In 1835, M. L. (Matthias Lane) Dunlap moved from Albany County, New York to Troy Grove, LaSalle County, Ill. The following year, he moved to Chicago, tried his hand as a store owner, and endeavored to establish himself as a surveyor. Using his father's War of 1812 warrants for land purchase, Dunlap, his father, and five of his brothers took out land in Sections 17 and 18 of Leyden Township, Cook County, part of which became known as "Dunlap's Prairie."
The volume in this collection contains M. L. Dunlap's surveys in 1842-1845 of multiple parcels in Leyden and adjoining townships. A book of about 200 pages, it was retained in the Illinois Historical Survey in 1963, when most of Dunlap's papers were transferred to the University Archives (Record Series 1/20/3). For Dunlap's early life, see Gretchen S. Rauschenberg, Chicago's "Mr. Rural": The Life of Matthias Lane Dunlap, Columnist in the Press and the Tribune (2007).
The collection also includes a copy of Volume VII of The Illinois Farmer (1862), the provenance of which reflects Dunlap's importance as a farmer and nursery man. (The volume's bookplate reads "Dunlap's Library, Savoy, Illinois. Look over as much as you please but do not ask us to loan books.")