Rare First State of This Early Map of the New Kansas and Nebraska Territories
"A New Map of Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, and Indian Territories", Mitchell/Cowperthwait/Desilver
Subject: Central & Southwestern United States
Period: 1850 (dated)
Publication: A New Universal Atlas...
Color: Hand Color
12.9 x 15.9 inches
32.8 x 40.4 cm
This map is the rare first state of Desilver's map showcasing the new Kansas and Nebraska territories. It is from the first atlas containing the map issued in late 1855, where it was found between map numbers 37 and 38, but not yet referenced in the table of contents. In 1857, the map was replaced with a revised edition that has a more pronounced bulge in the western boundary of Nebraska Territory and is enclosed in the new Desilver-style scroll border. When Desilver took over the publication of Mitchell's atlas in late 1855, he realized that the atlas was missing a map showing the new territories of Kansas and Nebraska. There was considerable public interest in these territories that had been created by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 due to the politics involved. The act repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, and allowed settlers in those territories to determine if they would allow slavery within their boundaries. Nebraska Territory stretches between Kansas and the border with Canada, and from the continental divide to the early Minnesota Territory at the Missouri River. Kansas stretches west to include South Park in present-day Colorado. New Mexico Territory is shown in its largest configuration, including present-day Arizona and portions of southern Colorado, with early coloration of the counties on this issue. Oklahoma has its correct boundaries but is Indian Territory. Interesting features and notations include several emigrant and exploration routes in the region, the Great Indian Treaty Ground in Nebraska, and an Uninhabited Region in Arizona. The Road from Ft. Smith to Santa Fe 900 miles made by order of Gen. Arbuckle" and another Road from Ft. Smith to Dona Ana 820 miles made by order of Gen. Arbuckle refer to routes to the gold mines in California. Another unique feature of this map is one that appears to be a coloring error; the region west of Nebraska shows Washington Territory extending into Canada reflecting U.S. claims to the region that had been resolved in 1846. Desilver's Philadelphia imprint is below the title, and the old copyright date of 1850 appears below the neatline.
There is light scattered foxing primarily around the title and light toning along the edges of the sheet.