First U.S. map purchased for record price

First Map of US from 1784

First U.S. map purchased for record price

By Jacqueline Trescott, Washington Post Staff Writer, Sunday, January 30, 2011; 10:48 PM

The first map of the United States, created in 1784, has been purchased for the record price of $1.8 million by Washington philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, who is lending it to the Library of Congress. The Abel Buell map, named after the Connecticut cartographer who created it, has been a missing link in the library’s vast collection of maps. Rubenstein, the co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, bought the map at an auction at Christie’s in December. He was attracted to the map’s historic pedigree, he says.”This is the first map copyrighted, the first one to have the American flag and the first one made after the American Revolution. And it was the first one printed in the U.S.,” Rubenstein said. …

For full text of article, visit First U.S. map purchased for record price.

“The historical society, cash-strapped because of state budget cuts, was criticized by some in the museum field for selling this and other treasures.” It ended well, but was it ethical for them to do so?


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