Seattle Map 12 – Phelps 1856

Perhaps the most famous early map of Seattle is the one drawn by Lt. Thomas Phelps. It depicts the young town in January 1856 and is the first to show the town and not just the landscape around it. Despite its fame, the maps has a convoluted history. To learn more, please follow this link to an essay that I wrote about the map for

Many, many editions of the map have been produced. This is one of the more unusual. It is owned by the University of Washington Special Collections. I have no idea where it was printed or who the engravers were. If anyone does, please let me know.

Note several unusual aspects.

  1.  Addition of “hostile” to Hills & Woods thronged with …
  2.  Addition of “skidroad” to Lake Trail & Skidroad
  3.  Labels Thomas Phelps as a Lieutenant instead of Commander

Material for for this story comes out of research I have done for my new book on Seattle – Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography.

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