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2007 Catalog > 52. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories.

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52. Department of the Interior. U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories. “Economic Map of Colorado. Sheet III” (New York: Julius Bien, 1877). Published in Geological and Geographical Atlas of Colorado and Portions of Adjacent Territory by F. V. Hayden. Double-page color lithograph in fine, bright colors. 25 1/4 x 35 1/8" at neat line. Sheet size: 26 1/2 x 37 1/4". Faint damp stains along bottom of sheet and side and top margins. Nearly fine.

Price: SOLD

This fascinating land classification map is a product of Ferdinand V. Hayden’s survey exploration of Colorado in the 1870s. In that decade, it was clear to railroad promoters, mining engineers, and investors that the natural resources of Colorado were bountiful. “Yet little was known, in a scientific way,” writes Richard Bartlett, “of Colorado’s geology, or of her flora and fauna. Maps were essential for proper railroad and mineral development, and no reliable maps of the rugged Central Rockies had ever been drawn. . . . It was primarily to fill this need that Hayden decided to abandon the Yellowstone-Teton country and come down to Colorado. There was no portion of the continent, he pointed out, which promised to ‘yield more useful results, both of a practical and scientific character.’”

Hayden thus embarked on his most ambitious survey, the results of which were published in 1877 in his important Atlas of Colorado. The atlas contained four preliminary maps of the state on a scale of twelve miles to an inch—a drainage map, a triangulation map, a general geographical map, and an economic map, the one offered here. A second series of twelve maps were created on a scale of four miles to one inch.

On the economic map, colors represent land classifications including agricultural, pasture, pine forest, piñon pines and cedars, quaking aspen groves, and sage and bad lands. Symbols denote coal lands and gold and silver districts. The scientific illustrator and topographer William H. Holmes, who accompanied Hayden’s survey, prepared the lithographic sheets. “The Hayden atlas became immediately valuable to Colorado, which was barely through her first year of statehood,” notes Bartlett. “Even today it serves as an indispensable tool for geologists working in certain remote parts of the state where more modern methods of mapping have not yet been applied.” The present is a great example from Hayden’s ground-breaking survey.

Refs.: Richard A. Bartlett, Great Surveys of the American West, pp. 76, 103; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, vol. V, p. 347, no. 1281.

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