Catalog Archive
Auction 113, Lot 210

"Map Illustrating the System of Parcs, the Domestic Relations of the Great Plains, the North American Andes, and the Pacific Maratime Front", Gilpin, William

Subject: Western United States

Period: 1873 (published)

Publication: Mission of the North American People

Color: Hand Color

23 x 21 inches
58.4 x 53.3 cm
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This is a fascinating and colorful map of the western United States. The map is divided into regions with a System of Parcs following the Continental Divide and the railroads cutting bold lines across the map. Also includes details of the Indian Reservations and forts, and nice detail in Texas. Printed by the J.B. Lippincott company.

William Gilpin was a key figure in westward expansion and strident supporter of the transcontinental railway (which he envisioned eventually connecting with a worldwide railroad network on the 40th parallel). He believed that North America was at the height of a progression of empires, and that each movement westward carried the empire to increased greatness. Gilpin saw the Pacific Railroad as the means by which to fulfill the "untransacted destiny" of the America people. He invoked the German geographer Alexander von Humboldt's notion of the "isothermal zodiac" as further support for his vision of the American future.


Condition: A

Issued folding. Very fine color and impression, original margins. Hint of toning along one fold, still very good.

Estimate: $300 - $350

Sold for: $375

Closed on 12/7/2005