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2007 Catalog > 33. Weyss, Sketch of the Country near the Southern Boundary of Kansas.


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33. John F. Weyss. “Sketch of the Country near the Southern Boundary of Kansas” (New York: Lith. of J. Bien, 1857). Published in Southern Boundary Line of Kansas (H.R. Ex. Doc. No. 103, 35th Congress, 1st sess.). Lithographed folding map in black and white, as issued. Sheet size: 24 3/4 x 50". Elevation profile of the route by Frederick Wislizenus is along bottom. Facsimile signature by J. E. Johnston. A few minor corner splits; very faint toning where formerly bound in. Fine.

Price: SOLD.

In March 1856, nearly two years after Kansas was organized as a territory under provisions of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, a bill was introduced to Congress to provide for a survey of the southern boundary of the territory and also to conduct a feasibility study for a rail line along the 37th parallel. Joseph E. Johnston of the Topographical Engineers led a reconnaissance from Neosho, Missouri, along the western portion of the Santa Fe Trail to Santa Fe. He presented the results of his findings in a report to Congress in 1858, which included a map of the route by his assistant, John F. Weyss, offered here. Kansas Territory at the time incorporated present-day Colorado, and thus the map shows the territory as far west as Raton Pass and Albuquerque. The map includes topographical features and provides good details of towns, forts, and the routes of earlier expeditions, including “Aubrey’s Trail.” Aubry was a Santa Fe trader whose trail explorations in 1851 and 1852 resulted in finding an improved route from Cold Spring, on the Cimarron, to the Arkansas. Johnston’s survey was an important one, appearing at a time when boundary decisions helped to precipitate clashes in Kansas between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions just prior to the Civil War.

Ref.: Wagner-Camp, 301a.

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