Highly detailed large format map of the United States, illustrating the extent of the public surveys conducted by the General Land Office through 1870.
Beginning in 1866, the General Land Office began issuing this remarkable large format map of the United States, full of the most up to date information from surveys being conducted throughout the Western States, including the extent of the public surveys, locations of US Surveyor and Land Offices, the location of Land Grants in the West, Railroads and Proposed Railroads, Land Districts, and the mineral deposits known at the end of the Civil War. With the Civil War at its conclusion and the Transcontinental Railroad construction in high gear, it was time for America to compile a visual depiction which tracked the progress of the survey, settlement and commercial development of the lands west of the Mississippi in a single map.
Between 1866 and 1870, under the auspices of the General Land Office, a series of maps was produced to accompany the annual reports of the Commissioner of the General Land Office. Initially, the maps were also widely distributed outside the United States, with copies issued as separate maps, bound in covers which translated the title into French, German and other languages, providing notice to the world that the United States was exercising dominion over all its lands from coast to coast and was a ripe place for investment and immigration.
Offered here is the last edition of the map, bearing the date of 1870. By 1870, the production runs for the map were much less ambitious and of the 27 examples of the map which appeared in dealer catalogues from 1983 to 2008, the 1870 edition appears only twice (most recently in 2005 with the accompanying report in German Text), making it much scarcer than the editions of 1866-1868 (the 1869 edition is also scarce). This last edition is the last and most complete version of the GLO's first "general map," updated with the discoveries of the prior year. As such, it represents a landmark in American Cartographic history and a remarkable composite of the geographical information compiled by the Government up to the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad (the route being depicted as completed on the map), along with marvleous detail in the new mining regions in Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Utah, Idaho, & Oregon.