Earl B. McElfresh

Earl B. McElfresh at his map desk.

McElfresh Map Desk

Earl B. McElfresh (St. Lawrence University) is the author of Sidereal Days, The History of Rock & Roll, A Romance (Tammy Norie Press e-book 2012,) Maps and Mapmakers of the Civil War (Abrams, 1999) and contributing editor to Company Commander by Charles B. MacDonald (History Book Club, 2007.) He is a regular contributor of Civil War articles to Civil War Times Magazine.  His most recent article “Robert E. Lee and Mapping the Gettysburg Campaign” appeared in the August 2013 issue of Civil War Times.

He has spoken on Civil War mapping at The Smithsonian, The National Archives, The Library of Congress, The New York Public Library, The Boston Public Library, The Newberry Library, The Harvard Map Collection, The Warburg Institute in London, National Geographic and on C-Span Book TV.

His on-site research for the Cold Harbor Battlefield, Hanover County, Virginia map was documented in an article in the November/December 2000 issue of Preservation magazine.

His plays Marvels of Modern Man and Amid Planetary Music were performed at St. Lawrence University. His play Honor Luck received a reading at the New Phoenix Theater in Buffalo. His screenplay Lazy Eye was filmed and premiered at the New School in New York.

Cartographer for McElfresh Map Company LLC, he has prepared twenty-three maps. Twenty of the maps have been main or featured selections of History Book Club.  Both Maps and Mapmakers of the Civil War and Company Commander were main selections of History Book Club.  He prepared endpaper maps for the four volume set published by Library of America and entitled The Civil War: Told by Those Who Lived It and he is currently preparing the maps for Stephen Sears new Civil War history.

He served on the Olean (NY) Common Council and on the Cattaraugus County Legislature.  He has been an elected trustee of the Olean Public Library since 1999 and is on the board of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System .

He curated the Marion Coughlin exhibit in January 2012 and the It Was Fifty Years Ago Today: The Beatles Exhibit in January 2014 at the Olean Public Library.

His Underground Railroad map Freedom’s Tracks was the sole modern map included in the Torn in Two Civil War map show that exhibited at the Boston Public Library, the Grolier Club in New York City, at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC and the Osher Map Library in Portland, ME.

A selection of 21 of his original watercolor maps were displayed at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University.  A number of his original maps are currently (June 2019-December 2019) on display at the Cattaraugus County Museum.

He played rhythm guitar with the band The Fabtones. The cabaret laws of New York City pretty much restricted their playing to the wonderfully hospitable streets of New York City.

He and his wife Michiko have three children, John, Reed and Diana and a cat. Like Roger Miller’s King of the Road, they have no pool.


On Thursday, December 2,1999 C-Span Book TV videotaped a presentation Earl McElfresh to the Huntington (Long Island) Civil War Round Table at The Book Revue, an independent bookstore.  The talk was attended by approximately one hundred people.  The presentation was a little over an hour with a question and answer period.  On the C-span website we were able to make a short four-minute clip about Jed Hotchkiss.  Please follow this link if you wish to see it:

C-span Clip

If you would like to see the entire presentation, please follow this link:

C-Span Entire Mapping Presentation