One of the earliest printed maps to show the Territory of Wyoming.
Rare separately published map of the United States, published by G.W. and C.B. Colton in 1868.
The map focuses on the topographical features of the Western United States, as well a railroads, roads, rivers, forts, towns and places of interest.
Colton's 1868 map of the United States is the first edition of this new format map. By this date, the majority of the Western Territories were established, with the exception of the division of the two Dakotas, with Wyoming having gained Territorial status in July of 1868.
The map shows the course of the Northern Pacific Railroad along its original proposed route, pre-dating the start of construction of the line by 2 years. The eastern terminus of the Northern Pacific is here shown in Duluth, Minnesota.
Wide swaths of the West are still largely unknown, with 1868 being the mid point of the period of the Indian Campaigns in the Plains under the command of General Phillip Sherman, which would lead to the wider exploration and settlement of the upper plains and the relocation of Native Americans from vast swaths of lands in the Transmississippi West.
The 1868 edition of this map is apparently quite rare. While we have located several examples of the 1869 and later editions in the same size and format, this is the only example of the 1868 edition we have ever seen.
G. W. & C. B. Colton was a prominent family firm of mapmakers who were leaders in the American map trade in the nineteenth century. The business was founded by Joseph Hutchins Colton (1800-1893) who bought copyrights to existing maps and oversaw their production. By the 1850s, their output had expanded to include original maps, guidebooks, atlases, and railroad maps. Joseph was succeeded by his sons, George Woolworth (1827-1901) and Charles B. Colton (1831-1916). The firm was renamed G. W. & C. B. Colton as a result. George is thought responsible for their best-known work, the General Atlas, originally published under that title in 1857. In 1898, the brothers merged their business and the firm became Colton, Ohman, & Co., which operated until 1901, when August R. Ohman took on the business alone and dropped the Colton name.