In 1856, when this map was published, Iowa was celebrating its 10th year as a state. Nationally, the number of people moving West was increasing, and Iowa was an attractive destination with its fertile soil and relatively good access to markets in the East. This map was created by Nathan H. Parker, who is identified as the author of Iowa As It Is, a "gazetteer for citizens of Iowa and a handbook for emmigrants." On the right side of the map, three land agent companies were advertised: Parker, Dole & Co. (Clinton, Iowa), Parker & Gray (Lyons, Clinton Co., Iowa) and Parker, Gray & Davis (Sioux City, Iowa). Land agents actively recruited new settlers with advertising like this map and Parker's book.
- How do the features of Parker's map identify economic opportunities in Iowa and promote the settlement of Iowa? Consider both the physical features of Iowa and the human-constructed features.
- Compare this map to Guy H. Carleton's 1850 map and the Iowa and Wisconsin territories map. How had transportation concerns changed in Iowa between 1845 and 1856? What evidence of that change can be seen in these maps?
Parker, Nathan H., "Parker's sectional & geological map of Iowa exhibiting her iron, lead, copper, coal and other geological resources and all rail roads completed in progress, and projected compiled from the U.S. surveys and personal reconnoisance," 1856. Courtesy of Library of Congress