"Map of the La Crosse & Milwaukee Railroad and Connections", Colton, Joseph Hutchins
Subject: United States - Midwest
Period: 1857 (dated)
Publication: Fifth Annual Report of the Directors of the La Crosse & Milwaukee Railroad Co
Color: Hand Color
33 x 20.5 inches
83.8 x 52.1 cm
This rare map was produced by Colton and is bound into the front of the original annual railroad report for 1856. It covers much of the upper Midwest from Lake Michigan westward to the Yankton Country, the Missouri River and beyond to show a little of Nebraska Territory. Wisconsin is colored by county. The map delineates the lines of the LaCrosse & Milwaukee Railroad with red hand coloring, originating in Milwaukee and extending to Madison, La Crosse and Hudson. The lines of other railroads are named and shown in blue: the Wisconsin & Michigan RR has lines to Marquette and Ontonagon; the Milwaukee & Horicon RR has a single line that terminates at Lake Superior in Chequamegon Bay. An unnamed railroad reaches to the far west from Hudson terminating at the confluence of the White Earth and Little Missouri Rivers in Nebraska Territory, the route of today's Great Northern Railroad. The map locates many Indian tribes and early settlements west of the Mississippi, plus provides excellent coverage of the watershed. This map appears to be a unique publication made to order for inclusion in the railroad's annual report. Chartered in 1852, the La Crosse & Milwaukee Railroad failed shortly after the panic of 1857. Before its failure, the line became the second railroad to lay rails from Milwaukee to the Mississippi River. The map is attached to the 114 page annual report that includes a good deal of information concerning the railroad. The only other examples of this map we've found are in the Newberry Library and the Rumsey collection.
The map is very good with strong, dark impression and fine original color (A). The report is evenly toned with a little more to first few pages. The paper covers are soiled and the front has a crease near spine, and the title page has a few edges tears and extra toning around margin.