1858 Map of Lower Mississippi
Well, my wife's aunt gave her her library when she moved out of her home and in several of the books, we... we found this. And when I opened it up, this map was folded in it and after I opened up several folds, I said, "Oh, my goodness. It's not like the repro we have on the wall. It's actually white with nice colors and pastels."
So you had—you had a reproduction of this same image.
Then you had it taken out and then put into this frame, is that correct?
I folded it back up immediately and we brought it to a restorer and had her do this with it.
Okay, now, you know a fair bit about this map.
Well, I think it was produced in 1858 by Adrien Persac. He was a local surveyor who did colored renderings of plat maps of the city and homes and obviously this.
Well, he was actually born in France but came over to this country in the middle of the century and kicked around a bit and ended up, pre to the Civil War, hired by the publisher of this map, Norman-- his name is down here—who published this map in 1858 to document-- to survey—the Mississippi River. And what this map shows, starting down here in New Orleans, is it shows the Mississippi River going up like this and it's kind of like a Triple-A strip map. It then goes down here and continues up to Natchez. And what you end up with is one of the most important pre-Civil War documents of this whole area, because it documents all the owners along the river. And as you go up, it's got their plantations and their names and everything like that, and that kind of information is fabulous. Also because he was an artist, he also had some wonderful firsthand drawings down here. You have a cotton plantation, you have a fabulous view of New Orleans and over here you have a sugar plantation. And those are based on firsthand drawings. They're not made-up views. Now, all of that gives us great history. But besides history, of course, value comes from scarcity, and as you know, this is very scarce. One of the reasons-- they did do the reproduction-- but the original is very scarce-- is because it's a folding map. And folding maps are on that very thin paper. And I'm glad that you found out what it was and rather than keep opening it and closing it, which of course is how these things tear, you had it mounted to preserve it. If I had this in my shop in Philadelphia, which isn't the best place to sell it, but still it's desirable enough we could sell it, I would probably put about $4,500 to $5,000 on it.
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