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JOINT EVENT: Prejudice and the Shaping of the American West

  • 20 Oct 2020
  • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Zoom registration via Washington Map Society

In partnership with the Washington Map Society, CMS invites you to attend our next virtual lecture:

Title:  Prejudice and the Shaping of the American West (Arranged by Rocky Mountain Map Society)

Speaker: Christopher W. Lane, Owner, The Philadelphia Print Shop West in Denver, CO

Date: Tuesday, 20 October 2020 

Location & Time: via Zoom, 4:00 PM Pacific (7:00 PM ET)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

In 1800, what is today the American West was comprised of three political regions, all controlled by foreign powers.  Over the next century, this area was absorbed into the United States and, through a series of ongoing changes, was broken into twenty-three political entities.  This drawing and redrawing of borders was driven to a great extent by economic demands, but another factor which played as important and equal role in the shaping of the American West was prejudice: prejudice against Native Americans, Mormons, and African Americans.

During the nineteenth century, the United States’ mapmaking industry reached its maturity, with American-made maps published in large numbers and permeating many parts of the country’s political, economic and social life.  Mapmakers did their best to keep their maps current as border changes were made, with maps reflecting every new configuration of territories and states, and sometimes even depicting configurations that never officially existed.  The maps also played a role in how the borders were drawn, both through their cartographic configurations and their political or social content.  This lecture will examine how nineteenth century maps reflected and effected prejudice’s role in the shaping of the American West.        

Bio:  Chris has worked in the antique print and map business for almost 40 years and has come to be recognized as one of the country’s experts in this field, as evidenced by his 22 year stint as print and map expert on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow. He has curated museum exhibitions and written several books, including the Ewell Newman Award winning Panorama of Pittsburgh, as well as numerous articles in books and magazines.  He has also lectured around the country and overseas on topics such as antique maps, Currier & Ives, and historical prints.  Since coming to Denver, he has made the history of western maps and views a particular focus, producing a number of articles on these topics and lecturing at the Denver Public Library and other local venues.

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