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AUCTION 21

October 26, 2007

Reese Six Score
First Atlas of Kansas–Hundreds of Maps and Views

3. [ATLAS]. EVERTS, L[ouis] H. & CO. (publishers). Official State Atlas of Kansas [lithograph view: State Capitol, Topeka, Kan. Haskell & Wood, Arch’s. F. F. Goist Sc.] Compiled from Government Surveys, County Records and Personal Investigations [on verso of title page] Copyright, 1887, L. H. Everts & Co. Philadelphia: L. H. Everts & Co., 1887. 300 leaves consisting of 70 unnumbered pages of text, 185 unnumbered pages of plates (uncolored lithograph views, scenes, interiors, ranches, livestock, architecture, etc.) and pagination sequence reading: [2, title page], 1-158, 160-161, 164-165, 167-339 [1, blank] (mostly pages of hand-colored maps, about 300), 25 inserted hand-colored lithograph folding maps. Folio (45.5 x 39.5 cm), original burgundy pebble cloth gilt lettered on upper cover (The Official Atlas of Kansas 1887), rebacked and re-cornered in new tan cloth, new endpapers, edges sprinkled. Light shelf wear, first few and last leaves moderately wrinkled and edges strengthened with old cellotape, one plate loose. Otherwise fine, the maps and views very fine. Laid in at front is publisher’s printed receipt completed in manuscript for $15, dated August 15, 1887, from Mr. Hugh N. Morrison for this atlas.

            First edition of the first atlas of Kansas, and one of the largest nineteenth-century atlases for any state in the U.S. LeGear, United States Atlases L1368. Phillips, Atlases 1710. Reese, Six Score 83: “These atlases were designed so that pages could be tipped in. I doubt that any two copies are exactly alike. Pagination through page 340, although there are many unnumbered pages of views. There are over 300 colored maps, views depicting over 350 scenes, and as many as 25 folding tissue maps interleaved, as well as unpaginated text.... This massive compilation contains a vast wealth of information on Kansas at the time of publication. Many of the views depict stock ranges, which are also located on the extremely detailed maps. There are many bird’s-eye views of towns and sights. Much of the accompanying text is devoted to listing the leading citizens of the state, their property, what kind of livestock they raise, and even what kind of fencing they use. The Everts’ atlas is an important source for much information, with illustrations existing nowhere else.” Reps, The Making of Urban America: A History of City Planning in the United States (Princeton University Press, 1992), Figures 168, 169, 170. Rumsey 2818: “This must be the largest State Atlas published (Andreas’ Iowa has 250 pages of maps and views). The views show the remarkable development of the state over two decades after the Civil War.” The bird’s-eye view of Herrington is not recorded in Reps.

            “L. H. Everts & Co. produced combination atlases for the northern, western and central counties of Ohio, 1874-1875 [and] The Official State Atlas of Kansas, 1887” (Tooley, Vol. III, p. 38). After army service, Everts went into partnership with Thomas H. Thompson at Geneva, Illinois, around 1866, and they published combination atlases of counties in Iowa and Illinois. “When the partnership dissolved ca. 1872-1873, [Everts] worked alone and with others in a confusing range of concurrent companies associated with the name of Everts” (ibid). See Ristow, American Maps and Mapmakers, pp. 413-416.

            In addition to the plethora of detailed local maps in this behemoth of the Midwest, the lithograph views are an outstanding source of Kansas iconography during a period of explosive growth, when wave after wave of immigrants transformed the virgin prairie and spacious plains by their establishment of ranches, farms, homes, cities, towns, villages, roads, institutions, industry, and railroads in the first decades after a challenging evolution from territory and “Bleeding Kansas” to statehood in 1861. Robert Taft comments on the images found in this atlas in “The Pictorial Records of the Old West,” Kansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 3, August, 1846, pp. 242-263:

In the three or four decades following the establishment of Kansas territory in 1854, few Kansas artists attempted to depict life in Kansas; a situation not particularly surprising since Kansas, in this period, had few artists of any kind. In these decades the prairie wilderness was transformed into an agricultural state of growing importance in the economy of our United States and the transformation-physically, economically and politically-required the almost undivided attention of our predecessors.... It is not surprising, therefore, that Kansas, in its early history, could enumerate but few artists among its citizens.... At times the quality of illustrative work in such material may reach a high level. The really elegant-yes, elegant is the proper word-lithographic illustrations in the Official State Atlas of Kansas (L. H. Everts & Co., Philadelphia, 1887) are especially notable. Although these illustrations (some measure 12 by 15 inches in size) depict conditions in a prim, orderly and very precise manner they nevertheless give a comprehensive view of Kansas homes, farms and towns in 1887.... In the ‘Preface’ of the above volume the only comment made on the source of the illustrations is the statement ‘agents and artists were sent into every portion of the State’ in securing material for the book. ($4,000-8,000)

Sold. Hammer: $9,500.00; Price Realized: $11,162.50

Auction 21 Abstracts

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