Indiana Historical Maps: 1683-1929; Conception to Crossroads

A Century Before the United States (1683)

This is titled (get ready) ‘A New and Accurate Map of the English Empire in North America, Representing Their Rightful Claim as Confirmed by Charters and the Formal Surrender of Their Indian Friends, Likewise the Encroachment of the French and the Several Forts They have Unjustly Erected Therein‘.
Credit: Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

Indiana in the Expanding Frontier (1801)

This is the first map to clearly include soon-to-be Indiana as part of the 260,000 square miles of the Northwest Territory, formally known as ‘Territory Northwest of the River Ohio’. Credit: Indiana Historical Society

Indiana & Infrastructure (1850) 

Mixing art and function, “A New Map of Indiana with its Roads & Distances” was included in the 1854 edition of ‘Mitchell’s New General Atlas’. This popular map indexed travel routes by color and included a wealth of topographical information. Credit: Geographicus Rare Antique Maps

Indiana in the Union (1860)

J.H. Colton Company maps set a standard in cartography through the 19th century, and this Indiana map, produced just before the Civil War commenced, is clear example of Colton’s attention to detail. In one map you have clear, reliable scale distances, canals, railroads, plank roads, dirt roads and even mills. In a time of war, this would have been an indispensable tool. Credit: Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

Indiana’s Darker Legacy (1894)

The expansion of the United States meant dislocation for most Native-American tribes, and Indiana was no exception. This map, one of sixty-seven maps included in a report to the Smithsonian Institution, is titled “Land Cessions by American Indian Natives up to 1894”. Credit: Library of Congress, US Congressional Serial Set