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Antique Maps of New Mexico

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Cowperthwait western territories
"Map of the State of California, The Territories of Oregon & Utah, and the chief part of New Mexico." From Universal Atlas. Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., [1850]-1851. Copyright, H.B. Burroughs, 1845. 15 1/2 x 12 7/8. Lithographic transfer from an engraved plate. Original hand color. Full margins. Very good condition. Denver.

A mid-century map of the western part of the United States, one of the first maps to show the state of California and the territories of Utah and New Mexico. The map is an updated version of a map that appeared in S. Augustus Mitchell's Universal Atlas of 1849. The southern part of the region shown in that map, "Upper California," had just been won from Mexico in 1848, and Mitchell's map was important for presenting the vast new U.S. territories to the American public. In 1850, the rights to Mitchell's atlas were sold to the firm of Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., which reissued the atlas with some updating. That year the newly acquired lands were divided by Congress into the state of California and two territories, Utah and New Mexico; Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. revised the Mitchell map accordingly.

Besides the new political information that appeared on this map, what had appeared on the 1849 map as the "Great Interior Basin" is now somewhat filled in based on Fremont's map, renamed "Fremont Basin." Other topographical features included considerable orography, rivers, and lakes. The Great Salt Lake is shown, next to which is "Salt Lake City. Mormon Set.," which had just been settled in 1847. Early settlements and a coastal road are illustrated in California, and the old Spanish trail between Santa Fe and Los Angeles is also indicated. Of further interest is the prominent depiction of the Oregon Trail, shown snaking from present-day Colorado to the Columbia River. The entire region north of Utah and California appears as the Oregon Territory, which it remained until the Washington Territory was created in 1853. Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. continued to revise this map, for in 1851 they came out with a further up-dated map retitled "A New Map of the State of California," and with more information provided on the counties of the territories and state. This is a fascinating and historical important map, one of the first to show the new political situation in the west after the Compromise of 1850. $875

Wester U.S.
"Map No. 10. United States." From Roswell C. Smith's A Precise and Practical System of Geography. New York: Burgess & Co., 1853. 10 1/4 x 8 7/8. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.

A small but interesting map of the configuration on the western U.S. shortly after gold was discovered in California. Shows Washington and Oregon extending from the Pacific to the crest of the Rockies, and Utah and New Mexico extending from California to the Rockies. Nebraska and the North West Territory are shown in part. $150

Flemming California
Carl Flemming. "Californien, Oregon, Utah und Neu-Mejico." From Heinrich Berghaus's Vollständiger Universal-Handatlas. Glogau, Germany: C. Flemming, 1854. 15 1/2 x 13 5/8. Lithograph by C. Flemming. Original outline color. Very good condition. Denver.

Carl Flemming was the founder of an important German firm located in Berlin and Glogau and this map shows characteristic German detail. Germans were very interested in the western parts of the United States at this time and the atlas from which this map came contained not only two maps of the United States as a whole-one single sheet and one four part map-but also a number of regional maps including this one of the area to the west of the Rocky Mountains. The topography is graphic and begins to show an understanding of the complexity of the ridges, mountains, buttes, etc. between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevadas. The Great Salt Lake is shown, with "Saltlake City od New Jerusalem" indicated, and there is no evidence of the mythical "river of the west," reflecting that Flemming had access to the information brought back by the explorers and emigrants who crossed the Great Basin in the early 1850s. Indian tribes are indicated throughout, as are some of the early trails. The political situation is shown as it existed before the creation of the Washington Territory (1854), with the state of California and three territories--Oregon, Utah and New Mexico--indicated with outline color explained in a color key in the lower left. $475

Desilver Western
"A New Map of the State of California, The Territories of Oregon, Washington, Utah & New Mexico." Philadelphia: Charles Desilver, 1856. 16 x 12 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.

Charles Desilver, one of the many publishers working in Philadelphia during the mid-nineteenth century, issued an atlas of maps based on the famous Tanner-Mitchell-Cowperthwait series. Desilver used much the same information as originally drawn in the 1840s, but updated the maps with new counties, roads, towns, etc. Here the country west of the Rockies is depicted with the state of California and the rest comprised of just four territories: Washington, Oregon, Utah and New Mexico. Settlement in those territories was quite sparse at the time, with some cities shown, and a number of counties developed in the western part of the northern most territories. The map was issued just after the Gadsden Treaty (1854) so the current southern border with Mexico is depicted. Of note are depictions of the southern route proposed for the Pacific Railroad, the Spanish trail from Santa Fe to Los Angeles, the routes of Lewis & Clark and Fremont, and the Oregon Trail. Forts are indicated, as are the territories of various Indian tribes. Of interest is the small section entitled "Middle Park," which is shown as part of Utah, but which is currently part of Colorado (the western part of which is shown as part of Kansas Territory. Overall, a terrific and up-to-date map of the western United States. $650

New Mexico and Utah
"Territories of New Mexico and Utah." New York: J.H. Colton, [1855]-1856. Third state. 12 1/2 x 15 1/2. Lithograph. Full original hand color. Very good condition. Brown: 3; Wheat: 832. Denver.

An early example of J.H. Colton's important map of the American Southwest. With the American victory in the Mexican War (1846-48), the United States gained a huge amount of land to the west of the Louisiana Territory. In 1850, the territory gained outside of California was divided into two territories: Utah to the north, the home of the Mormans, and New Mexico to the south. This was one of the first maps to show this region and this early version of Colton's map-which went through at least 12 states until 1863-shows the original configuration of the two territories.

The map is copious in its detail, with forts, Indian tribes, counties, mountains, rivers, lakes all clearly depicted. This information is impressively accurate, being based on the various explorations in the area. The routes of a number of these explorers are shown, including those of Frémont, Stansbury, Kearney and Gunnison (the latter noting that "Capt. Gunnison Killed by Indians"). Also indicated are the Cimarron Route from Ft. Leaveworth to Santa Fe, the Spanish route from Santa Fe to Los Angeles, the Oregon Route, and the different proposed routes for the transcontinental railroad. This map is interesting in showing Colorado (then mostly part of the Kansas Territory) just before the Gold Rush of 1858-1861. Over the next 8 years, this region would undergo tremendous changes, documented well in Colton's series of maps, of which this is the third state, differentiated from the previous state by the name "Chihuahua" replacing "Mexico" in the bottom right. $395

Mitchell Plains 1860
"XVIII. Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico & Indian Territory." Philadelphia: S.A. Mitchell Sr., ca. 1860. 8 ¼ x 10 ½. From Mitchell's School and Family Geography. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.

A nice map of Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and present day Oklahoma from after the Mexican American War. The Map shows the four states with the Texas panhandle and indicates the presence of a number of Indian tribes including the Cherokee, Kioways, Comanches, Creeks, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cheyenne & Arapahoes. The map depicts topographical information with clear precision, marking towns, rivers, roads and counties. $125

Macomb four corners
F.W. von Egloffstein after surveys by John N. Macomb. "Map of Explorations and Surveys in New Mexico and Capt. J.N. Macomb Topl. Engrs....1806." New York: Geographical Institute, 1864. 30 3/4 x 37 1/4. Tinted aquatint engraving. Some separation and very light discoloration at folds. Overall, very good condition. Wheat: 983. Denver.

A nice example of what Carl Wheat called "one of the most beautiful maps ever published by the Army," a map that "is a landmark map for various regions." It shows the region around the "four corners" in the American Southwest, based on surveys from an 1860 expedition led by Captain John N. Macomb to explore the Old Spanish Trail from New Mexico towards Utah. The expedition is important in its confirmation that the Green and "Grand" (now Colorado) Rivers joined to form the Colorado just above the Grand Canyon. The map was printed in 1864, but didn't actually get published until 1875 because of the Civil War.

Wheat's comments on its importance is not only based on its geographical significance, but also because of its documentation of the routes of various explorer's routes, including Macomb's as well as those of Gunnison, Marcy, and Father Escalante and others. The last factor in Wheat's judgments is it striking appearance, where it looks almost three dimensional. This is the result of a technique of depicting topography developed by F.W. Egloffstein, where his intent was to "give his map the appearance of a small plaster model of the country." This was achieved by applying very fine lines on the plate by use of a ruling machine (done by Samuel Sartain), which were then exposed to acid to varying degrees to achieve the desired appearance. Only a few maps where made using this difficult process and this is the finest example thereof. The map is a wonderful depiction of the main drainage areas of the American Southwest, as well as many other features such as pueblos, archaeological sites and settlements, all conveyed with a remarkable appearance that few other maps have every matched. $1,800

Colorado and New Mexico
"J.H. Colton's Colorado and New Mexico." From Colton's Condensed Octavo Atlas of the Union. New York: J.H. Colton, 1864. 10 1/2 x 7 7/8. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.

An unusual small map of Colorado and New Mexico by one of the leading map publishers of the middle of the nineteenth century, J.H. Colton. Colton's firm, out of New York, published folding and wall maps, and beginning in 1855, a series of folio atlases. Just after the Civil War, Colton issued his Octavo Atlas of the Union. The maps retained Colton's careful detail and attractive coloring. This map shows the major topographical features in the states, as well as towns and cities. Of particular interest are indications of the Pony Express Route into Denver, the "Explored Route for the Pacific R.R." running into New Mexico from the Canadian River, and the Cimarron branch of the Santa Fe Trail. $135

Gray Arizona and New Mexico
"Gray's Atlas Map of New Mexico and Arizona." Philadelphia: O.W. Gray, 1874. 11 1/2 x 14 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.

An interesting map of these two southwestern territories (both admitted as states in 1912). Arizona had been split off from the original, larger New Mexico territory in 1863 and this map shows the region as it was beginning to develop a decade after the Civil War. Towns, counties and forts are shown throughout. Of particular interest is the information on the railroads in the territory, including the Atlantic & Pacific R.R. and the Texas & Pacific R.R. Counties are indicated with contrasting shades and topography is shown with hatchuring, both giving the map a pleasant appearance. $150

Maps from George M. Wheeler's U.S. Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian. Drawn by Weyss, Herman & Lang. Washington: GPO, 1876. Photo-Lithographs. 15 x 20 1/4. Very good condition, except as noted. Denver.

In 1872, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers began the immense project of mapping the United States "West of the 100th Meridian" on a large scale, a program expected to take 15 years. Lieutenant George Wheeler, who had run surveys in Arizona and New Mexico in 1871, was chosen to head this project, leading to yearly surveys of the American West between 1872 and 1878, at which time Congress stopped appropriations because of cost and possible duplication. These maps are from Wheeler's atlas of sheets showing the incredible work which resulted. The detail is amazing, especially given the rough terrain depicted, with that topography shown graphically with hatchuring. The routes of various expeditions noted.

Mitchell Arizona and New Mexico 1880
"County and Township Map of Arizona and New Mexico." From Mitchell's New General Atlas.. Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1880. 13 7/8 x 21 1/2. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

Originally part of Mexico, the area shown here was acquired by the United States at the end of the Mexican War in 1848 and became the New Mexico Territory in 1850. In 1861, a Confederate State of Arizona was formed of the southern part of area shown here, but Union forces put an end to that in 1862. In 1863, the original New Mexico Territory was split, this time on a north-south axis, with the western part becoming the Arizona Territory. Both territories became states in 1912. This map shows Arizona just after the Desert Land Act of 1877, which caused a flood of new settlement into the territory. This was a period when the General Land Office was doing much surveying in this area, so there was an increase in accurate information about the topography and social features such as towns and roads, all clearly presented on this excellent map. $165

Arbuckle New Mexico
"New Mexico." 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

"New Mexico." Chicago: Geo F. Cram, 1891. 12 x 10 1/4. Wax engraving. Very good condition. Denver.

A colorful, detailed map of New Mexico from the latter part of the nineteenth century. The George Cram Company was an engraving and publishing firm from Chicago. In the mid-nineteenth century, the center of cartographic publishing was New York City, but in the 1880's this began to shift towards Chicago with the advent of the Rand, McNally and Cram firms. These firms were noted for their efficient output of precise maps filled with useful and up-to-date political and cultural information, and details on roads, towns, railroads, and so forth.

[New Mexico]. From Rand McNally & Company's Indexed Atlas of the World. Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1899. 19 x 12 1/2. Cerograph. Very good condition. Denver.

A late nineteenth century map from the early days of the Rand, McNally & Co. firm out of Chicago, a company that would shift the center of cartographic publishing from the east coast to the mid-west. Typical of the firm's work, this map has very good detail precisely and neatly exhibited. Topographic and social information, counties, roads, and many more details are neatly illustrated. Aesthetically and cartographically, it foreshadows the maps of the twentieth century. $125

Rand, McNally New Mexico
"New Mexico Railroads." From Rand, McNally & Co.'s Indexed Atlas of the World. Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1906. 18 3/4 x 12 3/8. Very good condition.

Large, colorful atlas map of New Mexico detailing roads, railroad lines and topography, and includes an index of major railroads operating within the state. $70

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