Colton’s Enlarged, Updated Pocket Map of Iowa
Reflecting a Continuing Rush of Emigration after the Civil War

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267. [MAP]. COLTON, J[oseph] H[utchins] (copyright) & G[eorge] W[oolworth] & C[harles] B. Colton (publisher). Colton’s Sectional Map of the State of Iowa, Compiled from the U.S. Surveys & Other Authentic Sources. Exhibiting the Sections Fractional Sections, Counties, Cities, Towns, Villages, Post Offices, Railroads & Other Internal Improvements. Published by G.W. & C.B. Colton, 172 William St. New York, 1867 [above neat line, lower right] Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by J.H. Colton in the Clerks Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York. New York, 1867. Lithograph sectional map on banknote paper, original full color, shell and spiral ornate border, neat line to neat line: 61.3 x 88.5 cm; border to border: 69 x 98 cm; overall sheet size: 70.5 x 94 cm, folded into publisher’s brown cloth pocket covers (15.5 x 10.5 cm), blind-stamped, gilt-lettered on upper cover: Colton’s Sectional Map of Iowa, printed leaf with publisher’s ads affixed to verso of upper cover: G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co. (Successors of J.H. Colton) Publishers of Maps, Atlases, Guide-Books.... Minor splits at some folds and 4 cm tear to right edge of map (no losses), a few very light spots. Minor wear to pocket covers. Overall, the map and pocket covers are fine, with excellent color retention. The various editions of this map are not particularly rare, but it is a challenge to find a copy in acceptable condition.

     With a continuing flow of emigrants into Iowa, Colton’s firm enlarged, updated, and vividly colored their earlier map of Iowa. The first edition of this enlarged map bears a copyright notice of 1864, but according to Rumsey, the first edition of this map was not released until 1865. Updated versions appeared frequently into the 1870s. Following the Civil War, Iowa’s population continued to grow dramatically, from 674,913 people in 1860 to 1,194,020 in 1870, and the introduction of railroads in the 1850s and 1860s transformed Iowa. Karrow, Check List of Printed Maps of the Middle West to 1900 8:0789. Phillips, America, p. 337 (1865 and other editions). Rumsey 3576 (1869). Rumsey suggests that Colton’s map was a competitive response to Cram’s county map, but that does not comport, either time-wise or otherwise.

     Townships are in full color (yellow, pink, and teal), and the boundaries are in bright pink and teal. Located are cities, townships, villages, post offices, waterways, railroads (completed, in progress, and proposed). This map and the place names of Iowa are discussed by Allen Read (“Observations on Iowa Place Names” in American Speech, Vol. 5, No. 1, October, 1929, pp. 27-44), who comments:

The giving of Iowa names took place during a period of seething growth. Iowa’s rapid expansion from 1836 to 1860 is paralleled only the the gold rushes of the far-western states. Myriads of prairie schooners waited days for a chance to be ferried across the Mississippi. During such “boom time” it is inevitable that there should be many speculative enterprises: the prairies, as has been said, “were on fire with the town site fever.” The platting of towns can be traced across the state like the wave that follows a motorboat on a lake.... And each town had its name. Of course many of the names were ill-considered and of little significance; but there is always the possibility that any certain one of them might turn out to be the metropolis of the region, and thus its name be of importance. Inasmuch as so many names had to be given in so short a space of time, it is small wonder that the situation has not been more chaotic than it was.

This map is useful for research of place names in context of postal history.


Auction 23 Abstracts

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