At first, the mountains appear to be a relatively unimportant feature of the map, and it is true that they occupy relatively little physical space on the page. The mountains that are represented are done so in a way that connects them in continuous ranges that snake along the surface of the map. The way that they flow and join together is reminiscent of rivers. Indeed, there is a connection between the smoothness of the mountains and the prominence of the rivers in the map’s hierarchy. Both illustrate an intent on the part of the mapmaker to present a smoothness and naturalness of the American landscape. One of the central ideas of the map is that slavery’s expansion is at odds with the natural land. The smooth mountains play a central role in demonstrating this argument.