Catalog Archive
Auction 168, Lot 190

"Map Illustrating the Plan of the Defences of the Western Frontier, as Proposed by Maj. Gen. Gaines, in His Plan Dated Feby. 28th 1838", Burr, David H.

Subject: Central United States

Period: 1838 (circa)

Publication: HR Doc. No. 311, 25th Congress, 2nd Session

Color: Black & White

14.4 x 23.6 inches
36.6 x 59.9 cm

This map was issued as part of the continuing debate over the nature of the Frontier Defenses between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. General Edmund P. Gaines, one of the most visionary military men of the 19th century, set out this proposal. His plan called for a system of military railroads that would permit the rapid movement of troops, not only between St. Louis and the frontier, but between Atlantic coastal forts and western frontier forts. In the 1830's this was a revolutionary idea, as railroads were in their infancy with only a few local lines connecting eastern cities. The map depicts the United States territory west of the Mississippi River, including lands making up present-day Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, the Indian nations bordering them to the west. Lands claimed and ceded by various Native American tribes, and lands assigned to tribes are indicated, as well as proposed forts and railroads. This map is part of a series, together with those illustrating the proposals of J.R. Poinsett and Charles Gratiot, which provide a fascinating comparison of the region, locating many military forts and outposts from Ft. Jessup to Ft. Snelling. The map is uncolored except for red marking the locations of the forts. A scarce map that is not from the later American State Papers.

See the previous lot for the Poinsett and Gratiot versions of this map.

References: Wheat (TMW) #432.

Condition: B

Issued folding with faint scattered foxing at top. There is a binding trim at right and an associated 2" binding tear that has been closed on verso with non-archival tape resulting in a tape stain on recto.

Estimate: $275 - $350

Sold for: $180

Closed on 6/6/2018