Women have made significant contributions to the field of cartography throughout history. In celebration of Women’s History Month I have chosen to write about the noted 19th century cartographer, educator, and historian, Eugenia Almira Wheeler Goff.
Eugenia Wheeler was born in 1844 in North Clarkson, New York. Her family moved to Winona, Minnesota when she was fifteen years old. She graduated from the state Normal school in 1869; after graduation Eugenia worked as an educator and teacher trainer in various Minnesota institutions.
In 1876 Eugenia Wheeler created an atlas titled Minnesota, Its Geography, History, and Resources. The atlas was used as a textbook in Minnesota schools, it contains detailed instructions in map drawing, as well as information about the history, people, climate, animals, and minerals of the state of Minnesota. The following statement about the atlas was taken from an article titled Goff, Eugenia Almira Wheeler (January 17, 1844-May 12, 1922):
Her book was the first to combine history, resources and geography; and proved to be so popular that publishers used her ideas to publish books in other states.
Featured at the top of this post are insets from a wall map that Eugenia Wheeler created in 1887. The map is titled Historical Map of the United States. The military routes taken during the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War are shown on the map; the paths of early explorers are also shown. A small book was included with the map. The book contains an index and a chapter titled Suggestions to Teachers.
Below are additional insets from the Historical Map of the United States. The insets show Grant’s Richmond and Petersburg Campaigns and Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign.
Eugenia Wheeler married Henry Slade Goff in 1882. During their marriage the couple founded the National Historical Publishing Company. Eugenia collaborated with her husband in producing hundreds of maps for educational purposes. Below are three maps that were made by Eugenia and Henry Goff. The first map shows the acquisitions of territory in the United States. The next map includes insets related to the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War, and the Boxer Rebellion. The third map shows battles that occurred in the Caribbean during the Spanish-American War.
The maps created by Eugenia Wheeler Goff provide information about important historical events. The textbook Minnesota, Its Geography, History and Resources was regarded as original and groundbreaking. Her contributions to cartography and education should not be forgotten.