Throughout its history, America has been defined through maps. Whether made for military strategy or urban reform, to encourage settlement or to investigate disease, maps invest information with meaning by translating it into visual form. They capture what people knew, what they thought they knew, what they hoped for, and what they feared. As such they offer unrivaled windows onto the past.
Susan Schulten is professor of history at the University of Denver. In addition to A History of America in 100 Maps, she is the author of Mapping the Nation: History and Cartography in Nineteenth-Century America and The Geographical Imagination in America, 1880–1950, both published by the University of Chicago Press.
You can preview many of the maps referenced from the book here.