“SOMETHING OF INTEREST IN EVERY PART OF THE WEST”: HAND-COLORED LITHOGRAPHIC MAP OF THE UNITED STATES, 1867
KEELER, W. J. National Map of the Territory of the United States from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Washington: J.F. Gedney, Lithographer, 1867. Large folding map, measuring 49 by 59 inches, backed with linen. Issued in original brown cloth portfolio rebacked with the original spine laid down, cover-title stamped in gilt. $8000.
First edition of one of the most important late 19th-century maps of the American West, locating deposits of gold, silver, copper, quicksilver, iron and coal.
This key map of the western territories of the United States, “the best at the time” (Howes, 311), is “imposing… It offers something of interest in every part of the West” (Wheat V, 213). Made in the Office of the Indian Bureau, but privately printed and copyrighted, Keeler’s map tracks railroad lines (both completed and those in progress), and locates both military posts and Indian reservations, which are color-coded—an early use of this cartographic device. “Numerous towns and settlements were shown for the first time on a general map” (Martin, 157). “This is a complete Railroad Map, the only one published which shows the whole of the great Pacific Railroad routes and their projections and branches.” Notably, the Union Pacific Railroad is shown as completed as far west as the present Nebraska-Wyoming border. Perhaps most importantly, however, Keeler identifies recently discovered gold, silver, copper, quicksilver, iron and coal deposits. “It is the attraction of these hidden treasures,” he observes in the accompanying sheet of descriptive text, “that is drawing those great lines of railroad across the Continent.” Text laid down inside front cover. Published simultaneously with a special “presentation” issue. Wheat 1170. Martin 47. Graff 2281. Howes K22 (note).
Map in fine condition. Minor spotting to original portfolio. An impressive and informative production.