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During the nineteenth century, folding travel maps were published for the use of wagon drivers, railroad passengers, and steamboat voyageurs in a new and rapidly developing country. These separately issued maps were sold to a huge population of Americans on the move. These maps usually focused on the travel nexus of roads, railroads, and steamboat routes, and they often displayed information on schedules, distances, and sometimes included inset maps of cities or smaller regions.
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S. Augustus Mitchell. "A New Map of Texas, Oregon and California with the Regions adjoining Compiled from the most recent authorities." Philadelphia: S.A. Mitchell, 1846. Separately issued, folding map on banknote paper. 22 1/8 x 20 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. With some discoloration and oxidized color; professionally conserved and lined. Overall, very good condition. Martin: 36; Wheat: 520. Framed to museum standards. Denver.
Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1792-1868) was one of the premier American cartographers in the middle of the nineteenth century. He is equally well renowned for his school geographies, atlases and separately issued wall and folding maps, of which this is probably his most famous. The region shown extends from the Mississippi to the Pacific coastline, and from the Rio Grande to southern Canada. This region was of particular interest in 1846 because of two recent, related events. In 1845, Texas had been admitted to the Union as a new state, which prompted Mexico, in 1846, to invade Texas, thus precipitating the U.S.-Mexican war. General curiosity about the new state and understandable interest in the war led to Mitchell's timely map becoming a very popular item all across the United States. This map would have been purchased and perused from New England to Philadelphia and from Georgia to Houston.
As stated in the "Accompaniment to Mitchell's new map of Texas, Oregon and California...," in which the map was issued, Mitchell used the latest information on the American west which was available at the time. Among his sources were Arrowsmith's 1841 map of Texas, Fremont's and Emory's maps of their explorations in the region, data from the Lewis & Clark expedition, Nicollet's map of the region between the Mississippi and the Missouri, and Wilkes' map of Oregon. The map shows Texas claims to the upper Rio Grande, in present-day New Mexico. These claims were eventually given up as part of the Great Compromise of 1850 in return for federal assumption of Texas' public debt. Besides its cartographic interest, the accompanying booklet contains the most comprehensive description of the territories bordering the Pacific Ocean, a region soon to be incorporated into the United States. This is a striking map of seminal significance to the history of the United States and its mapping. $9,000
1846 Mitchell wall map with this map as inset.
J.T. Lawson. "Lawson's Map from Actual Survey of the Gold, Silver & Quicksilver Regions of Upper California. Exhibiting the Mines, Diggings, Roads, Paths, Houses, Mill, Stores, Missions &c. &c. by J.T. Lawson, Esq. Cala. Together with a miniature map of the United States, Mexico and South America. Showing the different routs [sic] to California &c. &c." New York: Dewitt & Davenport, 1849. Separately issued map on banknote paper; folded into original booklet with stamped title. 14 1/2 x 20 1/2. Lithograph by G. Snyder; "Engraved in stone by Edw. Herrlein." A few small separations at folds. Some light darkening at a few folds and stain from glue where attached to booklet. Overall, very good condition. Wheat: Maps of the California Gold Region: 108.
An important pocket map of the California gold regions issued to year of the California gold rush. Pocket maps were issued for places people were interested in traveling to, and no place in the United States was of more interest for travelers in 1849 than the California gold regions. This map was intended for those heading to California to participate in the great gold rush. It was only the second map to be issued of just the gold fields. It contains all the information such a '49er' would need, including indications of all the mines, diggings, roads, mills, and other features of note. In the upper corner is a small map showing the various routes to California, and the main map extends from San Francisco, where most would land, north beyond the gold fields. The map is based on an 1848 by Edward Ord, but with some new information added to reflect later events. The map is almost as much a promotional document as a cartographic one, with notes scattered all over such as "Gold found on all these streams," and "Low Clay Hills and Gravel containing Gold." A note at the bottom lists the distances from Sutter's Fort to the lower and upper mines. A map like this, intended for use by travelers and often taken out into the field, would have a very low rate of survival, so it is especially surprising to find a copy in such excellent condition as this. It is a wonderful survivor of that important part of American history. $11,500
J.W. Otley. "A New County Map of the State of Pennsylvania and adjoining states showing the route of the Central and other rail roads &c. &c." Philadelphia: R.L. Barnes, 1852. Separately issued, folding map on bank note paper. 25 1/4 x 36 1/2. Lithographed by Friend & Aub. Full, original hand color. Trimmed to neat line as issued. With a few minor repaired tears. Overall, very good condition and appearance.
A rare and most interesting folding pocket map of Pennsylvania from just after the middle of the nineteenth century. The first official state map was John Melish's 1822 issue, which was updated by William Morris in 1848. Within just a few years, J.W. Otley, about whom little is known, produced another large state map, probably based on his own new surveys. The Otley map was reduced and issued in 1852 by R.L. Barnes and then again in 1853. This is a fine example of that first issue. As noted in the title, this map specifically was intended to illustrate the then rapidly developing railroad network in Pennsylvania, and this may be the reason that Barnes used Otley's map for his new publication, instead of the Melish-Morris map, in order to show this important transportation information which the earlier mapping would not have contained. This map does show very detailed information on the railroads throughout, as well as roads, towns, rivers and much other topography. It would have made a fine traveler's map or a map for reference by businessmen. $875
"Nebraska and Kansas." New York: J.H. Colton, 1854. Separately issued folding map, with original covers. First edition, second state. 28 x 20 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Printed by D. McLellan. With inset "Map of the Territory Acquired from Mexico by the Gadsden Treaty 1854." Some light stains. Old separations at folds and tiny missing sections in corners of folds; expertly conserved. Overall, good appearance and condition. Covers with stamped title; some wear. Denver.
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
"Colton's Railroad & Township Map of the State of New York with Parts of the Adjoining States & Canada." New York: G.W. & C.B. Colton, 1856. Lithograph. Original hand color. Printed on banknote paper and folded into original buckram folder. Some old ink notation in map in Pennsylvania. Otherwise, fine condition.
In the United States during the nineteenth century, separately issued maps were published for the use of wagon and carriage drivers, railroad passengers, and steamboat voyagers in a new and rapidly developing country. The roughed conditions of travel insured much destruction of these little documents which were sold at inns and stations and called "Traveler's Companion" or "Stranger's Guide" or "Railroad Maps." They were often updated, sometimes an undetermined number of times within a single year, because demand for the best information was startlingly real. Thus, by their very nature they fulfill the primary role of published cartography. These are maps of great historic significance for the history of the United States, for they were the maps actually used during the nation's great expansion. They were made for lasting wear since the publishers used high grade paper, often bank note paper, and they were folded into leather and buckram covers. They appear to have brighter hand coloring than most other maps issued at the same time, ostensibly to aid in reading under adverse circumstances. Everything about them, the ornamental borders, the fine calligraphy, the depth of engraving or lithography, and even the way they dramatically fold out present one of the best and most important graphic pictures of early America that remains to us. The detail on this fine, separately issued map is precise, copious, and clearly rendered. Shown are roads, rail-lines, canals, some topography, rivers, lakes, towns, counties, and almost any other feature that might be of interest to a map reader. Scarce, decorative, and of considerable historic note, this is a fine document of New York State from a century past. $475
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.
Another rare, pocket map of "Bleeding Kansas." 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, Surveyo0r 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
"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
"Map Showing The Burlington Cedar Rapids and Minnesota Railway. and its connections." New York: G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co., 1868. 32 3/4 x 24. Lithograph. Original color. Some minor wear and scattered stains. Very good condition.
A map of the railroad lines to the west of Chicago, focusing on the Burlington, Cedar Rapis and Minnesota Railway produced by one of the most important map publishers of the second half of the nineteenth century, the Colton firm out of New York. This firm, which went through a number of different manifestations, issued both atlas maps and attractive folding maps such as this one. Its copious detail includes towns, rivers, counties, townships, but with an emphasis not only on the BCRM, but also on other railroads in the region, mostly extending out of Chicago to the west, north and south. $850
Alfred J. Hill. "Sectional Map of the Surveyed Portion of Minnesota and the North Western Part of Wisconsin." St. Paul: J.S. Sewall, 1869. Copyright, 1857. 32 3/4 x 24 7/8. Engraving by C.A. Swett, Boston. Original hand color. Full narrow margins. With, some separation, wear and small holes at folds. With three stains on folds at right. Overall, good condition. With original buckram covers.
A rare, separately issued map of Minnesota. The map, showing the entire state of Minnesota and part of northwestern Wisconsin, was issued within about a decade of Minnesota statehood. Sewall's map was the standard and best map of the region at this time of extensive development. Topographical information is excellent, with the extensive network of lakes and rivers well mapped. Counties are shown throughout the state, which is shown completely surveyed in the southern parts up to just bask Mille Lacs. The northern parts are virtually unsettled and unsurveyed, though there is the beginning of development in places. In the developed areas, survey grids are indicated, along with settlements, both large and small, roads and railroads, Indian reservations and much else. An excellent item. This particular example of the map, which was issued over a number of years, was sold by D.D. Merrill, Randall & Co., of St. Paul. Their advertisement pasted into the front cover gives a date of June 1, 1869 and has the note that the map could be, "Sent by mail, post-paid, on receipt of $1.25." $625
"Colton's Map of the States and Territories West of the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean Showing the Overland Routes, Projected Rail Road Lines &c." Philadelphia: G.W. & C.B. Colton, 1873. 28 x 42. Lithograph. Full original color. Folded and with original buckram booklet. Some old, repaired separations along folds, with very small sections of missing surface in Iowa and Missouri. Overall, very good condition. Denver.
A very large, separately issued map of the United States west of the Mississippi at a time when activity on this frontier was in full swing. The trans-Mississippi west began to fill in after the Civil War, with the gold and silver booms in Nevada, Colorado, Idaho and Montana. Emigrants continued to flood into the region despite the on-going Indian wars and this area-shown so dramatically on this map-was an important focus for Americans. This map is filled with incredible detail, including forts, trading posts, wagon trails, and railroads, both existing and proposed. Settlement and Indian lands are noted throughout and the topography, by then relatively accurate, is well depicted with hatchuring. This is one of the most comprehensive, accurate and rare depictions of the American West just before the Centennial. $2,100
H.L. Thayer. "Thayer's Map of Colorado." Denver, CO: H.L. Thayer, 1882. Separately issued map on bank note paper, folding into original gold stamped covers. 24 1/2 x 28. Lithograph by J. Bien & Co. Original hand color. With some repaired separations at folds. Otherwise, very good condition and bright color. Denver.
The culminating map of Colorado from one of the earliest map publishers in Denver. Thayer, a Civil War veteran, established his map business in Denver in 1871. In 1876, he was in partnership with Frank P. Swindler (great name!) publishing maps and dealing in real estate, but by the end of the decade he was back on his own. He issued a series of maps of Colorado; the first was in 1871 and this is the last and most detailed. Based on the 1881 General Land Office map, this is, as Ellis says in Colorado Mapology, "a very good map," filled with copious details. The underlying information on rivers, towns, mountains and railroads is impressive and on top of this, Thayer shows the counties, Ute Reservation, military reservations, and the land office districts, outlined in blue. As a separately issued map, printed on bank note paper and folded into cloth covers, this map is as rare as it is historically fascinating. $3,800
"Colton's New Township Map of Pennsylvania & the Southern Counties of New York." New York: G.W. & C.B. Colton, 1883. 28 x 41 3/4. Lithograph. Original outline color around the state. Folding map on banknote paper with buckram case. Bright and lovely. Excellent condition.
Following America's first great World's Fair in Philadelphia in 1876, Pennsylvania continued to flourish due to prosperous agriculture and flourishing manufacturing. The two economic forces were united and distributed through the great and powerful canals and railroads of the day. This map is filled with copious information on the state of Pennsylvania in 1883. It records the many cities, towns, and villages, the mountains and rivers and lakes, and the roads, canals and the railroads throughout the state and into the southern tier of New York State. Such separately issued maps were used by travelling salesmen, teamsters and planners. They were invariably the most up-to-date when they were issued, as the need was great for accuracy. This wonderful map is as fine a cartographic document of the region as was available at the time. $725
G.W. Baist. "Baist's Map of Philadelphia and Environs." Philadelphia: G.W. Baist, 1889. Separately issued folding map in two sheets. Each sheet ca. 34 x 48. Paper mounted on linen for folding. Lithograph. Original hand color. Some wear at folds, but overall excellent condition. Folded into original cloth covers, which are now separate and with wear at edges.
A highly detailed folding map of Philadelphia and region from 1889. This map contains every sort of detail one can imagine, carefully and clearly presented. This sort of map could be used for traveler's, homeowners, or anyone else with a need for such a detailed presentation. These sort of maps also appeared as wall maps, but this example was cut in half, mounted on linen and folded into buckram covers for ease of use, portage and storage. An excellent and quite scarce cartographic document of Philadelphia near the end of the nineteenth century. $450
Go to Philadelphia maps page for more folding maps of Philadelphia
Delaware & Hudson Canal Railroad. A Souvenir descriptive of the Adirondack Mountains, Lake George, Lake Champlain, Saratoga and other points.... Albany, N.Y.: Passenger Dept. of D. & H.C. Co's R.R., n.d., but circa 1890. 2 folding maps inserted. 8 vo. Book and maps printed by American Bank Note Company. Pp. -117. Some age browning and splitting at extremities of spine, but complete and lovely.
A wonderful excursion guide that can take the reader from Virginia or New England and into the New York mountains. Three lithographed maps on two sheets are: "Map of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad System" 23 x 15 (sheet) and on one 14 1/2 x 14 sheet are: "Map of the Adirondacks . . ." and "Map of Lake George." The text was designed to be read while following the maps and giving descriptions and historical backgrounds for a great many places. A fine document for railroads and this region. $145
"Map of Boston and the Country Adjacent., From Actual Surveys." Boston: Damrell & Upham, 1892. Copyright by George H. Walker & Co. 24 x 34 1/2. Cerograph. Original hand color. A few short separations at folds. Very good condition.
A map of Boston and the surroundings region from the late nineteenth century. The city had grown dramatically during the nineteenth century. Arriving to staff busy factories, immigrant families from all over Europe settled in places like the largely Italian North End or the predominantly Irish Mission Hill. Many began to move out into the surrounding region, shown on this map from Framingham to Cohasset in the south, and from Concord to Salem in the north. This folding map was intended to be used by those traveling in and about Boston, thus showing copious detail of every town and village, ponds and lakes, hills and swamps, roads and railroads, post offices and stations, and much besides. Concentric circles show the distance from the center of Boston. A super map of Boston from over a century ago. $650
"Minnesota." Chicago: George F. Cram, 1903. 23 7/8 x 17. Cerograph. Separately issued folding map. Separated from (but accompanied by) original paper cover. Two tears at left edge (no more than 7/8" into image). Light wear along fold lines; small loss at lower right corner. Else, very good condition. With inset map of Twin Cities region.
Claiming that buyers could double their money, Minneapolis land agent Franklin Benner used maps like this to attract clients ready to buy on "easy terms." Layering his slogans over Cram's informative maps (which also illustrated rail lines snaking up from the Twin Cities), Benner turned an ordinary map into promotional material. With urgings to purchase immediately "as prices will continue to advance," he aggressively marketed land throughout the northern Midwest, including this patch of land in frigid, iron-rich Cass County, Minnesota at the edge of the Iron Range. As iron and manganese mines flourished in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the logging industry also reached a high point in production, peaking around 1900 as water and rail transportation streamlined lumber movement.
Surprisingly, Benner advertises "improved farms" for sale in this area, as well as "wild lands." Dominated by logging and mining, the tree-covered areas around Leech Lake were much less suitable for agriculture than the more heavily settled prairies to the south. Enterprising to say the least, Benner probably used this map to market less saleable lands to uninformed outsiders. Folded into its compact paper cover, this map could be easily mailed to potential customers, who were invited to write Benner with "full particulars" of what they wanted. Colorful and detailed, this is a fascinating document of Minnesota land sales and settlement. $225
"Boston and Surroundings." Boston: George H. Walker & Co., 1903. 40 x 27. Colored lithograph. Folding map in original paper cover. Wear along fold lines; a few scattered, wear-related punctures. Overall, good condition.
Stretching from Winchester to Breed's Island in the north and from Dedham to Quincy in the south, this map encompasses the many neighborhoods of turn-of-the-century Boston. Nearing the end of its industrial boom, the nearly 300-year-old Boston had grown into a city of immigrants. Arriving to staff busy factories, immigrant families from all over Europe settled in places like the largely Italian North End or the predominantly Irish Mission Hill. Grouped within the borders of this map, the city's neighborhoods become a cohesive, navigable whole, encompassing the city's proud historic landscape and its growing ethnic diversity. $185
"Rand-McNally Indexed Pocket Map and Auto Road Guide. Wyoming." Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1918. Separately issued folding map, with original paper covers, guide and advertising. 18 3/4 x 25 1/2. Cerograph. Full original color. Full margins. Excellent condition. Denver.
An early twentieth century map from the Rand, McNally & Co. firm primarily out of Chicago, a company that would shift the center of cartographic publishing from the east coast to the mid-west. This is a "pocket map" and guide meant to be sold to travelers. The map has impressive topographical and transportation detail and it is essentially the same map as was issued in the Rand McNally New Commercial Atlas, but modified to be of more use to travelers. In particular, the Wyoming Railroads are identified by the use of red stamped numbers explained in a key in the upper right. Also of interest is that on the verso is a map showing the "Auto Roads" in the state. $185
"Clason's Guide Map Colorado." Chicago & Denver: The Clason Map Co., ca. 1920. Folded into Clason's Colorado Green Guide Road Map. (40pp.) 19 x 24 1/4. Cerograph, printed in color. Excellent condition. Denver.
A rare "guide map" of Colorado at the beginning of the second decade of the twentieth century. The map is clear and detailed, showing the counties, forests, towns, Indian reservations, railroad lines, and roads (paved, macadam, graded dirt, and other). Distances along the roads are also noted. The booklet the maps comes in contains useful information about the state such as descriptions of the sites to visit, auto routes, an index of towns, and small maps of a number of cities. "Take a Green Guide with you, and you never will go wrong." $150
"Clason's Guide Map of Denver Colorado." Denver: The Clason Map Co., ca. 1920. Folded into Calson's Denver Map Guide. (48pp.) 18 x 20 1/4. Cerograph, printed in color. Short separation at one fold. Otherwise, excellent condition. Denver.
Another Clason guide with map, this of the city of Denver. The map is clear and detailed, showing all the roads, parks, major buildings, and with green lines for the public transportation system. In the lower left corner is a detailed inset map of the main business district. The 48 page guide (sold for 35 cents) is filled with information on attractions, public buildings, hotels, schools, theaters, and other items of interest to the resident or visitor. "Take a Green Guide with you, and you never will go wrong." $150
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