Auction 134, Lot 209

"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, Geographical, Social and Political

Color: Hand Color

23 x 21.3 inches
58.4 x 54.1 cm

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. Several railroads bisect the West including the Texas Pacific, Atlantic and Pacific, Kansas Pacific, Union Pacific and North Pacific. Several railroads are not named including two that extend south though Mexico. Also includes details of the Indian Reservations, forts and watershed. Printed by the J.B. Lippincott company. A scarce issue.

William Gilpin was a key figure in westward expansion and a 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: B+

Stunning full, original hand coloring and dark impression. Folding as issued with original margins. A little spotting along right side fold and two short binding trim tears repaired with archival tape.

Estimate: $400 - $500


Closed on 12/1/2010