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The Earliest Known Map to Include Westport, Connecticut
[Hartford, 1837]

DAGGETT & ELY (engravers)/ HUNTINGTON, E. (publisher)  [Hartford: 1837]  Map Of Connecticut from actual Survey…1837. 18 ¼ x 21 ¾ inches.  Engraved map with vibrant, original hand color; excellent condition.

Rare. The first known, printed map on which the town of Westport and its boundary lines appear.  The town was incorporated on May 28th, 1835 out of parts of neighboring Norwalk, Fairfield and Weston.  One can tell that the place name “Westport” on the map was then recently added to the printing plate by the way it crosses through the place name “Greens Farms.” The map shows a smaller Westport than it is today with its eastern boundary with Fairfield  west of its present location.

The also map reflects a crucial transitional period in the state’s transportation history. The late 1830’s saw the at first gradual then rapid transition from canal to railroad transport.  Highlighting the importance at the time of the former is the profile diagram on the map at right of the Farmington Canal, complete with locks and elevations, that ran from New Haven to the Massachusetts border.  However, the future can also be glimpsed on the map, as it was the first map of the state on which a any rail line is shown—the Hartford & New Haven.  Although incorporated in 1833, its trains didn’t begin running until 1838.  The map also shows the state’s primary roads, both turnpikes and “common” roads.  Beneath the map are town plans of New Haven and Boston.  Notable locations throughout the state are shown, including Devil’s Den in Weston. 

The map’s publication history is a model of Yankee frugality.  It had a very long publication life from 1827 to 1858, with no fewer than five publishers owning the printing plate at various times, producing numerous editions, most of which with updated details.  This 1837 edition, published by Huntington in Hartford, is rare.

Thompson’s Maps of Connecticut, no. 98


Price: $1,900.00

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