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First Map of Nebraska & Kansas Territories
Early Map of the U.S. Showing the Gadsden Purchase

86. [MAP].  COLTON, J[oseph] H[utchins]. Nebraska and Kansas. [center, below border] Published by J. H. Colton  Co. No. 172 William St. New York. [left, below border] Entered According to Act of Congress in the Year 1854 by J. H. Colton & Co. In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York [right, below border] Printed by D. McLellan 26 Spruce St. N.Y. [inset map, lower left: untitled map of North America] [inset map, lower right]  Map of the Territory Acquired from Mexico by the Gadsden Treaty 1854.  New York:  Colton & Co., 1854.  Lithograph map with original full hand-coloring, ornate grape vine border, vignettes of Native Americans, animals, wagon train. Image area including border and imprint:  70.5 x 51.5 cm.  Folded into original purple cloth pocket folder (14.7 x 9.1 cm), Nebraska and Kansas stamped in gilt on upper cover, printed broadside advertisement for E. Mendenhall of Cincinnati on inside front cover. Pocket covers and gilt lettering faded, broadside moderately foxed.  Folds of maps skillfully strengthened and rejoined (tiny losses at folds), light uniform age toning, otherwise the map is fine with excellent coloring.

     First edition, second state of the first map to show the new territory of Kansas and Nebraska; also shows the important Gadsden Purchase of the same year (among the earliest commercial maps to show the Purchase). Rumsey sets out the distinguishing features of the first vs. the second states:  “[The first state has] the title different from the second 1854 state, in that the letters of Nebraska and Kansas have stars in them and are open as opposed to the black letters of the second state. Also, this first state has numerous areas that are ‘cleaned up’ in the second state: the trail that crosses the two forks of the Colorado in southern Utah near the map edge has the word ‘Route’ on it-this is removed in the second state; the vine border is reversed from the first to the second state; Louisiana is written straight across in the first-it curves down in the second; Bucksport and San Augustine are shown in Texas along the map southern edge in the second state and not in the first; Sacket's Well and Laguna in California in the inset map are given dots for their location in the second state but not in the first. There are other changes. Streeter shows a second edition in 1855, Heaston a third edition in 1856, but both copyrighted 1855. These have various route changes and place names added when compared to the 1854.”

     Cohen, Mapping the West, pp. 170-171. Eberstadt  114:238: “Probably one of the earliest maps to depict in detail the Montana-Wyoming-Colorado country.” Graff 836 (1857 edition).  Ellis, Colorado Mapology (o-[4], p. 40, citing the 1857 atlas version). Heaston, Trails of Kansas 1.  Luebke et al, Mapping the North American Plains VIII:4 (illustrated on p. 223):  “Incorporates the latest military surveys of the central and southern plains, extending from the Canadian border in the north to the Staked Plains and Cross Timbers regions of Texas.  For the potential western traveler, it shows the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails as well as the proposed transcontinental railroads.  A large vignette of a horse mounted Plains Indian shooting a buffalo with his bow and arrow is placed north of the Platte River to evoke the image of the Great Plains.”  Phillips, America, p. 459 (1857 edition, listed with title Kansas and Nebraska). Rumsey Map 3873001 (first state).  Siebert Sale 714. Streeter Sale 3062 (1855 edition): “This is a large scale map of the western country between the Canadian border in the north and El Paso in the south, extending a little beyond Great Salt Lake, and includes all of Nebraska and Kansas Territories, the northern part of Texas and the eastern boundaries of Oregon and Washington Territories. The detail of New Mexico Territory is especially good. It shows the Oregon and Santa Fé trails and the route from Santa Fé to Fort Smith and various proposed routes for railroads to the Pacific...-TWS.” Not in Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West.

     As discussed by Cohen, this map is one of the crucial ones for Nebraska and Kansas Territories.  It reflects the nation’s angst about the questions of slavery and the best transcontinental railroad route.  This map also contains an early depiction of the Gadsden Purchase, which had recently been accomplished (December 30, 1853).  The main physical depiction of the map is to show the vast territories now open to settlement, whether by slaveholders or not, a notion conveyed by the wagon trail shown in the right-hand portion.  The proposed railroad routes were also matters of extraordinary national and political debate, the one being decided shown here as the central route through Kansas. Ironically, the southern route, shown through the newly acquired Gadsden Purchase, was not built.  This map embodies in rare ways many of the emotional and political questions facing the United States as it settled the area between the Mississippi and California.  ($2,500-5,000)

Auction 19 Short Title List | Auction 19 Prices Realized

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