In general there has been limited effort to produce historical cartography portraying the wide range of social, political, economic, and cultural themes of Indian life. Historical coverage is usually limited to depicting ethnographic or linguistic distribution, battle sites, and the locations of villages and reservations. Exceptions are found in a few atlases, including a Comparative Studies of North American Indians (1957), Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History (1987), Atlas of American Indian Affairs (1991), Atlas of the North American Indian (2009), and Atlas of Indian Nations (2013), all of which contain historical coverage of a broader spectrum of Indian matters, and which are cited in the next section titled Published Reference Sources. More generalized coverage of Indian history is usually in thematic and historical atlases of the United States and in individual state atlases. In spite of their deficiencies, historical maps can prove to be valuable resources not only for their recreation of past events — both correctly and incorrectly — and for their documentation of tribal distribution and habitation sites, but also for what they reveal about the prejudices, state of knowledge, and cultural values of the times in which they were produced. And, although Naive American participation in the two major world wars of the twentieth century is well-documented, maps depicting their roles — either as infantrymen or as code talkers, i.e transmitters of coded tactical messages — are virtually non-existent, save for the second item on the list.
The maps in this section have been digitized by the Library and are available for viewing and download online. Select the link on the map or in the caption to view a copy of the map that can be enlarge to view the detail.
This pictorial map satirizes America's westward thrust in the late 1820s by depicting expansion as a struggle between an alligator and a turtle, knotted at their tails, moving in opposite directions. They are mounted by ten Anglo-American promoters or investors. At the top of the scene is a group of ten Native Americans, commenting on the action below.
Prepared after World War I, this map depicts Native participation during the War, including the twenty-eight sectors where they were awarded military decorations in France and Belgium. Also indicates the locations of graves of Indian war dead and noted battles in which they fought. An inset includes a "Special sketch of noted battlefields, comprising Verdun & Meuse, Argonne & St. Mihiel operations, where the Indians occupied so many sectors and won such fine distinction"; whereas a series of three lines and dots indicate Dr. J. K. Dixon's line trips over the battlefields as leader of the Rodman Wanamaker Historical Expeditions to the North American Indian in Europe.