Colonial Maps of North/South America, Central America
and the West Indies

This page lists Colonial maps produced by National Geographic. These maps contain historical information on the early colonial history of North and South America along with Central America and the West Indies. From the thirteen colonies to the western migration in the United States to the colonization of Central and South America by Spain, these maps will cover most of the colonization of the Americas from the east coast to the west.

For lots of information on the colonization of Canada a good place to look is the Making of Canada. page under Map Sets. Click on any Map Title that is a Link to bring up a Picture of that map.

The Americas

Spanish-galleon

1. Colonization and Trade in the New World - December 1977 (30"x22.5")
Side A:
Most of this side has an early map based on charts designed by cartographer Herman Moll in 1720. This is a great colonial map filled with historical notes and facts.

2. History Salvaged from the Sea - December 1977 (30"x22.5")
Side B:
This side has a beautiful illustration of a Spanish Galleon. All along the outside are pictures of items that would be found aboard these ships. You will find lots of interesting write-ups here too.

3. Spain in the Americas - February 1992 (29"x22.5")
Side A:
Most of this side is filled with a physical map of the Americas including the southern half of United States, Central America and most of South America. It shows the routes of many early explorers. There are many historical notes and illustrations throughout.

4. The Grand Exchange - February 1992 (29"x22.5")
Side B:
This side is a colonial map of North and South America, Europe and Africa. It shows the early trade routes between these continents. The sides are filled with notes and illustrations showing the types of trade and the major players during these early times.

North America

Fort-Ligonier

A good source of information on the colonization of the United States is the maps on the Making of America page.

1. A Map of the Travels of George Washington - January 1931 (30"x21") This has a colonial map of the Eastern United States with the routes and places visited by George Washington. It includes 1732-1758 Surveying and French-Indian campaign, 1759-1774 Travels to the West, 1775-1783 Revolutionary war and 1784-1799 Travels after the War. It has inset maps of Boston and Vicinity, Mount Vernon, Philadelphia and Vicinity, Tidewater Virginia and New York and the Lower Hudson.

2. Historic and Scenic Reaches of the Nations Capital - July 1938 (31"x26") This is a beautiful colonial map of the area around the nation's capital. It is filled with interesting historical notes and has pictures of notable figures and places placed around the border. It includes locations of battlefields, ruins, old historic churches and other points of interest.

 3. The Southwestern United States - June 1940 (34"x25") Here is a beautiful map of Southwestern United States filled with lots of descriptive notes. It also has railways, canals, battlefields, national parks and monuments, highways, airways, Indian reservations and exploration routes.

4. Northwestern United States and Canadian Provinces - June 1941 (36"x24") This is a political map of Northwestern United States and Canadian Provinces. It includes the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, and the southern portions of the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. It contains an abundance of notes on historic sites and places of interest as well as the routes of explorers.

5. Historical Map of the United States - June 1953 (41"x26.5") This is a huge historical map of the United States jam packed with historical notes. A definite asset for someone interested in the history of the United States. It has two inset maps of Chesapeake bay and the Long Island and New York area.

6. Enjoying Our Scenic Treasures and Historic Sites - July 1966 (38"x26")
Side B:
This is a vacation map which contains information on a variety of scenic and historic sites. It contains city maps on colonial Williamsburg and the tourist area of Washington DC

7. Territorial Growth of the United States - September 1987 (42"x29")
Side B:
A major portion of this side is filled with an early colonial map of the New England states which was made in 1785. There is a good introduction and it has insets titled ca 1750: Europe Claims North America, 1787: A New Nation on Stage, 1803: Expanding West of the Mississippi, 1821: Coming of Age, 1850: Coast to Coast, 1877: The Union Holds, 1987: The 50 States Today and A Broader View.

8. Boston to Washington circa 1830 - July 1994 (31"x10")
Side A:
This shows an early colonial map from Boston to Washington dating around 1830. It contains the roadways and railways that were built around this time and has lots of historical notes.

9. The Pathfinders: Exploring the Far Frontiers - September 2000 (35"x22")
Side A:
Most of this side contains a large physical map of Western United States showing the trails of the early explorers to the west. This map contains lots of historical notes. All around the outside are insets with illustrations cataloging the exploration west during different times from before 1800 to 1846.

10. Western Migration 1841-1869: Dreams of Gold and a Better Life Drive Mass Movement - September 2000 (35"x22")
Side B:
Most of this side contains a large physical colonial map of Western United States showing the trails of the settlers moving west and filled with historic notes. The left side is divided into sections titled Mid 1800s Americans Make the West their Own, 1848 California Hits the Mother Lode and 1845-49 Term of Expansion. There are lots of old photographs with write-ups throughout the map.

11. A World Transformed - March 2007 (31"x20")
Side A:
This colonial map vividly illustrates how the early colonist to the eastern coast of Canada and the United States effected the original Indian cultures that lived there. Most of the surface is covered by two physical maps of Eastern Canada and the United States, one at 1491 and the other at 1650. Both maps are color shaded to show what areas were occupied by Indians and by Europeans. Also shown on the map are tribal groups, European settlements, trade routes, explorer's routes, forts or trading posts, missions, major documented conflicts and major documented epidemics. There is an inset showing areas of occupation in the Americas by Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish settlers. On the bottom is a chart graphically showing the population of Indians, Europeans and Africans in the Americas in 1500, 1650 and 1800

12. When Cultures Collide - March 2007 (31"x20")
Side B:
This side has two beautiful illustrations of the Powhatan Indians chief village, Werowocomoco, and the English settlement of Jamestown, that existed 400 years ago in Virginia. The top half shows Werowocomoco which is filled with notes on subjects such as farming, sacred space, hunting, fishing, division of labor and the chief's ground. The bottom half has Jamestown which became the new world's first permanent settlement. It is also filled with notes on subjects such as the trading post, the well, the meadow, strong points, foul water, garbage dump and drill ground. There is an inset map showing where Werowocomoco and Jamestown lie in relation with each other.

Mexico, Central America and the West Indies

Spanish-Colonial-Church

1. Mexico, Central America and the West Indies - December 1939 (41.5"x25") This is a political map with lots of historical notes. It has inset maps of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Saint Thomas, Isthmus of Panama, Jamaica, Cuba and the Bermuda islands.

2. West Indies and Central America - January 1970 (38"x26.5") This is a beautiful political map of Central America and the West Indies. On it are lots of geographical and historical notes. There are thirty-seven inset maps of islands along the outside.

3. A Visitors Guide to the Aztec World - December 1980 (25.5"x20")
Side A:
This side is divided into two haves, the left side shows the Valley of Mexico and the right side is a map of Mexico City. Both sides are filled with historical facts and sites of interest.

4. Central America: Past and Present - April 1986 (31.5"x20")
Side A:
On the left is a physical colonial map of Central America with a write-up titled Geographical and Historical Overview. The rest of this side has five insets titled Before 1500: Pre-Columbian Glory, 1500-1821: Conquest and Colonies, 1821-1900: Time of Independence, 1900-1945: Prelude to Change and 1945-Present: Upheaval and Uncertainty.

5. Ancient Maya World - October 1989 (27"x20")
Side B:
One side of this map has a physical map filled with red dots depicting sites officially recorded by archaeological agencies of the respective governments. It is marked with historic sea and trade routes. The right side has illustrations of several artifacts set up on a timeline.

Link from Colonial maps to Historical maps
Link from Colonial maps to the Home Page