Maps Have the Power to Shape History - Atlas Obscura
Willard is one of the first, perhaps the very first, female mapmaker in America. A teacher, pioneer of education for women, and founder of her own school, Willard was fascinated with the power of geography and the potential for maps to tell stories. In 1828, she published a series of maps as part of her History of the United States, or Republic of America, which showed graphically how the country, as she understood it, had come to be. It was the first book of its kind—the first atlas to present the evolution of America.
The book began with map (below) that was unusual and innovative for its time. It attempted to document the history and movement of Native American tribes in the precolonial past. Willard’s atlas also told a story about the triumph of Anglo settlers in this part of the world. She helped solidify, for both her peers and her students, a narrative of American destiny and inevitability.