Rare Early Railroad Promotional Map for Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas, described as “Phoenix like, arisen from her ashes—the second edition enlarged and improved by her indomitable authors”

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380. [MAP]. UNION PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY (Eastern Division). The Union Pacific Railway Company Offers for sale several Hundred Thousand Acres of very valuable Lands, situated along the Line of Road from State Line to Fort Riley, in the Valley of the Kansas River, which is the richest most delightful and fertile part of the State...the Lands now offered for sale is [sic] the celebrated Delaware Reserve, containing about 200,000 Acres of the most valuable land in Kansas, ceded by the Delaware Indians to the Railway Company according to the Treaty of July 2, 1861; also about 352,000 Acres out of the Pottawatomie Reserve...For further particulars, address E.M. Bartholow, Land Commissioner, Wyandotte, Kansas. [below lower border] Sage, Sons & Co., Lithographers and Steam Printers, Buffalo, N.Y. [verso with panels of text that fold down to 10 pp.] Union Pacific Railway. Eastern Division. New Route by Steamer and Railway, to Lawrence and all Central, Southern and Western Kansas New Mexico and Colorado. C. Wood Davis, General Ticket Agent... [text on second panel continues] New Route Passengers Going West via North Missouri, Hannibal & St. Joseph & Platte Country R. Rs...5000 Laborers wanted on the Union Pacific Railway, E.D. Buffalo, New York, n.d. [1865]. Lithograph map showing the main route from Quincy and St. Louis to Santa Fe, Fort Laramie, and Denver, and subsidiary route from Rock Island to Fort Kearney; border to border: 25.5 x 41 cm; overall sheet size: 27.8 x 43 cm. Other than a few minor fox marks, very fine. OCLC locates one holding (University of Iowa).

     First edition of an early promotional for the Kansas Pacific and adjacent lands (the name Kansas Pacific was not adopted until March 3, 1869).Not in Modelski and other standard sources. The territory covered ranges from Southeast Dakota to slightly east of the Mississippi (Rock Island-Quincy-St. Louis), and Santa Fe, "Gold and Silver Region" in Colorado to Upper Arkansas. The date is based on two passages of text: "Lawrence is this year (1865) building 300 houses on both sides of the River"; and reference to the Lawrence Massacre (borrowing a bit from Benjamin Franklin): "It will be remembered that this is the same Lawrence which suffered so severely during the present rebellion;—the same Lawrence that was sacked and destroyed by that fiend in human shape, Quantrell, and his hang-dog crew of rebel butchers, on the 21st day of August, 1863; but now, Phoenix like, arisen from her ashes—the second edition enlarged and improved by her indomitable authors."

The map shows - by means of a continuous line – that the railroad was completed between Kansas City/Wyandotte and Topeka at time of publication. However, the dotted line farther west of Topeka indicates only a proposed railway route to come later. Construction of the railroad started in Kansas City in September 1863 and in Wyandotte on April 14, 1864 (the two short rail links join together on the Wyandotte side of the Kansas River). The first 38 miles to Lawrence Junction (on the north side of the Kansas river from Lawrence) was completed in November 1864. The Deseret News reported on  January 4, 1865 that the first excursion train from Wyandotte to Lawrence ran on November 28, 1864. The railway reached Topeka sometime in late Fall of 1865, but before 1866. Farther progress, along the proposed, not yet constructed, dotted line shown on our map would be slow – with the railroad reaching Fort Riley/Junction City in October/November 1866, Salina in April 1867, Hays/Ellis at the end of 1867 and finally Sheridan (close to present day towns of McAllaster and Wallace in Kansas) on August 22, 1868. Then, because of financial problems, construction was halted and resumed only when the railway changed its name to Kansas Pacific. The Colorado border, only 40 miles away from Sheridan, was reached 1-1/2 years later in early 1870 and Denver in August 1870.

Some legendary American names are associated with the construction of the U.P.R.E.D./Kansas Pacific. The famous western explorer John C. Fremont was one of the two major founders of the U.P.R.E.D. jointly with a New York investment banker named Samuel Hallett. In May 1863 they decided on purchasing the railway (then just a paper company under a different name, with no railroad track laid)from a group of promoters. Fremont was to become the President of the company straight away. Unfortunately, the two partners did not get along with each other or the original promoters and only in the spring of 1864 Fremont was able to organize a board of directors which elected him as president. Regardless, effective control of the company remained in the hands of Hallett and ended only when the banker was shot and killed on July 27, 1864 by Orlando Talcott. Talcott was a former employee who had earlier sent the government a report asserting that the U.P.R.E.D. railroad line was being poorly constructed and should not be eligible for government aid. Talcott was then beaten up on Hallett's orders and retaliated by shooting him. After Hallett's death and numerous lawsuits control of the U.P.R.E.D. eventually passed into the hands of John D. Perry who renamed the line the Kansas Pacific in 1869 and completed it to Denver.

     At the now long-vanished town of Sheridan the dynamic William F. Cody won his immortal soubriquet of "Buffalo Bill" - probably the most glamorous name of the western saga. Sheridan was then the terminus of the U.P.R.E.D./Kansas Pacific and Cody had been employed in 1867 by the railroad to provide buffalo meat for the construction gangs. It was an 8-hour buffalo shooting match near Sheridan in 1868 with another skilled hunter, Billy Comstock, that provided Cody with his deathless epithet. Cody won impressively and the legend of Buffalo Bill was born.

This is probably the first PRINTED promotional map & guide distributed to the public by the U.P.R.E.D. – a new railroad formally created on June 6, 1863 - the predecessor of Kansas Pacific. This map was preceded only by a more technical topographical MANUSCRIPT map with terrain elevations drawn by the company to show the first 40(38) miles of the railroad between Wyandotte/Kansas City and Lawrence (Lawrence Junction). That manuscript map was most likely prepared in early 1865, shortly after the railway construction passed Lawrence on the north side of the Kansas River - because it shows only about 2 miles of the railroad completed west from Lawrence towards Topeka. That manuscript map was used by mapmaker GILLIS, J. R. in conjunction with other maps of the vicinity found by him at the U.S. General Land Office to create a PRINTED map of the railway that was submitted to James Harlan, Secretary of the Interior, annexed to a Department of Interior report dated October 26, 1865. (Modelski No. 589). That map, 52 x 102 cm in size, is titled: “Map and Profile of first 40 miles of Union Pacific Rail Road Eastern Division extending West from boundary between States of Missouri and Kansas, accompanying Report of Commissioners submitted to Hon. James Harlan, Secretary of the Interior, October 26th, 1865.”

     When Abraham Lincoln signed the Railroad Act of 1862, provision was made for construction of railroads from the Missouri River to the Pacific, as a war measure for the preservation of the Union. The national railroad included acquisition of the Kansas Pacific, originally named, as here, the Union Pacific, Eastern Division. The Kansas Pacific line was in operation beginning in 1863, operating many of the first long-distance lines in Kansas and extending into Colorado and its "Gold and Silver Regions," as shown on this map. The original intent of the railroad was to build a line west from Kansas City, Kansas, across Kansas to Fort Riley and then north to join the Union Pacific main line at Fort Kearny, Nebraska, as as indicated on this map. Construction began in 186, and by 1864, the first forty miles of the line reached Lawrence, which had been the scene of ongoing violence between Confederate and Union sympathizers even before the war (Bleeding Kansas). What we have here is a melding of railroads, real estate, and emigration westward. The pitch is the sale of government lands distributed to prospective homesteaders who would
populate the lands near the railroad, forming new towns and providing the economic activity needed to support the railroad itself.

     The promotional focuses on Kansas in most glowing terms. including a proud endorsement of stock raising in Kansas:

There is no doubt whatever, that Kansas has not an equal among her sister States for stock-raising; and in which is included sheep, horned cattle, horses and mules. The prairies will afford for years to come, millions of acres of the richest pasturage of the world. The winters being so short and generally mild, little or no hay is necessary for their sustenance. The grass, though dry, is yet full of nourishment.


Sold. Hammer: $300.00; Price Realized: $367.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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