Catalog Archive
Auction 191, Lot 146

Scarce Wall Map Documenting Westward Expansion

"A New Map of Our Country, Prospective and Present Compiled from Government Surveys and Other Reliable Sources", Gaston & Johnson

Subject: United States

Period: 1856 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

63.4 x 55.5 inches
161 x 141 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

This majestic wall map was published just as the country was beginning to fully expand to the Pacific. Washington and Oregon extend to the Continental Divide, while both Utah and New Mexico territories are in their largest configurations. Kansas Territory extends from Missouri to beyond Pikes Peak and South Park in today’s Colorado, while Nebraska Territory extends from the Rockies east to a large Minnesota Territory. In California, the Gold Region is prominently depicted, while the border with Mexico reflects the recently acquired Gadsden Purchase. Territory of the Indian Tribes consists of the “Five Civilized Tribes” including the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole Indians. Other details include the three proposed routes for a Pacific Railroad, wagon roads, explorer's trails, forts, Indian tribes, and much more. At lower left are insets of “Map of the World” and “Map of the Sandwich Islands.” A statistical table at bottom center provides data on land area, population, and railroad lines. This spectacular wall map is embellished with decorative borders and numerous engraved sailing/steamships in the oceans. Original linen backing with rollers present and partially intact. This is the third state of the map, first issued in 1854. We found only one past sales result for this 1856 edition and three institutional examples per OCLC.


Condition: C+

Mostly clean and colorful and the varnish has not browned. The map is coming loose from the linen in places at top, and is partially detached from both the top and bottom rollers. There is a long horizontal crack extending across the middle of the image and numerous other small cracks with some resulting minor loss at top and bottom center. There is a small dampstain just below the top right border, and a few tears and holes confined to the top blank margin.

Estimate: $1,400 - $1,700

Sold for: $700

Closed on 2/8/2023