Anderston, Scotland: Robert Gillespie, 1815. Sepia engraving, printed on linen. Sheet size: 21 x 24 1/4 inches. Sewn to backing board. Minor foxing and staining, a bit of fading. Very good. Matted. Item #WRCAM55292A
A rare post road and distance chart, printed on linen, detailing the post roads in the fledgling United States. The broadside includes three charts summarizing the American post road network, surrounded by a decorative grapevine border, illustrated with medallions of the first four presidents, four sailing ships, Lady Liberty, and the seal of the United States. The chart tracks the distances between post towns along the "Main Line" from Passamaquoddy, Maine to Savannah, Georgia. To the right, a chart shows the "Cross Post Roads, giving distances along post roads crossing the main line." A statistical table in the lower left includes information on each state and territory, including numbers of counties, acreage, square mileage, population, etc. Another table details rates of postage for letters conveyed by land. The printer, Robert Gillespie, was one of three sons of William Gillespie, cotton spinner and calico printer, who was active outside of Glasgow at the end of the 18th century. One of his sons, Colin Gillespie, moved to America and became a successful merchant. Colin's brother, Richard Gillespie, took over the calico printing business in 1808 or 1809. Colin Gillespie arrived in the United States in 1793, became a citizen in 1798, and thereafter traveled between the United States and Great Britain on business for a number of years, trading under the name of Colin Gillespie & Company. Evidently produced for the American market, the work is based on a similar broadside (on paper), published in Boston in 1796 by Samuel Ruddock, with updated information.