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Maps of Western America
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Stansbury map
John Williams Gunnison & Charles Preuss. "Map of a Reconnaissance between Fort Leavenworth and the Missouri River, and the Great Salt Lake in the Territory of Utah, made in 1849 and 1850." From H.J. Stansbury's An Expedition to the Valley of the Great Sale Lake of Utah. Washington: GPO, 1852. 68 x 30. Lithograph by Ackerman, New York. Original outline color. A few short separations at folds; overall, excellent condition. Wheat: 764. Denver.

With the huge number of emigrants crossing the American continent in the 1840s, following the Platte River and across the South Pass on the Oregon Trail, there was a need for a better understanding of this relatively unknown region. Combining this with the growing desire to find a practical route for a transcontinental railroad, in 1849 the U.S. Government commissioned Howard Stansbury, a Captain in the U.S. Topographical Engineers, to survey the trail from Fort Leavenworth west to the Great Salt Lake. Stansbury's was the first accurate survey of this important region. Some of the map is borrowed from Frémont, who had surveyed the area in 1843, but Stansbury's party was the first to circumnavigate the lake and much new information is provided throughout. Working with J.W. Gunnison and Charles Preuss, Albert Carrington and others, the full survey from Kansas, across the southern Rockies, and around the Utah Valley took about two years, at the end of which Stansbury submitted his report to Congress in 1852, including this seminal map of the American West.

The detail in the map is remarkable, presented with crisp lithography. Presented with great precision is the topography, including prominent land features, mountain passes, rivers, lakes, and springs, as well as social features such as towns, forts, Indian tribes, and of course, the various trails to Oregon and California and along the base of the Rockies. Stansbury also provided information of the Rocky Mountains down into what would soon become the Colorado Territory, including the three Parks, Pikes Peak and Longs Peak. This is on the best maps of the American West before the Civil War, what Wheat calls "one of the most important of its decade." $1,200

1853 Western US
"A New Map of the State of California, the Territories of Oregon, Washington, Utah & New Mexico." Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1853. 15 3/8 x 12 3/4. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate. Full original hand color. Very good condition.

Another in the series of maps which began with S. Augustus Mitchell's map in 1849, a later version of which was published by Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. (cf. previous page). The acquisition of the western part of the United States less than a decade before and its rapid development after 1850 meant that this map shows not only more knowledge of the topography of the region, but also a much more complex political configuration. Detail is give of towns, rivers, counties and forts. Also shown are some historic and current trails-for instance the Spanish trail from Los Angeles to Santa Fe and the Oregon Trail, not to mention explorer and survey routes. Considerable information is also given of Indian tribes throughout. $550

Fleming Mexico, California and Texas
Carl Flemming. "Mexico, Mittel-America, Texas." From Heinrich Berghaus's Vollständiger Universal-Handatlas. Glogau, Germany: C. Flemming, 1853. 13 x 16 1/2. Lithograph by C. Flemming. Original outline color. Very good condition.

Carl Flemming was the founder of an important German firm located in Berlin and Glogau and this map shows characteristic German detail. The Germans were very interested in America at this period, when many had emigrated to Texas seeking land ownership and employment. This map shows Mexico, Central America, Texas, and the present-day southwest U.S.. The topography of the American Southwest shown here is fairly confused, but the political information is up-to-date, for even though the old Texas border is still shown, the reduced (and present) borders of the state as established by the Compromise of 1850 are clearly indicated. The only other political border prominently depicted in the United States is for California. $475

Wester U.S.
"Map No. 10. United States." From Roswell C. Smith's A Precise and Practical System of Geography. New York: Burgess & Co., 1853. 10 1/4 x 8 7/8. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.

A small but interesting map of the configuration on the western U.S. shortly after gold was discovered in California. Shows Washington and Oregon extending from the Pacific to the crest of the Rockies, and Utah and New Mexico extending from California to the Rockies. Nebraska and the North West Territory are shown in part. $150

Nebraksa and Kansas
"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

Flemming California
Carl Flemming. "Californien, Oregon, Utah und Neu-Mejico." From Heinrich Berghaus's Vollständiger Universal-Handatlas. Glogau, Germany: C. Flemming, 1854. 15 1/2 x 13 5/8. Lithograph by C. Flemming. Original outline color. Very good condition. Denver.

Another map by Carl Flemming showing the region to the west of the Rocky Mountains. The topography is graphic and begins to show an understanding of the complexity of the ridges, mountains, buttes, etc. between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevadas. The Great Salt Lake is shown, with "Saltlake City od New Jerusalem" indicated, and there is no evidence of the mythical "river of the west," reflecting that Flemming had access to the information brought back by the explorers and emigrants who crossed the Great Basin in the early 1850s. Indian tribes are indicated throughout, as are some of the early trails. The political situation is shown as it existed before the creation of the Washington Territory (1854), with the state of California and three territories--Oregon, Utah and New Mexico--indicated with outline color explained in a color key in the lower left. $475

Andrew B. Gray. "Map Of That Portion Of The Boundary Between The United States and Mexico. From The Pacific Coast To The Junction Of The Gila And Colorado Rivers, Surveyed Under The Direction Of The Hon. John B. Weller U.S. Commissioner, And The Rio Gila From Near Its Intersection, With The Southern Boundary Of New Mexico, Surveyed Under The Direction Of John R. Bartlett." Washington: GPO, 1855. 21 x 49. Lithograph by Ackerman. Folded on somewhat brittle paper. Short tear near where attached; otherwise, very good. With original Senate report bound with new covers. Wheat: 840.

A large, very detailed map, called by Wheat "clearly a major performance." The map was created under the instructions of the Joint Commission that had been set up by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to map the new U.S.-Mexico border, including the Gadsden Purchase of 1854. This map is minutely detailed along the border region, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to Texas. Included is a inset "Sketch of the Port of San Diego." This is an excellent example of the quality of the government mapping of the west in the nineteenth century. $2,500

Gouverneur Kemble Warren. "Map of the Territory of the United States from Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean." Washington, 1857. 45 1/2 x 42 1/4. Lithographed by Selmar Siebert. Some old tape stains in upper left and light discoloration on some folds. Else, very good condition and professionally conserved. Wheat: 936. Denver.

A first edition of one of the landmark maps of the American West, a remarkable cumulative rendering of all that was known geographically of the region prior to the Civil War. Lieutenant G.K. Warren, of the U.S. Army Topographical Engineers, was given the task of synthesizing all the geographic information available on the American West, especially deriving from the government surveys, begun in 1853, for routes for a proposed transcontinental railroad. Warren wrote that he was instructed "to carefully read every report and examine every map of survey, reconnaissance, and travel which could be obtained." This included maps from as early as Lewis & Clark and Major Stephen Long, through the many railroad and government surveys up to 1857. This was a gargantuan task, for not only did Warren use a listed 45 source maps, but he had to reconcile quite a bit of conflicting data. Though Warren had received some information too late to be included in this edition, he attested that "In other respects this map is a correct representation of our information up to May 1, 1857 and the engraving has been carefully verified."

Warren did a remarkable job; as Carl Wheat states, the map is "a beautifully executed map, and displays the genius of its author." Warren noted that there was some material he was unable to include and new explorations were underway regularly in the second part of the nineteenth century, so several updated editions of this map were published later. This first edition was in many ways the most impressive of all the versions, for this was the initial creation which Warren had to create out of the jumbled hotchpotch of information taken from the myriad previous explorations and surveys. This map was the first accurate overall picture of the American West and a monumental document of the region on the eve of the Civil War. $1,400

Desilver pocket map
"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

New Mexico and Utah
"Territories of New Mexico and Utah." New York: J.H. Colton. Fourth state, 1857-58. 12 1/2 x 15 1/2. Lithograph. Full original hand color. Very good condition. Brown: 4; cf. Wheat: 832. Denver.

An early example of J.H. Colton's important map of the American Southwest. With the American victory in the Mexican War (1846-48), the United States gained a huge amount of land to the west of the Louisiana Territory. In 1850, the territory gained outside of California was divided into two territories: Utah to the north, the home of the Mormans, and New Mexico to the south. This was one of the first maps to show this region and this early version of Colton's map-which went through at least 12 states until 1863-shows the original configuration of the two territories.

The map is copious in its detail, with forts, Indian tribes, counties, mountains, rivers, lakes all clearly depicted. This information is impressively accurate, being based on the various explorations in the area. The routes of a number of these explorers are shown, including those of Frémont, Stansbury, Kearney and Gunnison (the latter noting that "Capt. Gunnison Killed by Indians"). Also indicated are the Cimarron Route from Ft. Leaveworth to Santa Fe, the Spanish route from Santa Fe to Los Angeles, the Oregon Route, and the different proposed routes for the transcontinental railroad. This map is interesting in showing Colorado (then mostly part of the Kansas Territory) just before the Gold Rush of 1858-1861. Over the next 8 years, this region would undergo tremendous changes, documented well in Colton's series of maps, of which this is the fourth state. $350

"Washington and Oregon." New York: J.H. Colton & Co., 1856. 13 x 16. Lithograph. Full original hand-coloring. Some light stains in margins. Otherwise, very good condition.

An excellent map of the earliest manifestation of the Washington and Oregon Territories. In 1846, Great Britain and the United States signed the Oregon Treaty, which established the 49th parallel as the border between the two countries in the far west. The land south of this border was formed as the Oregon Territory, which it stayed until 1853, when the northern part was broken off as the Washington Territory. This is the political situation shown here. The two territories extend from the Pacific coast to the crest of the Rocky Mountains. Good information is shown in the west, where settlement had progressed, but between the Cascades and the Rockies little development is shown. This region was still virtually unexplored and the details shown include rivers, lakes, forts and cantonments. Also depicted is the Oregon Trail and the proposed route for the Northwestern Transcontinental Railroad. One of the most desirable maps of the Northwest at a very early stage of its development. $250

Emory Western US
Thomas Jekyll after W.H. Emory. "Map of the United States and their territories between the Mississippi and the Pacific Ocean and part of Mexico compiled from surveys made under the order of W.H. Emory,..." From Report of the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey. Washington: GPO, 1857. 22 7/8 x 20 1/4. Engraving by Selmar Siebert. Full margins. Very good condition. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, 822. Denver.

The general map from the United States and Mexican Boundary Commission report. Based on the astronomical observations of Lt. W. H. Emory, it is an important map for the American southwest and especially for the U.S. and Mexican border. This border was first established at the end of the Mexican-American War ran along the Gila River and unfortunately the only feasible southern route for a railroad ran through Mexico. This prompted renewed negotiations, resulting in the Gadsden Purchase, acquiring for the United States enough land to run the railroad line. William H. Emory, a topographical engineer, who had previously done surveying in the southwest with Kearny in 1846-47, was appointed by President Polk to the Boundary Commission in 1848; Emory was to prove the heart of this commission throughout its life, acting variously as Commissioner, Surveyor and Chief Astronomer.

Though not called for by his commission, Emory prepared this general map on a large scale to go along with his report. It showed the information of his survey of the border as well as information to the north based on the information from the Pacific Railroad Surveys. It is, in effect, the summary map showing the Federal government's knowledge of the lands west of the Mississippi just before the Civil War. Of particular interest concerning the Boundary Commission is the fact that in response to the destruction of Emory's markers along the border, it was agreed that the maps produced by the Boundary Commission would constitute the final determinate of the Mexican-American border. This "agreement by the two commissioners gives to the final maps of the Boundary Survey an all but unique significance. In effect the maps were the boundary, and so remained for another generation." (Wheat, III, p. 241.) This map combines the best topographical information of the American west with an historic importance in the history of the country. $525

Smith western US 1860
"Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, New Mexico." From Smith's New Geography, by Roswell C. Smith. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott and Co., 1860. 12 x 10. Lithograph. Original hand color. Some stain spots. Otherwise, very good condition. Denver.

A very interesting map of the United States west of the continental divide in 1860. In the years leading up to the Civil War, there was considerable pressure for Congress to create new territories, but the slavery controversy made this nigh impossible. Still there were some new territories and states created and others proposed. This maps shows what the mapmaker thought would be the political situation in the near future; in some cases he got it right and others he made interesting mistakes. In the Pacific Northwest, the original Oregon Territory (1848) was broken into two in 1853, with Washington Territory carved out of the northern half. Six years later, just a year before this map was produced, the western part of Oregon Territory was admitted as a state and the eastern part added to the now enlarged Washington Territory. This map, though it shows the new state of Oregon, is wrong in showing the eastern part of the old territory as a separate, though unnamed territory, not part of Washington.

In 1859 there were two mineral rushes: the Comstock Lode rush in the western part of Utah Territory and the Pike's Peak rush in the western part of the Kansas Territory. The new settlers in these two areas both wanted to create new territories so they could manage their own affairs. Those in western Utah were rewarded, in 1861, by the new territory of Nevada--shown here as a proposed territory. Those in western Kansas went so far as to set up their own provisional government for a territory of Jefferson--named on this map as a proposed territory. These settlers were also rewarded in 1861, but with the territory of Colorado (as this was just after the Southern states seceded from the Union and so the name of a Southern figure was not a popular choice!).

The final proposed territory shown on this map is Arizona. Those in the southern part of New Mexico were also agitating for a new territory, but when refused by Congress, they decided to secede and join the Confederacy as the territory of Arizona, consisting of that part of New Mexico south of the 34th parallel. Congress did not take kindly to this, so when they finally created Arizona in 1863, the border was run north-south, rather than east-west. This map shows the proposed--and failed--southern territory. $335

"United States (West Sheet)." From Weekly Dispatch Atlas. London, 1862. 17 x 11 7/8. Lithograph by T. Ettling. Original outline color. Very good condition. Denver.

An interesting map of the plains states of the United States and northern Mexico by Theodor Ettling. Ettling was a Dutch draughtsman, engraver and lithographer who worked first in Amsterdam, later moving to London where he produced maps for some of the British papers of the mid-nineteenth century. He seems to have made quite a study of North America, including issuing a map of "Opper Californie" in 1849. This map, from the Weekly Dispatch Atlas, is the western sheet of his map of the United States. Issued during the civil war, Ettling shows the border between the Federal and Confederate States. Interestingly, the Confederate "hoped for" state of Arizona is noted in the very southern part of New Mexico. This configuration was never created and about a year after the map was issued Congress created a new Arizona Territory, but out of the western, not southern part of New Mexico. This map shows the latest changes in the plains, including the new territories of Dakota and Colorado. Ettling includes indication of early forts to the east of the Rockies and illustrates four explored routes for the proposed transcontinental railroad. $175

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