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October 26, 2007

Manuscript Map of the Largest Tin Mines in the U.S. 1902

152. [MAP]. VINCENT, H. S. “Map of the Consolidated Nigger Hill Tin Mines Rawlins and Hurricane Mining Districts Black Hills Lawrence & Crook Counties South Dakota and Wyoming [lower right] H. S. Vincent U.S. Deputy Mineral Suvr. Deadwood, So. Dak. Nov. 10, 1902.” Original manuscript map in black ink and blue wash on thin, coated cartographical cloth (affixed to modern foamcore). Neat line to neat line: 90 x 53.2 cm. Slight wrinkling at lower edge and light staining at top and left side (barely affecting image), a few chips to blank margins (one small corner detached from upper right (affecting neat line), generally very good.

            The area shown is approximately fifteen miles west of Lead, South Dakota, and straddles the South Dakota and Wyoming state lines. The map depicts streams, roads, and the town of Forest City. The deposits in the area contained mostly quartz and feldspar but were more famous for their tin deposits, which were the largest known in the U.S. The mining operations had a considerable reputation and numerous early nineteenth-century articles were stamped as being made of “Nigger Hill Tin.” The area was also known for placer gold mining.

            The origin of the name of the Consolidated Nigger Hill Tin Mines is explained in Hyman Palais’ article “Black Hills Miners’ Folklore” in California Folklore Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 3. (July, 1945), pp. 256, where he states: “Another story tells how a group of Negroes from Montana came to the Hills in the early days of the gold rush and asked some miners where they should go to work. The miners jokingly advised them to try the top of a near-by hill,

the least likely spot they could think of. Much to the surprise of everyone, luck crowned their efforts, and these Negroes found more gold in this out-of-the-way place on Nigger Hill than many of the gulch miners had discovered below.” ($1,200-1,800)

Sold. Hammer: $1,300.00; Price Realized: $1,527.50

Auction 21 Abstracts

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