A Romance Map of the North Country. [Secondary title:] Pictorial and Historic Map of Northern New York. N. Jane Phelps, James G. Riggs ., Josephine W. Wickser, compiler, adviser.
A Romance Map of the North Country. [Secondary title:] Pictorial and Historic Map of Northern New York.
A Romance Map of the North Country. [Secondary title:] Pictorial and Historic Map of Northern New York.

A Romance Map of the North Country. [Secondary title:] Pictorial and Historic Map of Northern New York.

Rochester, New York: Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences, 1935. Color printed map, 17.5” x 21.625” plus margins.

A lively pictorial map of northern New York illustrated with vignettes of historical figures, locales, events, notable buildings and institutions, wildlife, recreational activities, etc., from the "Romance Maps" series edited by Josephine Wickser.

Depicted here is the area from Lake Ontario to Lake Placid, and from the Canadian border in the north to Utica in the south. Illustrations include bears frolicking in the woods; native Americans dancing around the “Lake Placid Council Fire,” campers preparing bacon and coffee for breakfast; Major General Jacob Brown, Commander of American Forces in the War of 1812; St. Lawrence University, a hermit’s lodge, etc. The map is replete with historical notes, including many integrated into the border, which is embellished with line illustrations of wild animals such as raccoons and beavers in the wilderness; a statue representing the Peace Treaty between Sir William Johnson and Pontiac, August 25, 1766; a maple sugaring scene, etc. A legend and compass-rose appear at the bottom right and a title cartouche graces the upper left corner. A note in the lower border, refers to a separate sheet (not present here) for “chronology and items of interest.”

Josephine Wickser was the “Widow of a prominent Buffalo businessman and politician” and “a leading light of the colonial revival movement in the early 1930s” (Hornsby). She is also remembered as a founder of Zonta International, a service organization devoted to the legal, political, and economic advancement of women. The International's first annual convention in 1921 adopted a code of ethics devised by Wickser. An image of Wickser with one of the Romance Maps can be viewed here, in the New York Heritage Digital Collections. Other maps in the series include, A Romance Map of the Niagara Frontier (1931), A Romance Map of the Northern Gateway (1934), and A Romance Map of Rochester, 1640-1834, the latter also the work of artist N. Jane Phelps.

The Romance Maps were offered for sale in the pages of Early Settlers of New York State : Their Ancestors and Descendants, a periodical published by Thomas J. Foley of Akron, New York in the 1930s. The maps were described as “rich in historical interest and printed in brilliant colors on parchment paper, illustrating outstanding events in history.”

A delightful pictorial map, infused with numerous historical and cultural points of interest.

CONDITION: Very good.

REFERENCES: Hornsby, Stephen. Picturing America: The Golden Age of Pictorial Maps, pp. 42-43.

Item #3431

Price: $375.00