Old map of Kentucky & Tennessee by J. H. Colton, 1855: Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, Covington, and Bowling Green
Old map of Kentucky & Tennessee by J. H. Colton, 1855: Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, Covington, and Bowling Green
Old map of Kentucky & Tennessee by J. H. Colton, 1855: Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, Covington, and Bowling Green

Old map of Kentucky & Tennessee by J. H. Colton, 1855: Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, Covington, and Bowling Green

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    Your map will be handmade in the EU

    The Unique Maps Co. has state of the art production facilities all around Europe, including the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Latvia, Sweden, France and Germany. Your map will be made in the EU.

    Making and dispatching maps locally keeps delivery times down (2 to 3 days) and means your map should always arrive in perfect condition.

    I also have production hubs in 22 countries around the world, which means you can buy this map as a gift for someone and I will make and deliver the map locally. The recipient won't have to pay any tax or import duty.

    Learn more about local production and delivery

  • Free delivery 
    in 2 to 3 days

    Delivery in 2 to 3 days

    Your map should be delivered in 2 to 3 working days with free delivery.

    Express delivery is available at checkout which can reduce the delivery time to 1 to 2 days.

    Please note that personalised maps, and larger framed maps, can take longer to produce and deliver.

    If you need your order to arrive by a certain date, contact me and we can discuss your options.

    Learn more about delivery times

  • Premium hardwood frames

    Premium hardwood frames

    My framed maps are handmade by professional, experienced framers from sustainably sourced hardwoods.

    This means your framed map will feel solid and well-made.

    My standard frame colours (black, dark brown, white, oak and gold) are available for all map sizes worldwide.

    Custom framing is available for an additional fee.

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  • The model is holding the 16x20in (40x50cm) map

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Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of American history with this exquisite old map of Kentucky and Tennessee, meticulously crafted by the renowned mapmaker, J. H. Colton, in 1855. A testament to Colton's reputation as one of the finest American mapmakers of his era, this map offers a rare glimpse into the early days of the United States, a time when many settlements were yet to be established and the nation was in the throes of defining its identity.

The map, a masterwork of 19th-century cartography, vividly captures the landscape of Kentucky as it was in 1855. It reveals a world where many modern-day cities and towns were yet to be founded, and the names and borders of existing settlements were still fluid and evolving. The map offers an invaluable insight into the growth and development of the region, showcasing the early stages of what would eventually become the modern state of Kentucky.

This map is a fascinating snapshot of Kentucky at a pivotal moment in its history. It highlights five of the most notable settlements of the time: Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, Covington, and Bowling Green. Each of these settlements played a significant role in the shaping of Kentucky, and their depiction in this map serves as a reminder of their historical significance.

In this era, Kentucky was a land of promise and potential, a frontier on the cusp of change. This map encapsulates that sense of possibility, providing a unique perspective on a critical period in American history. It is more than just a map; it is a piece of history, a testament to the enduring spirit of exploration and discovery that has shaped the United States.

Whether you're a history enthusiast, a cartography lover, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty and craftsmanship of old maps, this piece is sure to captivate and inspire. It's not just a map—it's a journey back in time, a chance to explore the roots of Kentucky and the early days of the United States. With this map, you're not just observing history—you're experiencing it.

Kentucky Settlements Pre-1855

  1. Louisville (1778): Known as the largest city in Kentucky, it was an important shipping port in the 19th century.
  2. Lexington (1775): Known as the "Horse Capital of the World," it was a hub for thoroughbred horse racing and breeding.
  3. Frankfort (1786): The capital city of Kentucky, it was chosen for its central location.
  4. Covington (1815): Known for its historic architecture and vibrant arts scene.
  5. Bowling Green (1798): A key location during the Civil War, it was the Confederate capital of Kentucky.
  6. Paducah (1827): A strategic location during the Civil War, it was occupied by Union forces in 1861.
  7. Danville (1784): Known as the "City of Firsts," it was the site of the first post office west of the Alleghenies.
  8. Bardstown (1780): Known as the "Bourbon Capital of the World," it is home to the Kentucky Bourbon Festival.
  9. Maysville (1787): A significant port on the Ohio River for the tobacco trade.
  10. Pikeville (1822): Known for the Hatfield-McCoy feud, a notorious family feud in American history.
  11. Henderson (1797): John James Audubon, the famous naturalist, lived here and it's now home to the John James Audubon State Park.
  12. Harrodsburg (1774): The oldest city in Kentucky, it was the first permanent English settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains.
  13. Owensboro (1817): Known for its significant contributions to American music, including bluegrass and folk.
  14. Georgetown (1784): Home to Georgetown College, one of the oldest colleges in Kentucky.
  15. Richmond (1798): Site of the Battle of Richmond during the Civil War, one of the most decisive Confederate victories.
  16. Hopkinsville (1804): Known for the annual "Little Green Men" festival, commemorating a famous local UFO sighting.
  17. Elizabethtown (1797): Named after the wife of Colonel Andrew Hynes, it was a major stagecoach stop between Louisville and Nashville.
  18. Nicholasville (1798): Known for its historic downtown and as the home of Chrisman Mill Vineyards, Kentucky's oldest vineyard.
  19. Ashland (1854): Home to the Paramount Arts Center, an important regional hub for the performing arts.
  20. Winchester (1793): Known for its annual Beer Cheese Festival, celebrating a local culinary specialty.

Indian Tribes/Territories

  • Cherokee: The Cherokee inhabited parts of southeastern Kentucky.
  • Shawnee: The Shawnee had hunting grounds in central Kentucky.
  • Chickasaw: The Chickasaw claimed parts of western Kentucky.

Notable Natural Phenomena

  • Cumberland Gap: A key passageway through the Appalachian Mountains.
  • Mammoth Cave: The world's longest cave system.
  • Red River Gorge: Known for its unique sandstone arches and cliffs.
  • Cumberland Falls: Sometimes called the "Niagara of the South."

Historical Events (1810-1855)

  • War of 1812 (1812-1815): Kentucky supplied numerous troops and resources for the war effort.
  • Mexican-American War (1846-1848): Many Kentuckians volunteered to fight in this war.
  • The Compromise of 1850: This political agreement had significant impacts on the issue of slavery in Kentucky.

Please double check the images to make sure that a specific town or place is shown on this map. You can also get in touch and ask us to check the map for you.

This map looks great at all sizes: 12x16in (30.5x41cm), 16x20in (40.5x51cm), 18x24in (45.5x61cm), 24x30in (61x76cm), 32x40in (81.5x102cm), 40x50in (102x127cm), 48x60in (122x153cm) and 56x70in (142x178cm), but it looks even better when printed large.

I can create beautiful, large prints of this map up to 70in (178cm). Please get in touch if you're looking for larger, customised or different framing options.

The model in the listing images is holding the 16x20in (40.5x51cm) version of this map.

The fifth listing image shows an example of my map personalisation service.

If you’re looking for something slightly different, check out my main collection of USA and North America maps.

Please contact me to check if a certain location, landmark or feature is shown on this map.

This would make a wonderful birthday, Christmas, Father's Day, work leaving, anniversary or housewarming gift for someone from the areas covered by this map.

This map is available as a giclée print on acid free archival matte paper, or you can buy it framed. The frame is a nice, simple black frame that suits most aesthetics. Please get in touch if you'd like a different frame colour or material. My frames are glazed with super-clear museum-grade acrylic (perspex/acrylite), which is significantly less reflective than glass, safer, and will always arrive in perfect condition.

My standard frame is a gallery style black ash hardwood frame. It is simple and quite modern looking. My standard frame is around 20mm (0.8in) wide.

I use super-clear acrylic (perspex/acrylite) for the frame glass. It's lighter and safer than glass - and it looks better, as the reflectivity is lower.

Six standard frame colours are available for free (black, dark brown, dark grey, oak, white and antique gold). Custom framing and mounting/matting is available if you're looking for something else.

Most maps are also available as a framed canvas. The map is printed on matte (not shiny) canvas, stretched over a box frame, and then 'floated' within a simple wood frame. The end result is quite beautiful, and there's no glazing in front of your map.

All frames are provided "ready to hang", with either a string or brackets on the back. Very large frames will have heavy duty hanging plates and/or a mounting baton. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

See some examples of my framed maps and framed canvas maps.

Alternatively, I can also supply old maps on canvas, foam board, cotton rag and other materials.

If you want to frame your map yourself, please read my map size guide first.

For most orders, delivery time is about 3 working days. Personalised and custom made maps take longer, as I have to do the personalisation and send it to you for approval, which usually takes a day or two.

Please note that for larger framed orders (over 40in/100cm), and some other framed sizes, the delivery time will be closer to 7-10 days.

If you need your order to arrive by a certain date, please contact me before you order so that we can find the best way of making sure you get your order in time.

I print and frame maps in 22 countries around the world. This means your map will be made locally, which cuts down on delivery time and reduces the chance of your map being damaged during delivery. There won't be any extra taxes or duties to pay, and we'll put less CO2 into the air.

All of my maps are well packaged and sent in a rugged tube if unframed, or surrounded by foam if framed.

I try to send out all maps within 1 or 2 days of receiving your order, though some products (like face masks or mugs) can take longer to make.

If you select Express Delivery at checkout your order we will prioritise your order and send it out by 1-day courier (Fedex, DHL, UPS, Parcelforce).

We can sometimes do next-day delivery if you order before 10am. But usually it's best to contact me first before you order.

Read my full delivery and local production guide

My maps are extremely high quality reproductions of original maps.

I source original, rare maps from libraries, auction houses and private collections around the world, restore them at my London workshop, and then use specialist giclée inks and printers to create beautiful maps that look even better than the original.

My maps are printed on acid-free archival matte (not glossy) paper that feels very high quality and almost like card. In technical terms the paper weight/thickness is 10mil/200gsm. It's perfect for framing.

I print with Epson ultrachrome giclée UV fade resistant pigment inks - some of the best inks you can find.

I can also make maps on canvas, cotton rag and other exotic materials.

Learn more about The Unique Maps Co.

Map personalisation

If you're looking for the perfect anniversary or housewarming gift, I can personalise your map to make it truly unique. For example, I can add a short message, or highlight an important location, or add your family's coat of arms.

The options are almost infinite. Please see my map personalisation page for some wonderful examples of what's possible.

To order a personalised map, select "personalise your map" before adding it to your basket.

Get in touch if you're looking for more complex customisations and personalisations.

Map ageing

I have been asked hundreds of times over the years by customers if they could buy a map that looks even older.

Well, now you can, by selecting Aged before you add a map to your basket.

All the product photos you see on this page show the map in its Original form. This is what the map looks like today.

If you select Aged, I will age your map by hand, using a special and unique process developed through years of studying old maps, talking to researchers to understand the chemistry of aging paper, and of course... lots of practice!

If you're unsure, stick to the Original colour of the map. If you want something a bit darker and older looking, go for Aged.

See some amazing examples of Aged maps.

If you are not happy with your unique map for any reason, contact me for a no-quibble refund.

I am very confident you will like your old map. I have been doing this since 1984. I'm a 5-star Etsy seller. I have sold tens of thousands of maps and have over 4,000 real 5-star reviews.

I use a unique process to restore my maps that is massively time consuming and labour intensive. Hunting down the original maps can take months. I use state of the art and eye-wateringly expensive technology to scan and restore the maps. As a result, I guarantee my maps are a cut above the rest - that's why I can offer a no-quibble refund.

Almost all of my maps look amazing at large sizes (200cm, 6.5ft+) and I can frame and deliver them to you as well, via special oversized courier. Contact me to discuss your specific needs.

Fill in the form below, message me on WhatsApp, or call the workshop on 020 3286 8802