Catalog Archive
Auction 146, Lot 137

"[Untitled - Map of Proposed Routes of Western Railroads]", Throop, O. H.

Subject: United States, Railroads

Period: 1848 (circa)


Color: Black & White

16 x 9.5 inches
40.6 x 24.1 cm
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This important map of the United States shows the existing (finished and unfinished) railroads in the eastern states with a proposed railroad shown beginning at Prairie du Chin and stretching toward the Pacific through South Pass. There is also an unusual railroad stretching from Memphis to Guaymas with a connector reaching to Matagorda. This is named as Mill's Road. Robert Mills proposed linking the two coasts by rail as early as 1819 and was among the project's most ardent supporters. The map portrays the United States prior to the acquisition of California and the Southwest, with a large Oregon Territory and a large Texas. The map, engraved by O.H. Throop, was issued for Asa Whitney's report to Congress issued in 1846 and 1848.

Asa Whitney was one of the first backers of an American Transcontinental Railway. It was as early as 1830 that Whitney first became enthralled with railroads and foresaw their future role in business and transport. Whitney's proposed route from Lake Michigan through South Pass to the Pacific was not accepted mainly because of the growing sectionalism before the Civil War. However, the map and report are an important part of the railroad history of the United States.


Condition: B

Issued folding with a few tiny splits at fold intersections and several small stains mainly along the top neatline.

Estimate: $240 - $300

Sold for: $120

Closed on 9/4/2013