Map of The New York Wilderness and The Adirondacks, 1874

Map of The New York Wilderness and The Adirondacks by W.W. Ely, M.D., 1874
W.W. Ely, Author
New York, 1874
color lithograph
Professionally conserved
professionally conserved, flattened, repair to area lost where map was attached to pocket, verso lined with lightweight Japanese tissue, map pocket present and containing printed advertisement for G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co. and pencil notation "1.50", presumably the original map sale price.
28 × 32 inches
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W.W. Ely, a Rochester, New York physician and outdoorsman was an avid hiker and explorer in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. This rare pocket map copyright 1873 and published in 1874 is based on Dr. Ely's decades of hiking and note taking in order to produce a reliable map of the Adirondack Mountains region for visitors. An inset map of the New England states, Pennsylvania, Ontario, Canada and New York, with the Adirondacks highlighted in light purple, places the millions of acres of the Adirondacks region in geographic context and scale. the Adirondacks are larger than Connecticut and almost as large as Massachusetts. Dr. Ely's first map, published in 1867 was hailed as the first detailed survey of this mountainous and wild region. This map, copyright in 1873 and published in 1874,  follows by one year his first major update of the 1867 map in 1873. [The equally scarce 1873 edition has just been added to inventory.] Dr. Ely's mapmaking of the Adirondacks laid the foundation for succeeding mapmaking efforts, including those of noted Adirondacks photographer and mapmaker Seneca Ray Stoddard.

The Adirondacks were a destination of artists and writers, who were drawn to the region for its natural beauty and wildness, reasons similar to what drew 19th century artists and writers to New Hampshire's White Mountains. Yet unlike the White Mountains that were avidly mapped in the mid- to late 19th century, the Adirondacks lacked an authoritative and useful map until Dr. Ely's work was published in 1867, as updated in 1873, 1874 and a number of editions thereafter.  This  large scale map locates streams, rivers and lakes. Mountains are shown in detail as well as trails and terrain.  The Goodsell Museum in Webb, New York is a rich starting point for Adirondacks history.

 I have not located another example of this 1874 edition in published collections. Rumsey and certain institutional collections show the 1879 edition or  later. Both as a seminal 19th c. map that laid the foundation for Adirondack mapmaking and as an exceptional view of the Adirondacks landscape that still awaits the naturalist, explorer or hiker, Dr. Ely's 1874 Map of The New York Wilderness and The Adirondacks is a an important cartographic guide.

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