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[ 19th century regional maps of the U.S. ]
The first map to show the newly created territories of Nebraska and Kansas, issued the year of the Nebraska-Kansas Act. Prior to this the great plains was unorganized, Indian territory, but the large number of emigrants crossing them, along with the desire to build a trans-continental railroad through them, led to a pressing need bring the plains under some form of governmental and private control. The conflict between the slave states in the South and the free states in the North kept Congress from organizing the plains until they were able to create these two new territories in 1854 using the compromise of bringing them in under "popular sovereignty."
This wonderful map shows the two territories, as well as surrounding areas with impressive detail, based to a great extent of the latest military surveys. This map came out just at the beginning of the great plains settlement and development and the map shows the locations of towns and proposed routes for the trans-continental railroad, as well as the Santa Fe and Oregon trails. Missions, rivers, and the myriad Indian tribes are also detailed. Of particular note are a number of wonderful western vignettes of Indians, wildlife and a wagon train, these ornamental features adding to the decorative border and bright hand color. In the lower part of the map are an inset of North America and one showing the Gadsden Purchase of 1854. $6,850
John Halsall. "Sectional Map of the Territory of Kansas. Compiled from the Field Notes in the Surveyor General's Office." New York: J.H. Colton, 1857. Copyright, 1856. Separately issued, pocket map printed on banknote paper and folded into original covers. 27 1/2 x 21 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Some light discoloration at folds. Very good condition. Denver.
A rare, pocket map of "Bleeding Kansas," a primary historic artifact map intended to bring anti-slavery settlers to the territory. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 created the Kansas Territory with the provision that the issue of whether it would be slave or free was to be decided by "popular sovereignty." This meant that in the years that followed, each side of this conflict tried to flood the territory with their proponents; this map was intended to be sold on the east coast to attract anti-slavery emigrants.
This map was drawn by John Halsall from the best available maps, those of the General Land Office's Surveyor General. Indeed, in the lower right corner of the map is a box with the following text: "The above Map is correct, So far as the field notes have been reported to this Office Surveyor General's Office 1856. Robert L. Ream, Chief Clerk, Surveyor Gen'ls. Office." The map shows the eastern part of Kansas, as far west as the Principal Meridian. Counties are shown and named and the extent of the GLO's survey is indicated with township lines. Indian lands and reservations are also noted, and all the towns, forts, rivers, and roads are indicated clearly. This map was issued both by its author, John Halsall, in St. Louis and J.H. Colton in New York. $2,100
"Nebraska and Kanzas." New York: J.H. Colton & Co., 1856. 12 3/4 x 15 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. With decorative border. Denver.
One of the first maps to focus on the northern plains east of the Rockies. New settlers were moving into the northern plains in the early 1850s, and many emigrants passed through the region on their way further west along the Oregon Trail. This area had been part of the original Missouri Territory and with the increasing population, there was a need to break it into smaller units. Thus, in 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed by Congress, setting up the two territories as they are shown in this map of but two years later. Kansas Territory is shown with its present north and south borders, but its western border extending into present-day Colorado. The Nebraska Territory is shown reaching all the way north to Canada and as far west as the "heights" of the Rocky Mountains. The territories retained this shape from 1855 until 1861 and few were made just of these territories in this configuration.
As this region was of considerable interest at the time, Colton included an impressive amount of information. Rivers, extremely important for emigrants and settlers alike, are shown with good detail, including the upper Missouri feeders, the two branches of the Platte, and the Arkansas River. Forts, such as Laramie, Atkinson, Clark, Union and many others, are clearly delineated, and Indian tribes are named and located throughout. Of particular interest are the indications of early exploration routes and the main passes over the Rocky Mountains, including the famous South Pass. An important map of an important region in the western expansion of the United States just prior to the Civil War. $375
"A New Map of Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico and Indian Territories. 1857" Philadelphia: Charles Desilver, 1857. Copyright 1856. Separately issued map, folding into original booklet. 15 1/4 x 13. Lithograph. Original hand color. Some short breaks at folds, but else excellent condition. Denver.
A very rare, separately issued maps of the Plains state at a seminal point in their history. In the years between the Mexican-American War and the Civil War, the Great Plains were the scene of considerable development as American moved into and across this region, heading to the west coast or settling in this area previously occupied almost exclusively by Native Americans. The pressure to form territorial governments led to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which established those two territories to the north of the Indian Territories (now Oklahoma). This rare map focuses on the middle of the country, showing from northern Texas to the Canadian border, and from the Missouri River to the Rio Colorado. The detail is impressive, including rivers, orography, settlements, and "Military & Trading Posts." Also indicated are Fremont's and Lewis & Clark's routes, the Oregon Trail, the Spanish Trail from Santa Fe to Los Angeles, and the proposed routes for the planned Pacific Railroad. Indian tribes are indicated through-out. Desilver's maps are rare in their atlas format, but we can find no record of another example of this map as a separately-issued, folding map. $2,850
"Nebraska and Kanzas." New York: J.H. Colton & Co., ca. 1857. 12 3/4 x 15 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.
A slightly later edition of Colton's fine map of the Nebraska and Kansas territories. Issued without the decorative border, this map does add an indication of the Oregon Trail, passing over the South Pass. $350
"XVIII. Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico & Indian Territory." Philadelphia: S.A. Mitchell Sr., ca. 1860. 8 ¼ x 10 ½. From Mitchell's School and Family Geography. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.
A nice map of Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and present day Oklahoma from after the Mexican American War. The Map shows the four states with the Texas panhandle and indicates the presence of a number of Indian tribes including the Cherokee, Kioways, Comanches, Creeks, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cheyenne & Arapahoes. The map depicts topographical information with clear precision, marking towns, rivers, roads and counties. $125
"Kansas and Nebraska." New York: J.H. Colton, 1863. 25 1/4 x 16 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand-coloring. Narrow margins around decorative border, with some chipping just into border. Browning on back at one side. One tiny spot in center. Otherwise, very good condition.
A map of the eastern parts of Nebraska and Kansas issued shortly after they took on their present-day shapes. The territories of Nebraska and Kansas were created in 1854 out of the old Missouri Territory. In 1861, Kansas attained statehood, while the Nebraska Territory lost two-thirds of its land to the newly created Dakota Territory, though it still extended to the Rocky Mountains. The western parts, beyond the 104th meridian, were detached from Nebraska in 1863, thus attaining its present configuration. This map, issued about this time, shows just the eastern parts of Nebraska and Kansas, as there was almost no development in the western parts. Detail is very good of this area, with counties, towns, rivers, Indian reservations, roads and forts clearly indicated and named. Of particular interest are the depictions of the old Santa Fe trail and the "Pony Express and U.S. Mail Route," both heading west off the map. $175
W.H. Gamble. "Map of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado Showing also The Eastern portion of Idaho." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1863. 11 1/2 x 14. Lithograph. Full original color. Very good condition. Denver.
A fine of the Plains states from Philadelphia publisher S. Augustus Mitchell Jr.. It shows the territories of Kansas and Nebraska shortly after they were reorganized into their present borders (though they were still territories for a number of years yet). Their reorganization was started with the creation of the territory of Colorado in 1861. This territory was formed because of the huge population which had emigrated to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the "Pike's Peak Gold Rush." When gold was discovered at the junction of Cherry Creek and the South Platte in 1858, tens of thousands flooded to the area over the next couple of years, creating the towns of Denver City and Auraria (the two which joined together to form Denver), as well as Boulder, Golden, Central City, Breckinridge, all of which are shown on this map in the "Gold Region."
Colorado was created to a great extent from the western part of Kansas, which thus was shrunk to its current size. Nebraska also lost some land to Colorado in 1861, but it was mostly reduced that year by the organization of the lands north of 43° N as the Dakota Territory. The last change to its borders, the year this map was issued, occurred when the western part of both Dakota and Nebraska were subsumed in the new territory of Idaho. This was a period of the planning of the trans-continental railroad and Mitchell shows a number of the considered routes with dashed lines. This map was issued at a time when this region was flooded by settlers, miners and emigrants seeking new opportunities in the burgeoning American West. The eastern-most parts of Kansas and Nebraska are shown fairly well settled, and in the west are shown a few new settlements, forts, and Indian tribes. With updated maps in most atlases, Mitchell pictured this fascinating part of American history at a transitional stage. $250
"Johnson's Nebraska, Dakota, Colorado, Idaho & Kansas." New York: Johnson & Ward, 1863. 12 3/4 x 15 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand coloring. Very good condition.
A detailed map of northern plain states (present-day Kansas, Nebraska,Colorado, the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana). This map shows a configuration of this region which lasted only for one year. In 1863,the eastern part of Washington Territory and the western part of Dakota Territory were broken off to form the Idaho Territory, encompassing what today is Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. The next year the eastern part of this huge Idaho Territory, that shown here, was broken off to create the Montana Territory, with the southeastern part temporarily going back into the Dakota Territory. The detail in this map is most impressive, showing rivers, towns, forts, Indian tribes, and the early trails which criss-crossed this region. This map was issued during the Pike's Peak gold rush, so the four main routes to "Auroria" are shown, the distances of the northern and southern-most routes noted on the map. The gold rush towns of Auraria, Denver, and Montana are all shown, though the first two had by then merged into Denver. $250
"Johnson's Missouri and Kansas." New York: Johnson & Ward, 1864. 17 x 23 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.
A detailed early map of Missouri and Kansas at an important time in the development of both states. The period just after the Civil War was a time when many were moving from the east to the plains and beyond, and Missouri was often their starting point. This map shows the many roads, trails and railroads in the region, including the Santa Fe trail. The state of Kansas is particularly interesting in showing significant development in the east, but very little to the west. Also included are three attractive vignette scenes of the American west. $185
"Map Showing the progress of the Public Surveys in Kansas and Nebraska." Washington: General Land Office, 1864. 23 1/2 x 28 1/2. Lithograph. With some staining, especially along folds at left. Denver.
A map showing the extent to which the General Land Office had mapped in Kansas and Nebraska in 1863, for inclusion in the report by the Surveyor General to Congress. The GLO was beginning to focus on mapping the mid-west even during the Civil War years, and the grid reaches about half-way across these states. Rivers, towns, and forts are all shown, as are Indian reservations. $125
J.R. Gillis. "Map and Profile of first 40 miles of Union Pacific Rail Road Eastern Division extending West from boundary between States of Missouri and Kansas." Included in James Harlan's report for Department of Interior. Washington: GPO, October 26, 1865. 20 1/2 x 39 3/4. Lithograph by Bowen & Co. Some light browning and minor separations at folds. Overall, very good condition. Modelski: 589. Denver.
The U.S. government passed the Pacific Railroad Act in 1862. This was designed to to connect the eastern part of the country with the west with a railroad running from Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean. The main route was to run from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Sacramento, California, but a second line was also authorized, to run from Kansas City to Fort Riley and then north to meet the main line at Fort Kearny. This was the Union Pacific Railway, construction of which was begun in September 1864.
This map shows the first 40 miles built, from Kansas City to Lawrence, and it was issued in a report to Congress on the progress of the railroad by James Harlan, Secretary of the Interior. It was drawn by J.R. Gillis and shows an impressive picture of the line, complete with its stations, set into a detailed topography. A profile of the route is included on the bottom. Interestingly, citizens of Denver were eager to be tied into the national railroad network (the main Union Pacific Line passed north of Denver, through Cheyenne, Wyoming), and they petitioned Congress to extent the line further west to Denver. This was done, with the line being built west from Fort Riley and east from Denver, finally connecting the city in 1870 (at which time the line was then called the Kansas Pacific Railroad). $250
"Colton's Map of Kansas, Nebraska, Dakota & Indian Territory." New York: G.W. and C.B. Colton & Co., 1866. 26 1/2 x 16 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Edge of decorative border trimmed at left, as issued. Very good condition.
One of the best maps of the American Plains from the post-Civil War period. This region saw a large influx of settlers and travelers in this period and it went through a number of political changes, so such a map would have had great interest. The territories of Nebraska and Kansas were created in 1854 out of the old Missouri Territory. In 1861, Kansas attained statehood, while the Nebraska Territory (which didn't become a state until a year after this map was issued) lost two-thirds of its land to the newly created Dakota Territory, and the territory of Colorado (shown here, though not mentioned in the title) was also created. In this second state of the map, a border separating Dakota from Wyoming (the latter not named) is shown; Wyoming was created out of the western part of Dakota about the time this version was issued. The western parts of the states lining the Mississippi River are shown with considerable development. The only similar areas of settlement and county creation for the rest of the map occur in eastern Texas and the eastern parts of Kansas and Nebraska. The western parts of that state and territory, along with Dakota and Colorado are depicted as relatively undeveloped.
The map contains much information on rivers, lakes, and topography, but it is for the information on human activity on the plains which makes this map of such great interest. This was issued at a time of regular conflict between Euro-Americans and Native Americans, and the locations of Indian tribes are noted throughout, including three large reservations in the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). The reason for the conflict was the encroachment of whites into the area, shown on this map with flags to indicate forts, the routes of explorers, emigration & trade routes-such as the Santa Fe and Oregon trails, proposed wagon roads and railroads, as well as the northern and southern routes to Denver, which were clogged in the 1860s with Pike's Peak gold-rushers. A terrific map of this frontier land after the Civil War. $275
"Map Showing the progress of the Public surveys of Kansas and Nebraska . 1866." Washington: General Land Office, 1866. 23 5/8 x 33. Lithograph by Bowen & Co. Original outline color. Some typical slight wear and light browning at folds. Very good condition. Wheat: 1151. Denver.
The U.S. General Land Office (GLO) was established in 1812 with responsibility to survey and control the dispersal of public lands. All public land was required to be surveyed prior to settlement, and the first director of the GLO, Thomas Hutchins, set up a systematic process of rectangular survey for the public lands and launched the great national project to survey and map the public domain in the entire country, a procedure which got under way in the famous "seven ranges" of southeast Ohio. Each surveyor was to record not only geography, but also features of the landscape with economic import, such as roads, Indian trails, existing settlements, Indian lands, mineral deposits, and of particular interest, railroads and their rights of way. Of note is that unlike most surveys of the time, the surveyors were instructed not to apply new names to the landscape, but to use "the received names of all rivers, creeks, lakes, swamps, prairies, hills, mountains and other natural objects."
By mid-century the GLO had completed most of the surveys for the lands between the Appalachians and the Mississippi, and so focused most of its attention to the American west for the rest of the century. The GLO published mostly state maps, which were issued in annual reports, bound into state atlases, and in a few atlases that combined all the current maps in progress. These maps produced by the GLO are the most accurate and detailed maps of the U.S., based on rigorous and comprehensive surveys not hindered by commercial concerns. These maps proved very useful to private American mapmakers, and they were often the basis for state and county maps in the second part of the nineteenth century. This 1866 map shows Kansas and Nebraska five years after the former was achieved statehood and the latter was reduced to close to its present borders. The map contains lots of interesting information, especially on minerals and, as noted by Wheat, railroads in this region then undergoing considerable growth. $650
"County Map Of Kansas, Nebraska, Dakota, and Minnesota." From Atlas of Whiteside Co.. Chicago: Warner & Beers, 1872. 16 1/2 x 13 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.
An unusual map from the Warner & Beers Atlas of Whiteside Co. (IL), which contained besides information on Whiteside County, maps of other Illinois counties and also maps from H.H. Lloyd's Atlas of the United States. Details in Kansas and Nebraska are quite good, showing the extensive development by the early 1870s reaching west along the rail lines, which are clearly marked. Minnesota is also shown as well settled, but Dakota--not yet divided into North and South--is relatively sparsely populated except in the south eastern part. Of interest is the beginning of the Northern Pacific Railroad, built across Minnesota and as far as Bismark, Dakota. $185
"County & Township Map of the States of Kansas and Nebraska.." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1874. 14 1/8 x 21 3/8. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.
A Mitchell map of the two states as they were configured shortly after statehood and the completion of the transcontinental railroad. Kansas, through which the Pacific Railroad ran, was highly developed at this point, as can been clearly seen here. The Pacific R.R. is shown, as is the Atchison, Topeka & Sante Fe R.R., and a few others in the state, bringing considerable growth of towns, roads, and so forth. Nebraska shows the Union Pacific Railroad passing through, but development is considerably less, limited mostly to the east and south of the Platte River. An excellent early picture of these two plains states. $150
"Map of Kansas - Published by the State Board of Agriculture." Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., ca. 1879. 13 1/8 x 21. Cerograph. Original color. Good condition. Denver.
A wonderful map of Kansas made by Rand McNally for the Kansas State Board of Agriculture. The post-Civil War years were a time of tremendous growth in the American west, with settlers and railroads pushing westward both in the north and the south. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the Kansas Pacific Railway were the major line in this region and this wonderful map illustrates the lines, stations, and connecting lines (some existing and some proposed). This is an early example of the output of Rand, McNally & Co. Railroad maps like these were one of the major ways in which this company got its start. This map also shows the shifting "Centre of Population" for the state, which show the tremendous westward growth the state experienced during this time. $45
"Asher & Adams Kansas." Washington: Asher & Adams, 1874. 15 1/2 x 22 1/4. Lithograph. Full original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.
An attractive map of Kansas just about a decade after statehood. Still most of the development was in the east, but the burgeoning rail network extending throughout the the state was followed by new surveys and settlements, both features of which are graphically illustrated on this map. Topographical information shows rivers and lakes, as well as towns and counties. Attractive and filled with detail, a nice map of Kansas from shortly before the Centennial. $175
"Rand, McNally & Co.'s Kansas". Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1883. 12 3/4 x 20. Colored cerograph. Expertly repaired tear above bottom margin. Otherwise, very good condition. Denver.
A late nineteenth century map from the early days of the Rand, McNally & Co. firm out of Chicago, a company that would shift the center of cartographic publishing from the east coast to the mid-west. Typical of the work from the firm, this map has very good detail, precisely and neatly exhibited. Topographic and social information, counties, roads, and many more details are illustrated. By the end of the nineteenth century, development in Kansas is shown by the network of rail lines extending into the west as well as crisscrossing the more settled east. Aesthetically and cartographically, a very interesting foreshadowing of the maps of the twentieth century. $125
"County & Township Map Of The States of Kansas and Nebraska." Philadelphia: W.M. Bradley & Bro., 1886. 14 x 21 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Old separation along centerfold, archivally repaired. Very good condition.
A neatly detailed map from the Philadelphia publishing firm of William M. Bradley & Bros. While Philadelphia was no longer the main center of cartographic publishing in North America by the late nineteenth century, many fine maps were still produced there, as is evidenced by this map. The burgeoning states are shown with settlement spreading west from the Missouri River, trails, roads and railroads providing the transportation nexus by which this development progressed. The southwestern corner of Kansas and northwestern corner of Nebraska are still relatively underdeveloped, but this frontier in the states is clearly dwindling. $125
"Map of Kansas - Issued by the State Board of Railroad Commissioners." Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1888. 12 3/4 x 20. Cerograph. Original color. Very good condition. Denver.
An interesting railroad map of Kansas made by Rand McNally for the Kansas State Board of Railroad Commissioners. The post-Civil War years were a time of tremendous growth in the American west, with settlers and railroads pushing westward both in the north and the south. As this map indicates, even predominately rural states like Kansas were covered with a myriad of different rail lines, each bringing new goods, ideas and people to and from the all corners of the country. This map nicely shows each rail line in a different color, as well as the express companies that operated on each line. This is a good example of the output of Rand, McNally & Co. Railroad maps like these were one of the major ways in which this company got its start. $65
"Kansas." New York: Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company, 1889. Ca. 3 x 5. Chromolithograph by Donaldson Brothers. Very good condition.
From a delightful series of maps issued by the Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company. This firm was founded by John and Charles Arbuckle of Pittsburgh, PA. They developed a machine to weigh, fill, seal and label coffee in paper packages, which allowed them to become the largest importer and seller of coffee in the world. Their most famous promotional program involved the issuing of several series of small, colorful trading cards, one of which was included in every package of Arbuckle's Coffee. These series included cards with sports, food, historic scenes, and--one of the most popular--maps. The latter cards included not only a map, but also small illustrations "which portrays the peculiarities of the industry, scenery, etc." of the region depicted. These cards are a delight, containing informative maps as well as wonderful scenes of the area mapped. $60
[Kansas]. From Rand McNally & Company's Indexed Atlas of the World. Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1899. 19 x 25 3/4. Cerograph. Very good condition. Denver.
A late nineteenth century map from the early days of the Rand, McNally & Co. firm out of Chicago, a company that would shift the center of cartographic publishing from the east coast to the mid-west. Typical of the firm's work, this map has very good detail precisely and neatly exhibited. Topographic and social information, counties, roads, and many more details are neatly illustrated. Of particular note is the depiction of the myriad railroad lines in and around the state, which are graphically shown with bold lines. Aesthetically and cartographically, it foreshadows the maps of the twentieth century. $100
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