2010/11 Winter Catalogue, William R. Talbot Fine Art, Antique Maps & Prints Home

2010/11 Winter Catalogue > 17. TERRITORIAL MAP of NEW MEXICO & UTAH


Joseph H. Colton. “Territories of New Mexico And Utah” (New York: J. H. Colton & Co., 1856 [1855]). Lithograph with bright original hand color. 11 x 14 1/8" at neat line with full margins. Sheet size: 14 11/16 x 18 1/16." “Kanzas” with a “z.” Faint scattered spotting. Overall, excellent.

Price: $1,200. [ Order ]

This classic map portrays the enormous territorial configurations for New Mexico and Utah a half century before they achieved statehood. It features wonderfully colored counties, administrative divisions, and rich topographic detail. The map shows New Mexico extending across today’s Arizona all the way to the California border. Utah encompasses Nevada and a chunk of western Colorado as far east as Long’s Peak. Enormous horizontal county configurations are predominant in both territories. The map includes Fremont’s 1844 and 1845 routes, the Spanish trail from Los Angeles to New Mexico, Kearney’s route, Washington's expedition, the Cimarron Route, and the location where the Ute Indians ambushed Captain Gunnison. It also locates numerous forts, roads, Indian information, the proposed route for the Pacific Railroad, and a host of early geographical features, including several rarely referenced river sinks and other features in Nevada.

Colton’s Atlas of the World, in which the map appeared, was the first world atlas produced by the Colton firm after many years of issuing pocket maps, wall maps, guides, and maps for books. The atlas was one of the finest and most accurate of the period and had a long publishing run, continuing for more than thirty years with the title changed to Colton’s General Atlas after 1856. The 1856 issue of Territories of New Mexico And Utah is distinguished from its predecessor of 1855 (the first edition of the map) by addition of the publisher’s name below the title and by the removal of text referring to a territory dispute with Mexico.

The present map is a superb example of this cornerstone territorial map.

Refs.: LeGear, Atlases, 6116 (1855 ed.); Ristow, American Maps and Mapmakers, pp. 324–326; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, vol. 4, no. 832 (1855 ed.), also illustrated as a frontispiece for vol. 4.

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