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Old Maps of the Great Lakes Region – Great Lakes Historical Maps

Maps & Map Collections of the Great Lakes Region of the U.S.

Old maps of the Great Lakes Region, Great Lakes Historical Maps, historic maps of the Great Lakes. All maps free online.

In addition to the historical maps, there are modern maps showing American Indian lands, plus links to large online map collections that contain more maps of this region.

Louisiana (French North America)

Wisconsin Historical Society
Vincenzo Coronelli 1695

This is one of the more important and well-known maps of North America from the 17th century. Coronelli used reports of early explorers in the Great Lakes area to create one of the earliest detailed maps of that region. Although Coronelli was a well-known cartographer in his time, his work was often dismissed after his death. It was centuries later that historians rediscovered his work and have shown him to have been an influential figure in his day. (Description from Website). Old maps of the Great Lakes.

Bowles Map

Darlington Digital Library
Hand-drawn 1755

Copy of a 1755 map of frontier areas west of the Appalachian Mountains. Old maps of the Great Lakes.

Map of the Ohio River Valley and surrounding area

Darlington Digital Library
London: Thomas Jeffries 1755

Old maps of the Great Lakes region.

A map of the British and French settlements in North America

Library of Congress American Memory
John Lodge 175?

Covers the eastern half of North America from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Shows boundaries, cities and towns, forts, Indian villages and tribal territory, and “Earl Granville’s Property.” Old maps of the Great Lakes region.

North America

Darlington Digital Library
London: Thomas Jefferys 1755

North America: from the French of Mr. d’Anville, improved with the back settlements of Virginia and course of Ohio, illustrated with geographical and historical remarks. Includes text on the “French incroachments” and “English title to their settlements on the continent”. (Description from website). Great Lakes historical maps.

“Amerique Septentrionale avec les Routes, Distances en miles, Limites et Etablissements”

Alabama Maps Collection
John Mitchell 1756

Mitchell map of British and French dominions in North America. Old maps of the Great Lakes region.

An Accurate Map of the Present Seat of War, Between Great Britain and Her Colonies in North America

Indiana Historical Society Collections
London: Herbert & Sayer 1776

Old maps of the Great Lakes states.

[Northeastern part of North America]

NYPL Digital Gallery
France: Robert de Vaugondy 1783?

Old maps of the Great Lakes states.

A Map of the Back Settlements

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Library
London: Stockdale 1794

The area of coverage is the Old Northwest. Great Lakes historical maps.

A Map of the North Western Territory

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Library
Boston: Hill. 1796

Great Lakes historical maps.

A General Map of the River Ohio

David Rumsey Map Collection
Paris: Collot, George H. V. 1796

A series of four maps showing the Ohio River from Pittsburgh to the Mississippi River. Great Lakes historical maps.

Map of the Seat of War in North America

David Rumsey Collection
Philadelphia: Melish 1813

Covers from Labrador to Michigan and Ohio. Old maps of the Great Lakes region.

Upper Territories of the United States

Wisconsin Historical Society
Philadelphia: Kneass & Delleker

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 provided that one or two states should be created from the area west of Lake Michigan and extending down to the the lake’s southern tip–the “upper territories” shown on this map. That would have placed Wisconsin’s boundary 90 miles further south than it is now. When Illinois became a state in 1818, it wanted access to the lake and managed to have its boundary moved north, depriving the future state of Wisconsin of the city of Chicago. (description from website). Old maps of the Great Lakes states.

Map of the States of Indiana, and Ohio, with Part of Michigan Territory, ca. 1820s

Lewis University Historic Maps
London: Hinton & Sinupkin & Marshall 1820s

Old maps of the Great Lakes states.

Map of the States of Ohio, Indiana & Illinois and Part of Michigan Territory

Philadelphia: Finley 1827

High-resolution image of a well-preserved color map. Old maps of the Great Lakes states.

Western States & Territories

Wisconsin Historical Society
Philadelphia: J.H. Young 1832

Historic Great Lakes maps.

Guide through Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin & Iowa: showing the township lines of the United States surveys, location of cities, towns, villages, post hamlets, canals, rail and stage roads

Wisconsin Historical Society
NY: Smith, John Calvin 1839

This lovely hand-colored map was removed from J.H. Colton’s Western Tourist and Emigrant’s Guide (New York, 1839). Inset tables list steamboat routes and distances by water, and a vignette of Maidens Rock, on Lake Pepin, appears near the lower margin. This copy retains its elaborate printed border; boundaries and regions are highlighted with water-color. (Description from website). Historic Great Lakes maps.

Map of the Western States

Wisconsin Historical Society
NY: Atwood, John M. 1849

This map graphically displays the contrasting degrees of settlement in the states and territories of the Old Northwest. Old maps of the Great Lakes.

Map of the La Crosse and Milwaukee Rail Road and Connections

Collection
NY: Colton, J.H. 1855

Map of the northeastern and north-central United States indicating major drainage, larger cities, state boundaries, and the railroad network. Old maps of the Great Lakes states.

Indian Land Areas Judicially Established 1978 and American Indian Reservations

U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs
U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs 2015

Zoom in to at least 100%. All American Indian lands in the 48 states are shown and identified by number. A table at the lower left lists all tribes associated with land areas on the map, and a table on the right side lists all federally recognized tribal entities for which no reservation exists.

American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States

American Indians and Alaska Natives in Alaska

U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau 2011

These two large maps, produced by the U.S. Census Bureau from 2010 census data, show the location of American Indian lands throughout the U.S. The first link shows the 48 states, and the second is for Alaska only. Inset charts show the populations of the ten largest tribal groupings.

Tribal Lands and Midwest Region Service Facilities

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Website – Accessed November 2019

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, a federal agency that assists federally recognized tribes, created this map that shows where their offices in the Midwestern states are located, and the locations of Native American tribal lands. Included here are the states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri.

Atlases

The Ohio and Mississippi Pilot consisting of a set of charts of those rivers

representing their channels, islands, ripples, rapids, shoals, bars, rocks, &c accompanied with directions for the use of navigators,to which is added a Geography of the States and Territories west and south of the Allegheny Mountains

Gilleland, J.C.
Pittsburg: Patterson & Lambdin 1820

Early Maps of the Ohio Valley : a Selection of Maps, Plans, and Views Made by Indians and Colonials from 1673 to 1783

Brown, Lloyd A., comp.
Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press 1959

This contains descriptions of and information about over 50 early maps, but does not contain copies of the maps.

Collections of Maps

Early Maps of Ohio and the West

Baldwin, Charles Candee
Cleveland, Western Reserve and Northern Ohio Historical Society 1875

1875 catalog of existing maps of the Great Lakes region. Old maps of the Great Lakes.

Discovery and Exploration

Library of Congress
Various publishers and years of publication

More than 100 historic maps, most reflecting the European Age of Discoveries in North America, from the late 15th to the 17th centuries. Included are 18th and 19th century maps documenting the exploration of the interior of the continent, such as the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Old Maps Online

This is a collaborative portal for accessing a number of online map collections worldwide. U.S. collections include;
The David Rumsey Collection
Harvard Library Collection
New York Public Library Collection
Leventhal Map Center at Boston Public Library
North Carolina Digital Heritage Center

France in America

Library of Congress
Various publishers and years of publication

More than 100 maps from the French colonial era in North America, many of which portray the Great Lakes region. Old maps of the Great Lakes region.

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