Item #8681 America—A Nation of One People From Many Countries. Emma Bourne.

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America—A Nation of One People From Many Countries.

New York: Council Against Intolerance in America; Davidson Printing Corporation, 1940. Color-printed map, 35” x 54.5”, CONDITION: Very good, recently reinforced on verso with Japanese tissue, old folds now flattened, a few discreet repairs to minor losses in upper black border and small bits of blue along inner edge of border.

A large and lively pictorial map for the education of children, presenting the ethnic and religious diversity of America’s population, filled with illustrations of the inhabitants, products, etc. of the diverse regions of the United States, described by Stephen Hornsby as “one of the most striking maps of the era.”

Between the late 1930s and the mid-1940s, the Council Against Intolerance published a wide array of materials, including books, manuals, and posters that sought to counteract bias and discrimination by advocating ideals of tolerance and unity, including this map by illustrator and painter Emma Cartwright Bourne (1906–1986). Founded by the Jewish author James Waterman Wise, the New York City-based organization included eminent figures such as the educational reformer and philosopher John Dewey; United States Secretary of the Interior for thirteen years Harold L. Ickes; eminent theologian and ethicist Reinhold Niebuhr; Governor of Massachusetts Leverett Saltonstall; and newspaper editor William Allen White, among others. A copy of this map was owned by poet Langston Hughes and it was lauded by Eleanor Roosevelt in her newspaper column, My Day.

The map noticeably disregards state boundaries and instead displays constellations of ethnicities populating each region of the U.S. Red banners course through the country identifying people from Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Russia, Holland, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Latvia, Germany, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Palestine, Albania, Poland, Greece, Canada, etc. The illustrations in the south depict both African-Americans (”Negroes”) and Caucasians picking cotton together. According to Rebecca Onion, Langston Hughes drew a burning cross and “KKK” near the cotton workers on his copy. For the more densely settled northeast and the vicinity of Detroit, Bourne supplies pop-out keys that indicate the diversity of the citizens in these areas. People are shown at work in a wide variety of industries throughout the country, suggesting the contribution to American productivity made by all citizens.

While Native Americans are nowhere to be found on the land proper, in the bottom right corner, Bourne appends a note next to the head of a Native American off the coast of Florida: “With the exception of the Indian, all Americans or their forefathers came here from other countries. This map shows where they live, what they do, and what their religion is.” A large inset scroll, lower left, lists famous figures under the four headings “Literature,” “Science,” “Industry,” and “The Arts,” with their professions and ethnicities, including John Steinbeck (Germany), George Gershwin (Russia), Albert Einstein (Germany), et al. This same inset offers statistics on religious practices in America.

A fabulous illustrated map of the U.S. revealing the diversity of its people and their sundry forms of work and religious practices.

REFERENCES: Hornsby, Stephen J. Picturing America : the Golden Age of Pictorial Maps, p. 78 and Plate 19; Onion, Rebecca. “A Pretty 1940 Map of American Diversity, Annotated by Langston Hughes” at Slate online; Zoe Romanowsky, “The 1940 map that charted where each ethnic group settled in America” at Aleteia online.

Item #8681

Price: $3,750.00

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