Catalog Archive
Auction 128, Lot 281

"The Northern Pacific Railroad: Its Land Grant, Traffic, Resources, and Tributary Country. The Valley Route to the Pacific", Railroad Companies, (Various)

Subject: Western United States

Period: 1873 (published)


Color: Black & White

27.5 x 8 inches
69.9 x 20.3 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

The highlight of this booklet is the rare folding "Map of the Northern Pacific R.R. Its Connections and Tributary Country" (27.5" x 8") which is inserted in the book as issued. The map is printed on lavender paper and carries a bright, strong image. It shows the northern half of the U.S. from the Pacific to Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The proposed railroad extends from the Missouri River near Fort McKean westward to the towns of Olympia, Portland, Seattle and terminating at Whatcom just north of Bellingham. The route splits into a northern and southern branch just above Coeur d'Alene Lake. Blank verso. The fascinating booklet (6" x 9.3") presents the potential investor with the company's organization and officers, why the route is important and will be profitable, the climate, land and mineral wealth the route passes near, comparison of earnings from other railways, and much more. The "Statement of President George W. Cass" documents his speech to the Board of Directors accepting the presidency in November, 1872. The 52 page booklet ends with two pages addressing potential investors. Paper covers. Bound in back is the folding "Map of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and its Inter-Oceanic Connections." (11.3 x 5.2") with another map of the route filling the back cover. The booklet is dated by the map is undated.

Jay Cooke, the famous Civil War financier, and his private banking firm financed the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad beginning in 1870, but the Panic of 1873 forced him into bankruptcy and suspended operations. This promotional booklet presents his exhaustive efforts to sell the idea to investors and settlers. The complete story of the Northern Pacific Railroad is fascinating and we encourage you to read more here. A remarkable and scarce map complete with original marketing booklet.


Condition: A+

The map is fine. The booklet is near fine with the covers lightly toned or foxed.

Estimate: $400 - $800

Sold for: $375

Closed on 5/20/2009