Weiss, Jacob

Map of Charleston Harbor

Map of Charleston Harbor showing the location of forts Sumter, Moultrie, Johnson, and Castle Pinckney from the latest government surveys and reports

DESCRIPTION: Unrecorded edition of "Map of Charleston Harbor [South Carolina] showing the location of forts ..." printed by Jacob Weiss at 600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia in 1861. Inset elevation or perspective view of Charleston at top.

My interpretation of the map suggests Weiss printed the map between December 27, 1860, when the Union surrendered Shutes Folly/Castle Pinckney to the S.C. militia but before April 12, 1861 when the Confederacy began bombardment of Union forces at Fort Sumter. During this period the public had an intense interest in the building conflict.

Shows the main channel from the Atlantic Ocean to Charleston docks. Circles represent the range of cannon fire from forts and batteries in vicinity of Charleston Harbor, Charleston, South Carolina. Key features include:
  • Shutes Folly Island with Castle Pinckney
  • Rebellion Road [2]
  • US Arsenal
  • Customs House
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Sullivan's Island
  • Drunken Dick Breakers
  • Fort Johnson and Fort Sumter
WorldCat shows only two similar institutional holdings - Hagley Museum & Library, and University of Michigan Clements Library. This edition is similar to the edition at the U. Michigan Clements Library but lacks the price, and the Clements copy lacks both the decorative border, and the "Perspective View of the Harbor and City of Charleston" at top.

Jacob Weiss (1834 - 1866) was a Philadelphia lithographer who specialized in maps, working from 600 Chestnut Street (1858-1864) and 320 Walnut Street (1865-1866). "Weiss published Civil War maps, including "Map of Charleston Harbor" (1861) and the 1860 maps "Map of Hampton Roads and Norfolk Harbor Showing the Location of Fortress Monroe & Forts Calhoun & Norfolk and "A Correct Map of Pensacola Bay Showing Topography of the Coast, Fort Pickens, U.S. Navy Yard and all other fortifications [1].

[1] Library Company of Philadelphia. Weiss, Jacob. Online: https://digital.librarycompany.org/islandora/object/digitool%3A79929
[2] Note: The name “Rebellion Road”, found in Charleston Harbor, predates the Civil War and the Revolutionary War. The name refers to a ship channel or anchorage, from which a rebellious ship or fleet could anchor without fear of cannon fire from the (then) few short-range cannon in Charleston, SC.

CREATOR: Weiss, Jacob



BODY OF WATER: Charleston Harbor

CONDITION: Good.  Two 1" archival repairs from the verso at top margin. Small trace of old tape residue at top. Washed and flattened. Traces of age.

COLORING: Lithographed color.


SIZE: 12 " x 10 "


PRICE: $2150


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