This outline map shows the area from Washington DC, north to above Lake Huron and from Cape Cod to the Mississippi River. It was drawn and published by John Price around 1840. Shown are major destinations, waterways, and the railroad network of the era. Pictured are portions of Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, and southeast Canada. A distance and time table is displayed in the lower right.
The Great Western Railroad was an ambitious project of businessman Samuel Zimmerman to connect the Niagara and Detroit rivers. Zimmerman traveled from Pennsylvania to Canada in the 1840's and acquired numerous railroad contracts by means of, what some say, was bribery. He became one of the richest men in Canada by acquiring a number of lake steamboats and a great deal of property at Niagara Falls, Toronto, and Hamilton. He was extremely influential in the politics of the day. At the time of his death in 1857, when a Great Western train accidentally crashed into a frozen Desjardins Canal, Zimmerman owned his own bank, foundry, mills, and a hotel.