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Antique Maps of Wyoming

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[ 19th century regional maps of the U.S. ]


Northern Plains 1863
"Johnson's Nebraska, Dakota, Colorado, Idaho & Kansas." New York: Johnson & Ward, 1863. 12 3/4 x 15 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand coloring. Some smudges and light waterstain in margins. Else, 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" (which by then had merged with Denver) are shown, the distances of the northern and southern-most routes noted on the map. $250

Northern plains
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.

An example of Johnson's map of the northern plains issued about a year after the one above. In 1864, the Montana Territory was broken off from Idaho and at the same time, the area south of this new territory (today's Wyoming) was attached to the Dakota territory, giving that territory a strange butterfly shape it retained for just a year. 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. On Approval VLS

Northern Plains 1866
"Johnson's Nebraska, Dakota, Idaho and Montana." New York: Johnson & Ward, 1865. 17 x 23 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand coloring. Very good condition. Denver.

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° longitude line (this was moved west to the 111° line in 1868). The northern border was determined by the Montana border, which ran west along the 45th parallel until it reached 111° longitude, whence it dropped to 44°30', 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° 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

Colton's Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia 1867
"Colton's Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia." New York: G.W. & C.B. Colton, 1867. 16 3/4 x 26 3/4. Lithograph. Full original hand-coloring. Very good condition. Denver.

An excellent map of the northwestern part of the United States, along with southern British Columbia. This area was going through many changes in the 1860s because of the increase settlement in the northwest, but also because of the Idaho Gold Rush (1860-63). From 1846, all of the United States west of the Rockies and north of California had consisted of the Oregon Territory and then, in 1854, of Oregon and Washington Territories. In 1863, Idaho Territory was created in the eastern part, but also including what had been the western part of the Dakota Territory to the east of the Continental Divide. This territory was too large for administrative purposes, so a year later, in 1864, the northeastern part of this large Idaho Territory was broken off as the Montana Territory, as shown on this map just three years later. At that time, what had been the southeastern part of Idaho (essentially present-day Wyoming) was attached back to Dakota Territory, until it became its own territory in 1868. This map is one of the first to show Wyoming as its own territory, a year before the official creation of Wyoming! This "jumping the gun" by publishers was not unusual, as fierce competition often spurred the companies to try and be the first to show new developments.

This region was a "happening" place in the 1860s and this map includes an impressive amount of information. The settlement and development of Oregon and Washington east of the Cascades is nicely illustrated, while in the eastern parts mostly Indian tribes are shown. The gold rush settlements and development in Idaho and Montana are clearly depicted, as are forts and Indian tribes. With the movement of prospectors and settlers throughout the region shown, it is particularly interesting that the map includes many of the early trails, including "Emigrant Road," "Pony Express Route," the "Overland Mail Route," and "Cherokee Trail," as well as routes of early explorers such as Fremont, Stansbury, and Mullen. $285

Colton Dakota and Wyoming
"Colton's Dakota and Wyoming." From Colton's General Atlas. New York: G.W. & C.B. Colton, 1869. 13 1/2 x 16 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Tear top to bottom at left expertly repaired. Some minor shipping at edges. Very good appearance. Denver.

The first atlas map to include "Wyoming" in its title, this map was issued just a year after Wyoming was created as a separate territory. Prior to that, the area shown on this map (both Wyoming and Dakota) was all Dakota Territory, in an unusual "butterfly" shape. Also shown here is the northern part of Nebraska and eastern Montana. The information presented is very good, including topography, Frémont's and Standsbury's survey routes, and both the Union Pacific and Northern Pacific Railroads, shown crossing the area depicted. Forts, passes, and the locations of Indian tribes. An important map for both Dakota and Wyoming. $225

Northern Plains 1870
"County Map of Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1870. 20 x 14 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

This map shows the northern 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. 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 this map as "Gold Region"). This led to the creation of new states, such as Kansas (1861), Nebraska (1867), as well as territories such as Colorado, Dakota, Montana, and the just created Wyoming (1869).

This detailed map provides a good topographical picture of the region, with the rivers and mountains depicted, as are the locations of the plains Indian tribes which played such an important (and tragic) role in the opening of the west. The maps also well represents the development of this region, picturing towns, forts, roads and trails. 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. This is a fine map of the classic "Wild West" of popular lore. $250

1874 Northern Plains
"County Map of Colorado, Wyoming, Dakota Montana." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1874. 19 1/2 x 14. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.

A later version of the Mitchell map of the northern plains states (cf. above), which is shifted slightly to the northwest, leaving off Kansas which appeared on the earlier version. The reason for that was the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. On the earlier map, the western parts of Wyoming and Montana (then almost totally unsettled) were not included, but this map shows as far as the headwaters of the Yellowstone River and includes a depiction of the new park. The map also shows the considerable development of Colorado, which was in the middle of the silver boom. New towns and railroads are depicted, providing a good picture of the territory just two years before statehood. $225

Idaho, Montana and Wyoming
Frank A. Gray. "Gray's Idaho, Montana and Wyoming." Philadelphia: O.W. Gray & Son, 1879. 12 x 14 3/4. Lithograph. Original color. Very good condition.

A nicely detailed and 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 three territories are shown as they were originally set up in 1868; they would not be admitted as states for another decade. Detail includes topography, rivers, settlements, Indian tribes and even the early railroads both in Montana and Wyoming. Of particular interest is the depiction of Yellowstone Park, established just seven years earlier. For its attractive presentation and interesting detail make it a nice example of late nineteenth century American cartography. $225

Bradley Montana Idaho and Wyoming
"County & Township Map Montana, Idaho and Wyoming." Philadelphia: W.M. Bradley & Bro., 1883. 14 1/2 x 21 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Otherwise, very good condition. Denver.

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. Topography, political information, towns, and physical features are all presented precisely and clearly. The burgeoning states are shown with settlement creeping west, trails, roads and railroads providing the transportation nexus by which this development progressed. $165

Tunison Wyoming
Tunison. "Tunison's Wyoming and Eastern Montana." Jacksonville, Illinois: H.C. Tunison, 1885. 12 1/2 x 9 7/8. Lithograph. Original hand outline color. Very good condition.

A handsome map of Wyoming 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 the Idaho territory just five years before statehood. This up to date map is an excellent snap-shot of the territory at this time. $50

Hunt Eaton Montana Idaho Wyoming
"Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming." New York: Hunt & Eaton, c. 1890. 9 1/2 x 11 1/4. Engraved by E. F. Frisk. Very good condition.

An attractive atlas map published the same year Wyoming was admitted to the Union. $60

Cram Yellowstone
"Yellowstone National Park." Chicago: Geo. F. Cram, 1890s. 11 5/8 x 9 3/8. Engraving by Geo. F. Cram. Very good condition. $90

"Wyoming - South Dakota, Black Hills Forest Reserve, Sundance Quadrangle." Plate XVI: Land Classification and Density of Standing Timber. New York: Julius Bien & Co., 1894. 17 1/8 x 12 5/8. Geography by Henry Gannett. Topography by H.G. Wallace & J.H. Ranslawe. Triangulation by W.S. Post. Lithograph. Very good condition. Denver. $45

F.E. Town. "Map of Bighorn Forest Reserve Wyoming Showing Distribution of Woodland." From U.S. Geographical Survey's Nineteenth Annual Report Part V PL. XXXVII. New York: Julius Bien & Co., 1898. 18 1/8 x 16 1/2. Lithograph. Very good condition. Denver. $45

Arbuckle Wyoming
"Wyoming." New York: Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company, 1918. 3 x 5. Chromolithograph by Donaldson Brothers. Overall good condition.

A delightful map of Wyoming issued in 1918 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. This card of Wyoming includes a scene showing horses, sheep and cattle herding. The map series was first issued in 1889, but reissued in 1918 with the addition of updated statistics and roads, as shown on this map. $65

"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

Lloyd Edwin Smith. "Wyoming." From the Commercial Atlas of the World. Ed. by Frederick J. Branom. Chicago: Geographical Publishing Company, 1931. 14 1/2 x 20 7/8. Folio. Chromolithograph. Very good condition. $70


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