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2007 Catalog > 42. U.S. Surveyor General, Map of Colorado Territory.

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The Second Official Map of Colorado Territory

42. U.S. Surveyor General. “Map of Colorado Territory” (New York: J. Bien, 1862). Lithographed map folded into Annual Report of the Surveyor General (H.R. Doc. No. 1, 37th Cong., 3nd sess., 1862). 16 1/4 x 22 1/8" at neat line. Sheet size: 18 1/2 x 23 5/8". Faint toning along old folds; a portion of the left margin cut close to neat line. Overall excellent.

Price: SOLD.

The 1862 Colorado map offered here is only the second appearance of the territory among the maps of the General Land Office. Colorado Territory was organized in the wake of the 1859 Colorado Gold Rush, which had brought the first large influx of white settlement into the region. Congress passed the organic act for the territory in the spring of 1861 during the thick of the secessions by Southern states that precipitated the Civil War. The organization of Colorado Territory was promoted to solidify Union control over a mineral-rich area of the Rocky Mountains.

As might be expected, the 1862 map shows much improvement over the previous year’s map by the General Land Office in documenting the progress of public surveys and in presenting new data on the territory. Wheat calls this map a “credible effort” and notes the following new information: “The Eagle Tail River has now become the Gunnison. . . . On the upper Colorado, called ‘Grand River,’ the former Bunkara Creek appears as Roaring Fork. White River in northwestern Colorado is represented much more correctly; and new peaks are shown, including Elk Head Mt., Clarmont, Rabbit Ears, Sopris Peak, and Dome Peak. A number of new mining camps and settlements are located, but none west of the Continental Divide.” The map also shows townships under contract for subdivision south along the Denver corridor, townships proposed to be subdivided, and great topographical relief for the Front Range. The South Platte and Arkansas Rivers feature prominently.

An excellent GLO map of early Colorado Territory.

Refs.: Phillips, Maps, p. 241; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, vol. V, pp. 55–56, no. 1051.

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