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Antique Maps of the Dakotas

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Johnson's Minnesota and Dakota
"Johnson's Minnesota and Dakota." New York: Johnson & Ward, 1862. 12 3/8 x 15 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

A graphic illustration of the border between the nascent development of the mid-west and the wilds of the western United States. This map shows Minnesota within a few years of statehood, and the eastern portion of what the Dakota Territory. Minnesota is shown broken into counties, and the southeast into survey quadrants. Towns, roads, and other signs of progressing settlement are indicated. To the west, the eastern part of the Dakota Territory (created the year before) is shown devoid of counties and railroads, and with only five towns large enough to be indicated. Little information was available of the northwestern part illustrated, with the Missouri, a few creeks and two forts the only details shown. A printed text at the top says, "The vast region of Prairies from Red River of the North and Mini Wakan I. to about the Gr. Bend of the Missouri R. is the great Hunting and Fighting Ground of Kdakotah, Odjibwe, Assiniboin, Arikara, Minitarree and other Nations." $150

"Johnson's Minnesota and Dakota." New York: Johnson & Ward, ca. 1865. 12 5/8 x 15 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

A later edition of the map above. $200

"Colton's Map of Kansas, Nebraska, Dakota & Indian Territory." New York: G.W. and C.B. Colton & Co., 1866. 26 1/2 x 16 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Edge of decorative border trimmed at left, as issued. Very good condition.

One of the best maps of the American Plains from the post-Civil War period. This region saw a large influx of settlers and travelers in this period and it went through a number of political changes, so such a map would have had great interest. The territories of Nebraska and Kansas were created in 1854 out of the old Missouri Territory. In 1861, Kansas attained statehood, while the Nebraska Territory (which didn't become a state until a year after this map was issued) lost two-thirds of its land to the newly created Dakota Territory, and the territory of Colorado (shown here, though not mentioned in the title) was also created. In this second state of the map, a border separating Dakota from Wyoming (the latter not named) is shown; Wyoming was created out of the western part of Dakota about the time this version was issued. The western parts of the states lining the Mississippi River are shown with considerable development. The only similar areas of settlement and county creation for the rest of the map occur in eastern Texas and the eastern parts of Kansas and Nebraska. The western parts of that state and territory, along with Dakota and Colorado are depicted as relatively undeveloped.

The map contains much information on rivers, lakes, and topography, but it is for the information on human activity on the plains which makes this map of such great interest. This was issued at a time of regular conflict between Euro-Americans and Native Americans, and the locations of Indian tribes are noted throughout, including three large reservations in the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). The reason for the conflict was the encroachment of whites into the area, shown on this map with flags to indicate forts, the routes of explorers, emigration & trade routes-such as the Santa Fe and Oregon trails, proposed wagon roads and railroads, as well as the northern and southern routes to Denver, which were clogged in the 1860s with Pike's Peak gold-rushers. A terrific map of this frontier land after the Civil War. $275

Northern Plains 1870
"County Map of Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1870. 20 x 14 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

This map shows the northern plains at a time when the railroads were opening up the region to new settlement. Completed in 1869, the transcontinental railroad ran across the center of the area shown here, from Omaha to the South Pass in western Wyoming. The railroads facilitated the movement of emigrants through and into this area--already begun by the emigration to Oregon, the California Gold Rush and Pike's Peak Gold Rush(noted on this map as "Gold Region"). This led to the creation of new states, such as Kansas (1861), Nebraska (1867), as well as territories such as Colorado, Dakota, Montana, and the just created Wyoming (1869).

This detailed map provides a good topographical picture of the region, with the rivers and mountains depicted, as are the locations of the plains Indian tribes which played such an important (and tragic) role in the opening of the west. The maps also well represents the development of this region, picturing towns, forts, roads and trails. Of particular interest is the depiction of the railroads, which are indicated sometimes following the early routes of explorers, also shown on the map. The Union Pacific Railroad, completed just the year before this map was published, is shown running through Nebraska to Cheyenne and then west, while the two railroads into Denver-one to Cheyenne to meet the Union Pacific and one directly east to Kansas City-both completed just the year this map was issued, are both shown. This is a fine map of the classic "Wild West" of popular lore. $250

Arbuckle South Dakota
"South Dakota." New York: Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company, 1889. Ca. 3 x 5. Chromolithograph by Donaldson Brothers. Very good condition.

From a delightful series of maps issued by the Arbuckle Bros. Coffee Company. This firm was founded by John and Charles Arbuckle of Pittsburgh, PA. They developed a machine to weigh, fill, seal and label coffee in paper packages, which allowed them to become the largest importer and seller of coffee in the world. Their most famous promotional program involved the issuing of several series of small, colorful trading cards, one of which was included in every package of Arbuckle's Coffee. These series included cards with sports, food, historic scenes, and--one of the most popular--maps. The latter cards included not only a map, but also small illustrations "which portrays the peculiarities of the industry, scenery, etc." of the region depicted. These cards are a delight, containing informative maps as well as wonderful scenes of the area mapped. $60


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