016