Boston Public Library
Exhibitions

Map 13

Joseph Churchman (1767-1837), “The Eagle Map of the United States,” from Rudiments of National Knowledge, Presented to the Youth of the United States, Philadelphia, 1833
Joseph Churchman (1767-1837)
“The Eagle Map of the United States,” from Rudiments of National Knowledge, Presented to the Youth
of the United States

Philadelphia, 1833
In this unusual map, one pictorial image — an eagle — was superimposed on a map of the United States. The author of the accompanying geography book stated that the map was designed to serve as a memory device for young students learning the country’s geography and history. He explained that the eagle was selected for its visual and iconic appeal.

The author also made the point that secession could disfigure this national icon, suggesting that the map was intended to promote unity at a time when political debates about tariffs, slavery, and states’ rights were part of the national discourse.

 
 

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