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Antique Maps of Oklahoma
(Indian Territory)

Flag of Oklahoma

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"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

Arbuckle Indian Territory
"Indian Territory." 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. $65

"Oklahoma and Indian Ters." Probably George Cram & Co., Chicago. 1890. 10 1/4 x 13. Color cerograph. Trimed to neatline at bottom edge. Light spot in lower left corner near scale of miles. Else, very good condition. $125

"Indian Territory." Philadelphia: Wm.M. Bradley & Bro., 1894. 12 3/8 x 17. Lithograph. Original hand color. Trimmed within decorative border at bottom, else very good condition.

The Indian Territory was formed as a result of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, when lands west of the Mississippi were set aside for the Indian Tribes forced to relocate from east of the Mississippi River. By 1856 these lands had been reduced to the present borders of Oklahoma. After the Civil War, the government forced the tribes into new treaties, gaining back some of the land for the government and allowing railroads to cross the territory (the Missouri Pacific and Atlantic & Pacific lines are shown on this map). This resulted in a substantial area in the central part of the state in theory not connected to any tribe and owned by the U.S. government. This region of "unassigned" lands, popularly called "Oklahoma," was finally opened to whites in 1889, resulting in the great "land rush" of that year. From then on the lands set aside for the Indians were shrunk until 1907 when Oklahoma entered the Union as the 46th state. $125

Rand McNally Oklahoma and Indian Territory
[Oklahoma and Indian Territory.] From New General Atlas of the World. Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1899. 9 x 11 3/8. Cerograph, with full original color. Very good condition.

A map showing the last configuration of the American Indian Territory. The original Indian Territory west of the Mississippi encompassed most of the Louisiana Purchase, not including Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. With the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, the Indian Territory was shrunk to just that part of the purchase south of the 37th parallel (the southern Kansas border), that is, today's Oklahoma (created as a state just about a decade later). After the Civil War, the western part of this territory was taken back from the Indians and in 1890 became the Oklahoma Territory. This map shows that configuration, with the Oklahoma Territory in the west and the final, small Indian Territory in the east. Realizing they might be legislated out of existence, the citizens of the Indian Territory applied to statehood (as the state of Sequoyah) in 1905, but Congress instead turned the entire area shown here into the state of Oklahoma in 1907. $65

"Oklahoma." Chicago: George F. Cram, ca. 1910. 13 1/2 x 18 3/8. Colored cerograph. Very good condition.

A fascinating map of Oklahoma produced by the George F. Cram Company, an engraving and publishing firm from Chicago. In the mid-nineteenth century, the center of cartographic publishing was New York City, but in the 1880s this began to shift towards Chicago with the advent of the Rand, McNally and Cram firms. These firms were noted for their efficient output of precise maps (using the process of wax engraving or cerography) filled with useful and up-to-date political and cultural information, and details on roads, towns, railroads, and so forth. This map is typical of their work and provides an excellent view of the territory at this crucial period in its history. $125

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