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2006 Catalog > J. H. Colton, Nebraska and Kansas

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The First Map of Nebraska and Kansas in the Rare First Edition

44. J. H. Colton. “Nebraska and Kansas” (New York: J. H. Colton & Co., 1854). First edition, first state. Lithographed map with bright original full hand color. 20 3/4 x 22 3/4" at neat line. Sheet: 30 1/2 x 22 3/4". Inset of the United States at l. l., showing fascinating territorial configurations. Inset at l. r.: “Map of the Territory acquired from Mexico by the Gadsden Treaty, 1854.” Fabulous wide grapevine border. Some marginal chipping and scattered marginal spotting; darkening in margins, especially l. l. Overall, an excellent example of this rare map.

Price: SOLD.

Colton’s outstanding map of the central United States is significant as the first map to show the two new territories established by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of May 30, 1854. The act created the Territory of Kansas between the 37th and 40th parallels and the Territory of Nebraska between the 40th and 49th parallels, with both territories extending from the Missouri River to the Continental Divide. Colton’s map additionally covers an area from the Canadian border to El Paso, extending a little beyond the Great Salt Lake. It includes the northern part of Texas, the two aforementioned territories, Indian Territory, and parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Oregon, and Washington. The detail of New Mexico Territory is especially good, as is the timely inclusion of an inset of the important Gadsden Purchase of the same year, which finalized the boundaries of the contiguous United States. Rumsey comments extensively on the edition of this map: “It is an early pull from the late-1854, early-1855 Colton Map of the United States wall-map plate, with the title different from the second 1854 state, in that the letters of Nebraska and Kansas have stars in them and are open as opposed to the black letters of the second state. Also, this first state has numerous areas that are ‘cleaned up’ in the second state: the trail that crosses the two forks of the Colorado in southern Utah near the map edge has the word ‘Route’ on it—this is removed in the second state. There are other changes.” The map also shows proposed railroad routes to the Pacific and features a number of vignettes including an emigrant wagon train, an Indian ceremonial dance, buffalo hunting, and wildlife of the area. All the information is enclosed by an outstanding decorative vine border. Besides being an exceptional map of the region, it is a tremendous piece of rare Americana and essential for collectors of the Great Plains.

Refs.: Graff, 836 (1857 edition); Phillips, Maps, p. 459; David Rumsey Collection, no. 3873.001; Streeter sale, no. 3062 (1855 edition).

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