Pike’s Peak Gold Rush Promotional Cartography — 1859
46. [MAP]. CHICAGO, BURLINGTON AND QUINCY RAILROAD COMPANY. Map of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy R.R. with Its Connections and the Route to the Gold Regions [in map image left of title] J. W. Orr, Sc. N.p., n.d. [New York, 1859]. Lithograph map. Neat line to neat line: 11.5 x 47.5 cm. Creased where formerly folded and slightly age-toned, but generally fine.
First printing. This map appeared in an exceedingly rare Pike’s Peak Gold Rush pamphlet: 1859. Traveler’s Guide to the New Gold Mines in Kansas and Nebraska, with a Description of the Shortest and Most Direct Route from Chicago to Pike’s Peak & Cherry Creek Gold Mines (New York: Polhemus & de Vries, 1859; reprinted by Nolie Mumey in 1947). For references to the pamphlet, see: Graff 4182 (defective copy). Hafen, Pike’s Peak Gold Rush Guidebooks of 1859 #15 (pp. 291-293). Plains & Rockies IV:326. Sabin 15054. Streeter Sale 2134: “This guide, obviously sponsored by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R. R., advocates the northern route via Fort Kearney to the Gold Regions. One branch of the route runs from the Platte’s mouth opposite the stage coach terminus of the Burlington & Missouri R. R. on the east bank of the Missouri south of Council Bluffs at Pacific City, Iowa; the other begins opposite St. Joseph, Missouri, the terminus of the Hannibal and St. Joseph R. R. that in turn connected with the C.B. & Q. near Quincy, Ill.TWS.” Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 969 & Vol. 4, p. 167 (stating in error the map appeared in Complete Guide to the Gold Mines in Kansas and Nebraska..., which had no map; see Plains & Rockies IV:325 & Hafen 3): “The Platte River route [is] accented, turning off from the Oregon Trail at the Junction of the North and South Platte and following the latter stream to the ‘Gold Region.’ Montana and Auraria are named, along with Fort Lancaster and St. Vrain’s Fort to the north. No author is named but this pamphlet was unquestionably issued as a railroad promotion, for the ‘Great Western and Michigan Central’ and especially for the ‘Chicago, Burlington and Quincy.’”
This unpretentious map, like others rushed to print in the excitement of the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush of 1859, shows very little of the gold mines, but rather the routes to the region. For more on the genre, see: William Wyckoff's “Mapping the 'New' El Dorado: Pikes Peak Promotional Cartography, 1859-1861” in Imago Mundi, Vol. 40 (1988), pp. 32-45. The Gold Region site depicted on this map is today West Denver. It is regrettable not to offer pamphlet and map together, but it is possible the present map will be as close as one may get to acquiring the original of either. The only sale we trace of pamphlet and map in recent decades is the Streeter copy (1968 @ $900). ($2,500-5,000)
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