Emigrant's Handbook for the United States. New York: J. H. Colton, 1848.
Lovejoy Library Call No. Rare E 166 E5 1848
This copy of the Emigrant's Handbook still has its original brown cloth covering, though many of its pages are fading with age. The Emigrant's Handbook was written as a guide for those preparing to settle in the "Great Western Valley." It is a small book that could have easily been carried by traveling emigrants. The first pages of the Handbook contain a copy of the United States Constitutions. Next follows a description of the lands of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa and the western territories of the United States. The Handbook provides maps, traveling routes for railroads, steamboats, and canals, as well as estimated expenses for traveling.
In the introduction, it states that the handbook was published "with the view of giving, in as brief a manner as the nature of the subject with allow of, such information as is required by those emigrating from Europe; and no better method can be adapted to this end, than by pointing out the present condition of the United States and the real prospects those visiting our shores may indulge in." It goes on to include background information on how the lands were acquired and to provide information on square mileage and population of the territories.
J. H. Colton, the publisher of the Emigrant's Handbook, was one of the most renowned cartographers of his day. Colton published his first Emigrant's Handbook in 1839, making additions and changes to the handbooks as necessary. This 1848 addition also contains 7 pages of advertisements for additional maps and charts that Colton had published.
Cover of Emigrant's Handbook
Map of the United States