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2007 Catalog > 46. Colton, Map of the Country from Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean.


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46. G. W. and C. B. Colton. “Map of the Country from Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean from the latest Explorations and Surveys to Accompany the Report of Edwin F. Johnson, Chief Engineer of the Northern Pacific Railroad” (New York: G. W. and C. B. Colton, 1867). Published in Johnson’s Report to the President and Directors of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. Double-page lithograph with fine, bright, original full hand color. 21 3/4 x 43 1/2" at neat line. Sheet size: 22 3/4 x 45 1/4". On bank note paper, a few corner splits. Overall fine with great color.

Price: SOLD.

This terrific and scarce map of the northern tier of states from Detroit west to the Pacific coast accompanied the report of Edwin E. Johnson, chief of the Northern Pacific Railroad, on the progress of the construction of the railroad. On July 2, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed an Act of Congress creating the Northern Pacific Railroad Company to be the first northern transcontinental route. The railroad was chartered to build from the Great Lakes to Puget Sound along a line that followed the journey of the 1804–1806 Lewis and Clark expedition across the West. During the twenty years that followed the signing of the charter, the Northern Pacific had a stormy career that endured recessions, mergers, and poor cost controls. The NPRR did not actually become a transcontinental line until 1883.

The route of the Northern Pacific from Duluth to the western terminals is marked on the map in red. A profile of the route also appears at the top of the sheet. The map includes a large area of southern Canada as well as beautiful full-color renderings of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Dakota, northern Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Dakota Territory is not yet divided, and Wyoming is indicated but not named. Details are impressive: the Great Lakes, mountain ranges and other geographical features, place names, the Pony Express route, overland mail routes, expedition survey routes, trails, and isothermal lines.

A stunning map of the Northwestern United States with a tremendous amount of detail, it represents the best efforts of the Colton company just after the Civil War.

Ref.: Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, vol. V, no. 1169.

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