Hand-Drawn Atlas of the United States

Frances Henshaw was a 14-year-old schoolgirl when she drew a series of maps in 1828. There were only 24 states at that time; she reproduced 19 of them. Henshaw preserved her work in a book with information about each state in beautiful handwriting.

Besides these maps, Henshaw’s book also contains carefully transcribed information about astronomy (likewise a socially-sanctioned area of study for young women), American history, and climatic patterns of the world.

While this personal atlas was produced as a school project, Henshaw clearly relished and took pride in her work. An inscription on the title page indicates that she saved the book and gave it to her son in 1872.  

Follow the links at Slate to see the entire book and more analysis of the work. Link

(Image source: David Rumsey Map Collection)


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