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U.S. Library of Congress displays first U.S. map printed in North America

posted 31 Jan 2011, 15:56 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 31 Jan 2011, 16:46 ]

U.S. Library of Congress displays the first map printed in North America, depicting the boundaries of the new American nation and showing the "Stars and Stripes" for the first time.

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES (JANUARY 31, 2011) REUTERS - U.S. Library of Congress displayed on Monday (January 31) the first U.S. map printed in North America, gifted by Washington philanthropist David M. Rubenstein.

The map, known as the Abel Buell map, depicted the boundaries of the new American nation and showed the U.S. flag for the first time.

"The reason the map is so unusual is that the cartography wasn't all that well developed back in 1783 and the boundaries between the various states wasn't all that well defined. And so somebody who really had to define what the boundaries were had to do a lot of work and the cartographer here really spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the boundaries were of each state and this was the first time anybody really put something like that together after we won the Revolutionary War," Rubenstein said.

He said the Library of Congress would display the map for five years, but he hoped it would be there for longer.

"My real goal is to have it displayed here forever and I think this is the appropriate place to have it displayed," he said.

The map was printed in 1784. A handful of copies are still in existence and the one gifted by Rubeinstein is considered the best preserved, according to the Library of Congress.

The map was sold at Christie's auction house in New York on December 3, 2010.

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