A sequence of maps of the American southwest
A series of maps of the southern part of the American west, from the eastern Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, issued by some of the major American publishers out of New York. The sequence began with Johnson & Browning's 1860 "Johnson's California Territories of New Mexico and Utah," and continued into the 1880s. In 1860, the region was just opening up (partly as a result of the two great gold rushes of California (1849) and Colorado (1859), but also the building of the trans-continental railroad, linking the two coasts of the country. This series of maps graphically shows this development, from a sparsely developed country crossed by pony express, explorer and emigrant trail to a rapidly filled in land of mining towns, criss-crossed by railroads. Each new edition shows changes in borders, counties, towns, roads, railroads, Indian tribe locations, and much else.
One of the earliest in the Johnson sequence of maps of the southwest, this is particularly interesting for its political depiction. Colorado Territory, also created in 1861, shown for the first time on this edition. One historical oddity is the appearance of an Arizona Territory along the southern edge of New Mexico Territory. After the Gadsden Purchase, in the late 1850s, there was demand for the breaking off an Arizona territory from New Mexico. This culminated in a provisional constitution by the unofficial 1860 Constitutional Convention held in Tucson in 1860 that the southern part of the New Mexico Territory be made into Arizona Territory. In 1861 this self-proclaimed territory ceded from the Union, though in June the following year Union forces took back the territory from the Confederates. The Johnson firm shows Arizona as a separate entity, though it was not officially a U.S. territory until 1863, when it was created with a north-south border, instead of the east-west border shown here. $475
This map shows the relatively new territories of Nevada (1861), Colorado (1861) and Arizona (1863). Of note are is that Nevada's eastern border extends only to the 115th meridian (it would be moved to the 114th the next year) and the southern "tip" of Nevada is still part of Arizona. Also of interest is the indication of both Denver City and Auraria, three years after they had merged into one city. The map contains interesting information on various trails, explorer and postal routes, as well as U.S. forts. Also indicated are the proposed railroad routes. $325
Johnson's map issued a year later than that above. Though the eastern border of Nevada was changed to the 114th meridian the year this map was issued, the old border is shown here. The many trails that were beginning to be used in the west, such as the Cimarron, Santa Fe, and Oregon trails, are indicated, as are the different routes leading to the "Pike's Peak" gold mining regions around Denver. This map was issued in the early days of the building of the trans-continental railway and the proposed routes for the southern Pacific R.R. and both the Central Pacific R.R. and the Union Pacific R.R., which are shown on this map passing each other by, rather than meeting in Utah as they eventually did. $325
Another in Johnson's series of maps, this is one of the first to show Nevada with its current border. Nevada had become a state in 1864, but did not gain its southern tip, below the 37th parallel, until 1867. This map was issued just as the trans-Continental railroad was nearing completion, and the paths of the Union Pacific R.R. and the Central Pacific R.R. are shown reaching towards each other, paralleled along part by the route by the Pony Express. $275
One of the last maps in the sequence, issued about two decades after the first. By the time this map was issued, the states and territories shown all had the borders they do today. This was still a relatively sparsely settled and developed area, so many Indian tribes are shown and a number of blank or poorly delineated areas are included. However, the pony express, explorer and immigrant trails are no longer shown, though there are myriad more established roads/trails indicated. And where the earlier maps show the "proposed routes" for the railroads, this map is filled with depictions of the many railroads that criss-cross the region. A wonderful snap-shot of the American west that was no longer totally "wild," but was also still very much a frontier. $250
A sequence of maps of the American northwest
Between 1859 and the early 1870s, the American northwest went through a number of significant changes, especially in the early 1860s. Washington Territory had been created from the very large Oregon Territory in 1853, and it grew in size when the state of Oregon was created in 1859. It took on a tipped-over "L" shape which lasted until 1863, when the eastern part of the territory was subsumed into a very large Idaho Territory. This was the result of gold being discovered in the new territory, resulting in a flood of prospectors who wanted their own local government. The same thing happened in the eastern part of the very large Idaho, with gold discovered east of the Bitterroot Mountains, so another new territory, Montana, was created the following year, 1864. In the following years these two new territories grew and developed and they were joined by another territory, Wyoming, in 1868. This series of maps by S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., nicely show the political and social changes in the region.
Mitchell's map of the northwest from 1863, the year that the territory of Idaho was established out of parts of the Oregon, Washington and Dakota Territories. It included most of what is today is Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Just a year later, the eastern part of the territory was divided between the new territory of Montana and the remainder back to Dakota. This is the only version of Mitchell's map to show the very large Idaho, though it does not show the entire territory, the eastern parts being beyond the scope of the map. Also of interest are the indications of the gold mines in Idaho (the reason it was settled and made into a territory), the "emigrant route" leading to Oregon and Washington, and the proposed route of the Northern Pacific Railroad. $175
In 1864, Montana was created out of the northeastern part of Idaho. Mitchell updated his map of the Northwest to show this change, producing this version the following year. The southern border between Montana and what would become Wyoming was in flux and the border shown here disappeared soon, if it ever was an official border. $175
Another version of Mitchell's map of the American northwest, dated on the map as 1872. Of note in this version is a bold dashed line crossing Montana, Idaho and Oregon, in which it branches with one route going to Wallula and one to Puget City. Though not identified, this is likely a proposed route for the Northern Pacific Railroad. $150
Mitchell was always trying to keep his maps up-to-date. In 1872, the nation's first national park, Yellowstone, was created in northwestern Wyoming. This map was changed to show the new park. $150
A.J. Johnson. "Johnson's Nebraska, Dakota, Montana & Kansas." New York: Johnson & Ward, ca. 1864. 12 1/2 x 15 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand coloring. Some discoloration and light spotting. Else, very good condition. Denver.
Johnson's map of the configuration modified from the situation shown in the map above, depicting the area about 1864. By 1861 Kansas and Nebraska had been reorganized into their present configurations, the Dakota Territory, to the north, had the Idaho Territory broken off in 1863, comprising present-day Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. In 1864, the Montana Territory was broken off, and this map is the first version of the Johnson map to show it thusly. 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, issued the end of the Civil War, shows these territories just before they were filled with new settlers, miners and other speculators. $175
A sequence of maps of the American northern plains
Another series of maps of the changing American west, this showing the northern plains from Dakota and Nebraska to Idaho. Idaho Territory was created in 1863, extending from its current western border all the way across to an eastern border with today's Dakotas and Nebraska. It was soon realized that this was an impractical territory because of the difficulty of traveling across the Rockies in winter, so a year later Montana was created out of the northeastern part of Idaho. The southeastern part was temporarily attached to the Dakota Territory, until 1868 when this was made into the Wyoming Territory.
The discussion of creating a territory in the area that became Wyoming in 1868 had started earlier, and this map of 1865 shows Wyoming, even though it would not officially exist for another three years. This is the first depiction of the territory on a map and it shows some of the interesting features of the borders in this rugged part of the country. The southern part of Wyoming's western border is drawn at the 110 degree longitude line (this was moved west to the 111 degree line in 1868). The northern border was determined by the Montana border, which ran west along the 45th parallel until it reached 111 degree longitude, whence it dropped to 44 degree 30 minutes, and then due west until it intersected the continental divide, which was Idaho's new eastern border. This left an odd, finger shaped area south of Montana and north of Idaho making up Wyoming's northwest corner, shown prominently here. Interestingly, when Wyoming was officially created as a territory, the western border went straight along the 111 degree line, and this 'gore' reverted back to being part of Dakota even though it was totally separated from the rest of the territory by Wyoming. It remained part of Dakota until 1873.
Another interesting thing is the mistaken depiction of two lakes, Jackson's Lake and Lake Riddle, which were actually the same lake. Explorers came upon Lake Riddle, which had already been named, and thought it was an undiscovered lake. They renamed it Jackson's Lake. Cartographers had to assume that there were two lakes, and thus the error on Johnson's map. Very early image of this area, with Dakota undivided into counties and Montana having only two counties. Mining sites are shown in both Idaho and Montana. $250
The second state of Johnson's map of the area, with Montana now shown with nine counties. $225
Johnson's map of the northern plains, now naming Wyoming in the title and showing its correct borders. Also of interest is the depiction of the newly built transcontinental railroad which runs through Nebraska and southern Wyoming. $175
More maps of the Trans-Mississippi West by A.J. Johnson. New York: Johnson & Ward, 1864. Lithographs. Original hand coloring. Somewhat brittle. Very good condition.
A nice example of what Carl Wheat called "one of the most beautiful maps ever published by the Army," a map that "is a landmark map for various regions." It shows the region around the "four corners" in the American Southwest, based on surveys from an 1860 expedition led by Captain John N. Macomb to explore the Old Spanish Trail from New Mexico towards Utah. The expedition is important in its confirmation that the Green and "Grand" (now Colorado) Rivers joined to form the Colorado just above the Grand Canyon. The map was printed in 1864, but didn't actually get published until 1875 because of the Civil War.
Wheat's comments on its importance is not only based on its geographical significance, but also because of its documentation of the routes of various explorer's routes, including Macomb's as well as those of Gunnison, Marcy, and Father Escalante and others. The last factor in Wheat's judgments is it striking appearance, where it looks almost three dimensional. This is the result of a technique of depicting topography developed by F.W. Egloffstein, where his intent was to "give his map the appearance of a small plaster model of the country." This was achieved by applying very fine lines on the plate by use of a ruling machine (done by Samuel Sartain), which were then exposed to acid to varying degrees to achieve the desired appearance. Only a few maps where made using this difficult process and this is the finest example thereof. The map is a wonderful depiction of the main drainage areas of the American Southwest, as well as many other features such as pueblos, archaeological sites and settlements, all conveyed with a remarkable appearance that few other maps have every matched. $1,800
"Map of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado Showing also The Southern portion of Dacotah." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1866. 11 1/2 x 14. Lithograph. Full original color. Very good condition. Denver.
For most of the middle part of the nineteenth century, the firm founded by S. Augustus Mitchell dominated American cartography in output and influence. This fine map is from one of his son's atlases issued second half of the century. This map shows the territories of Kansas and Nebraska just a year before their statehood, along with the territories of Wyoming and Colorado. After the Civil War, this region was flooded with settlers, miners and others seeking new opportunities in the burgeoning American west. This map shows this area when it was the classic "Wild West" of popular lore. The eastern parts of Kansas and Nebraska are shown well settled, and in the west are shown new settlements, the newly laid railroads, forts, and Indian tribes. The southern part of the "Dacotah" territory is shown and present-day Wyoming is noted as "Attached to Dacotah." With updated maps in most atlases, Mitchell pictured this fascinating part of American history and this is one of the more interesting snapshots. $195
William J. Keeler. "National Map of the Territory of the United States from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean." Washington: W.J. Keeler, 1867. Separately issued map, mounted on original linen for folding and with original covers. 47 5/8 x 57 5/ 8. Drawn by N. du Bois. Lithograph by J.F. Gedney. Full original color. With some partial separations at folds. Else, very good condition. Martin & Martin: 47; Wheat: 1170. Denver.
One of the great maps of the American West, Keeler's monumental image shows the region poised on the eve of the huge development that was soon to follow. After the territory of the United States reached the Pacific coastline, and with the outgrowth of myriad reasons for the citizens to desire better access to the western lands-gold, land, and other tremendous opportunities-there built a tremendous demand for the construction of railroads lines to the West. Thus was set in motion a series of government surveys, resulting in an 1855 map by Lt. G.K. Warren, which proposed four possible railroad routes to the Pacific. Though the nation's attention was directed elsewhere during the Civil War, western expansion quickly reopened with a great rush of post-war settlers and speculators. Growing public interest in the region's character, geography, and railroads spurred William J. Keeler, an Indian Bureau engineer, to privately produce this excellent and highly detailed map of the entire western United States.
As Susan Schulten comments in Mapping the Nation, Keeler's map "anticipates the momentum of western development…His map celebrated the economic potential of the West...by highlighting mineral lands, transportation routes, and progress of the [national] survey." Carl Wheat calls it, "A complete Railroad Map, the only one published which shows the whole of the great Pacific Railroad routes and their projections and branches, together with all other railroads in the States and Territories bordering the Mississippi on both sides."
Keeler based his rendering in part on the Warren map and the Pacific railroad surveys, but he added much extra information, especially on the railroads. With access to the records of the Indian Bureau, Keeler added data on many Indian settlements and reservations, the latter identified with a color code. Besides this detail, Keeler also showed forts, exploration and travel routes, settlements, mines, and more-much of this information depicted for the first time on a general map. At the beginning of the huge western expansion of the post-Civil War period, this was the most detailed and accurate of all maps of the American West. Privately issued and sold as a separate publication, mounted on linen and folded into covers, this is a rare and most desirable cartographic document of considerable historic note. $6,800
"Colton's Map of Kansas, Nebraska, Dakota & Indian Territory." New York: G.W. and C.B. Colton & Co., ca. 1868. 26 1/2 x 16 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.
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. $350
A sequence of maps of the plains states
This is a series of maps showing the plains states by S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr. These maps show the plains at a time when the railroads were opening up the region to new settlement. Completed in 1869, the transcontinental railroad ran across the center of the area shown here, from Omaha to the South Pass in western Wyoming, and construction on the next transcontinental line, the Northern Pacific, began further north the year after. The railroads facilitated the movement of emigrants through and into this area--already begun by the emigration to Oregon, the California Gold Rush and Pike's Peak Gold Rush (noted on the maps as "Gold Region"). This led to the creation of new territories such as Colorado, Dakota, Montana, and the recently created Wyoming (1869). With the rapid development of the area, Mitchell issued a series of maps in subsequent years showing these changes.
Of particular interest is the depiction of the railroads, which are indicated sometimes following the early routes of explorers, also shown on the map. The Union Pacific Railroad, completed just the year before this map was published, is shown running through Nebraska to Cheyenne and then west, while the two railroads into Denver-one to Cheyenne to meet the Union Pacific and one directly east to Kansas City-both completed just the year this map was issued, are both shown. Also indicated was a proposed route for the just begun Northern Pacific through Dakota. $185
An updated version of the map above, with Mitchell showing new developments, particularly newly built railroads. These include the beginning of the Northern Pacific half-way across Dakota as well as railroads running out of Denver to the south and into the mountains to the west. $250
The year after the map above, Mitchell issued a similar map, but now shifted slightly to the northwest, leaving off Kansas and including the western parts Wyoming and Montana. The reason for that was the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872 and this map shows as far as the headwaters of the Yellowstone River and includes a depiction of the new park. $225
An unusual map showing the recently completed (1869) trans-continental railroad from western Nebraska into Nevada, with some of the major connecting railroad lines completed in the following years. The map is in two sections, one of which occupies the lower-left corner and shows Utah and the eastern part of Nevada. This shows the area around the Great Salt Lake and includes the lines running to Echo City and just through Salt Lake City to beyond Provo City. The other section wraps around that map, and it shows across the top the trans-continental railroad across the southern tier of Wyoming, then below and to the right is shown the Rocky Mountain foothills in Colorado. This includes Denver, Pueblo and a bit into the mountains, and it shows the Denver Pacific Railroad-connecting Denver to the Union Pacific in Cheyenne, the Kansas Pacific Railroad-entering Denver from the east, and the Denver & Rio Grande-from Denver to Pueblo. An excellent snap-shot of the important development of the railroad system in the West. $150
William Gilpin. "Map of North American delineating the Mountain System and its Details, The Great Calcareous Plain as a Unit, and the continuous encircling Maritime Selvage." From Mission of the American People. Philadelphia, 1873. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.
A unique map of North America by William Gilpin, created to promote the notion of the economic development of the central part of the United States. William Gilpin (1815-1894) had an early career with the U.S. Army during the Indian Wars in the Southeast and then in Missouri and to the west. Independence, Missouri, was once Gilpintown when he lived there. Politically associated with Sen. Thomas Hart Benton and John C. Fremont he changed from a western Democrat to a Republican in 1856. When Colorado became a territory in 1861, Lincoln made him the first governor. Subsequent land speculation in Colorado and New Mexico made him a wealthy man, and his writings such as Mission of the American People, for which this map was designed, made him a prominent proponent of Manifest Destiny.
He believed first that it was the temperate climes of the world which were the central location of future economic development, and he say the United States as uniquely situated along that band to take advantages of trade with both East and West. He firmly believed in America's placement at the core of future greatness. The center point of this potential development, graphically shown on this map with concentric circles, was centered on the area around Topeka Kansas. Gilpin believed that a trans-continental railroad though this area would benefit Americans as no others, especially those in the great plains. Gilpin was one of the first to realize the potential of this region. $325
Oliver J. Stuart. "Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona." From McNally's System of Geography. New York: A.S. Barnes & Co., 1874. 10 3/4 x 8 3/8. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.
A map of the western states and territories; only Nevada and Oregon were states, the rest still being territories. This was just after the transcontinental railroad had been built, and that is shown running through the middle of the area shown, with spurs heading north and south from Sacramento. Topography is well delineated, and towns are indicated throughout. A nice image of the American West just before the Centennial. $60
"Williams' New Trans-Continental Map of the Pacific R.R. and Routes of Overland Travel to Colorado, Nebraska, The Black Hills, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Montana California and the Pacific Coast." New York: Henry T. Williams, 1877. 22 3/4 x 36 1/2. Lithography (Osborne's Process) by A.M. Photo-Litho Company, N.Y. Original hand color. Separation at folds repaired on verso. Very good condition. Denver.
A terrific, folding railroad guide of the American West about a decade after the completion of the trans-Continental Railroad. The map extends from Omaha to the west coast and its focus is on that landmark Pacific Railroad, the route of which-with all its stops-is shown with a bold black line. Also depicted in bold are important off-shoot lines, including a number in California, including the Southern Pacific R.R., and lines to Eureka, Nevada, and Denver, Colorado. The Northern Pacific Railroad, then under construction across the northern part of the county, is indicated, but not in bold. Other lines, including proposed routes, and stage routes are also shown. The map highlights the states with contrasting colors and many towns, settlements and forts are named. Orography is graphically indicated and impressively up-to-date, giving a good picture of the topography of the West. On the back of the guide are advertisements for railroad lines, hotels, and time tables. A most graphic and decorative map. $1,200
Lieut. George M. Wheeler. "Sketch Indicating the Advancement of the Surveys of the Public Lands and the Military Topographical and Geographical Surveys West of the Mississippi." Washington, 1879. 32 1/2 x 44 1/2. Color printed cereograph. Very good condition. Denver.
A large map of the American West that documents the state of the "Wheeler Survey" shortly after the nation's centennial. This survey was led by Lieut. George M. Wheeler who had begun surveying in the west from 1869 to 1871. When the U.S. Congress in 1872 authorized a plan to survey that part of the United States west of the 100th meridian, he was the natural person to be put in charge. His instruction were to survey and map the west, but also make notes on the natural history, physical resources, climate, and the character of the indigenous populations. This map contains an amazing amount of detail on what he had found by the end of the first decade.
Underlying the map is a detailed rendering of the rivers throughout the west, over which is laid the areas of the government surveys, including the township grid. Of particular note are the routes of the Northern Pacific, Union Pacific, and Atlantic and Pacific Railroads, with the land grants each had received indicated along those routes. Also indicated are towns, military forts, the routes of various explorers, and Indian reservations. Among the general maps of the American west, this is one of the most interesting and certainly attractive. $475
A nicely detailed and very early map of the northwestern part of the United States by the Philadelphia firm of O.W. Gray. The firm began its publishing around mid-century and published regional and U.S. atlases up to the 1880s, first as O.W. Gray and then O.W. Gray & Son. This map is typical of their work, presenting the latest information available with clear and precise detail. The area shown here had been broken up into the three territories in 1868 and it wasn't until about a decade after this map that they were finally admitted as states. Detail includes topography, rivers, settlements, Indian tribes and even the early railroads both in Montana and Wyoming. Of note is the depiction of the "National Park" at Yellowstone, which had been established just about a decade earlier The Gray map of Utah appears on the version of this map. $175
"California and Nevada." Philadelphia: O.W. Gray & Son, 1881. 26 x 15 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.
A large-scale, detailed map of the two states, with impressive information on towns, lakes, rivers, counties, and especially the topography. In 1869, the first continental railroad connected these states with the west, followed in 1883 with Southern Pacific RR. This map shows the region as prospering from the first, but just before the completion of the latter. The rail lines in the states are indicated, including the Central Pacific RR, a railroad running from Los Angeles south to Yuma, and the connection by rail between Sacramento and Los Angeles. Also of interest are the insets of the city of Sacramento, the vicinity of San Francisco, and Yosemite Valley. $175
An interesting map of these two southwestern territories (both admitted as states in 1912). Arizona had been split off from the original, larger New Mexico territory in 1863 and this map shows the region as it was beginning to develop after the Civil War. Towns, counties and forts are shown throughout. Of particular interest is the information on the railroads in the territory, both proposed and existing. The Southern Pacific is depicted as extending past Tucson to just east of Fort Bowie, while another line is shown running south from Trinidad, Colorado, through Albuquerque to Fort McRae. $125
A handsome map of Colorado from Tunison's Peerless Universal Atlas. With the development of wax engraving (cerography), more maps and atlases were able to be produced in cities beyond the major centers of New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. Henry C. Tunison issued a series of fine atlases beginning in 1885 and lasting into the beginning of the twentieth century. This is a nice example of his output, showing Colorado within a decade of statehood, shortly after the great silver strikes at Leadville and a period when mining was booming. $125
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