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Thayer’s Rare 1880 Map of Colorado

74. [MAP]. THAYER, H[omer] L. Thayer's New Map of the State of Colorado Compiled From Official Surveys and Explorations Published by H. L. Thayer, Denver Col. 1880. Established in 1871. Drawn By Edward Rollandet [below neat line] Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1878 by H. L. Thayer in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. Denver, 1880. Lithograph map mounted on linen, original color (two-color outline for counties and some shaded areas). Neat line to neat line: 63.5 x 80.5 cm. Top and lower left margins with voids (affecting short sections of neat line), splits at some folds (a few minor voids), a few stains and overall darkening and light wrinkling. Very rare.

     Ellis, Colorado Mapology 84: “Published by H. L. Thayer, of Denver, Colorado, under date of 1880; but it shows a copyright by Thayer in 1878 and the map does not seem to be much updated except that it does show the 31 counties.... Thayer has not discovered the fact that the east line of Colorado is not on the 102º meridian west from Greenwich.... This map is not nearly as good as [Nell’s and Rand McNally’s 1880 maps]. Too much general hachures to show mountain names, towns not too generously supplied, roads not clearly shown, etc.” Rumsey (4787.001) disagrees with Ellis, stating: “Ellis is not fond of this map.... We find it a very attractive map, however the high degree of hachuring does somewhat limit its clarity.” Rumsey indicates this to be the third issue: “It was first issued in 1878, with a second edition in 1879.”

     Shown are towns, railroads (in operation and in progress), wagon roads (existing and proposed), trails, public land surveys, Spanish and Mexican land grants, military posts, Indian reservations (Utes occupying most of the Western slope), larger land districts (e.g., Central City, Leadville, Denver), elevations by contour lines, and physical features.

     Thayer established his map emporium in Denver in 1871, and the 1876 Denver directory lists him in partnership with Frank P. Swindler in the business of real estate and publishing maps, making him among the early map publishers in Colorado. His 1871 Sectional Map of Colorado is “by far the best map of Colorado to date” (Ellis 44). A Civil War veteran, Thayer served with honor in the Third Michigan Infantry. ($2,500-5,000)

Sold. Hammer: $4,000.00; Price Realized: $4,700.00

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