AUCTION 23

 
 

“Among the best of the commercial maps rushed to press in 1849 to meet the clamor for details on the route to California and location of the gold fields”

 
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266. [MAP]. COLTON, J[oseph] H[utchins]. Map of California, Oregon, Texas, and the Territories adjoining with Routes &c. Published by J.H. Colton, No. 86. Cedar St., New York, 1849. [beneath border at left] Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1849 by J.H. Colton in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York. [beneath border at center] D. Appleton & Co. New York. [upper right] Table of Distances.... New York, 1849. Lithograph map with original color outlining of the states and territories in pink and Gold Rush region colored yellow, ornate botanical border; neat line to neat line: 47.3 x 40.4 cm; border to border: 51.5 x 45 cm; overall sheet size: 53 x 46.2 cm. Mild to moderate browning at some folds, some splits at folds (a few minor losses), lower blank margin lightly chipped, creased where formerly folded, overall good. Lower right corner still attached to original leaf, with contemporary writing in pencil and ink: “New Baltimore Greene” and “What I saw in California grizzly bear in the mountains.” In recent wooden and gilt frame, under glass. Map not examined out of frame.

     “Colton’s large and handsome Map of California, Oregon, Texas, and the Territories Adjoining with Routes &c. is among the best of the commercial maps rushed to press in 1849 to meet the clamor for details on the route to California and location of the gold fields. Typical of this genre of map of the period, two earlier maps were combined (1848 Frémont and 1848 Tanner), and the gold regions were highlighted” (Volkmann Zamorano 80 Sale #74). Colton’s popular map appeared in various permutations as different publishers used it for their publications. The present map is from an 1849 edition of Edwin Bryant’s What I Saw in California, which normally has “D. Appleton...” at center below neat line, as opposed to the map in Jessy Quinn Thornton’s Oregon and California in 1848 (1849), with “Ackermann...” below 1849 in title and “Harper and Brothers...” below neat line at right of imprint. For Bryant, see Kurutz, The California Gold Rush 95. Plains & Rockies IV:146. Zamorano 80 #12. For Thornton, see Kurutz 632. Plains & Rockies IV:174. Zamorano 80 #74. Wheat (Mapping the Transmississippi West 593 & Maps of the California Gold Region 73) cites the map in Thornton’s book.

     Graff (457), in the note for the first edition of Bryant’s book published by Appleton at New York in 1848, states: “Although [the first edition] is a faithful account of an overland journey, its usefulness was marred because there was no map. The lack was supplied starting with the fifth edition.” To add to the cartographic discussion, Wheat (Mapping the Transmississippi West 593) comments: “The California Historical Society has a copy of this map which appears not to have been used in a book, indicating that it may have been published separately.” Wheat (Mapping the Transmississippi West III, pp. 74-75) comments in general on Colton’s maps of 1849:

The important map publishing house of J.H. Colton, in New York, was now very busy. It published three distinct maps to be used for book illustrations by various publishers.... A “Map of California, Oregon, Texas, and the territories adjoining with routes &c,” published by D. Appleton, New York...extends from Independence to the Pacific and from the northern boundary of the United States to below the tip of Lower California. It is a combination of 1848 Fremont and 1848 Tanner, with a big splotch of yellow covering “El Dorado or Gold Region.” [footnote 9] This map was used to illustrate J. Quinn Thornton’s Oregon and California in 1848...and was also issued as a separate with Colton’s own imprint.

The border with Mexico is delineated in the pre-Gadsden Purchase conformation. Texas is shown on the map with a fat panhandle, ambiguously creeping north. Emory is a source, but Colton was not all that certain at that point, and the map had to be rushed to press.

($1,500-3,000)

Sold. Hammer: $1,500.00; Price Realized: $1,837.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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