1855 Public Survey Land Office Map of Kansas and Nebraska
Description: This is an attractive example of the 1855 public survey map of Kansas and Nebraska prepared by J. Calhoun, Surveyor General of Kansas and Nebraska. This map covers the platted portions of eastern Nebraska and Kansas. Most of the significant survey work is limited to the lands to the west of the Missouri River, with hundreds of square plats labeled with an 'S' to denote that they had been fully surveyed or a 'T' to suggested that they were only superficially surveyed. This survey also identifies various Indian lands and reservations, including those assigned to the Sacs & Foxes, Halfbreeds, Delawares, Kickapoos, and others. Fort Leavenworth, the traditional starting point for most overland routes westward, as well as the villages of Wyandott and Atchinson, are also noted. This map was printed by A. Hoen & Co. and prepared by the Surveyor General.
Date: 1855 (dated)
Source: Maps and Views to Accompany Message and Documents 1855-56, (Washington: Nicholson) 1856.
Cartographer: The General Land Office, created in 1812, was an independent agency charged with the administration and sale of public lands of the western territories of the United States under the Preemption Act of 1841 and the Homestead Act of 1862. During a time of frenetic energy and rapid westward expansion, the Land Office oversaw the surveying, platting, mapping and eventually the sale of much of the Western United States and Florida. The structural layout of the western United States that we see today, and many of their district and county divisions, are direct result of the early surveying work of the General Land Office. More importantly, as a branch of the Federal Government in Washington D.C. and the only agency able to legally sell and administer public lands in the western territories of the United States, the General Land Office played a pivotal role in consolidating power away from the original states and into the hand of the centralized federal government. The General Land Office was absorbed into the Department of Interior in 1849 and in 1946 merged with the United States Grazing Service to become the Bureau of Land Management. Today the Bureau of Land Management administers the roughly 246 million acres of public land remaining under federal ownership. Click here for a list of rare maps from The General Land Office.
Cartographer: August Hoen & Company (fl. c. 1840 - 1981) was a Baltimore based engraving and lithography firm active in the middle part of the 19th century. A. Hoen & Co. was originally founded by Edward Weber under the name "E. Weber & Company". Weber died in the early 1850s and his company was taken over by German immigrant August Hoen (?? - 1886) and his brothers, Henry and Ernest Hoen. As general interest lithographers, the Hoen firm's corpus includes posters, cigar boxes, sheet music covers, and posters as well as maps. They are best known for their pioneering multi-color lithographic techniques. After the death of August Hoen, the business passed on to his son, Albert Hoen. Another son, Earnest A. Hoen, moved to Richmond, Virginia and opened a branch of the firm there where he was granted a charter to produce Civil War era Confederate Currency. Their contributions to the cartographic field are generally in association with engraving and printing work done for Jacob Monk and the U.S. Geological Survey. The Hoen family maintained an active interest in the firm for the next 100 years or so until it finally filed for bankruptcy in 1981. Click here for a list of maps by A. Hoen and Co.
Size: Printed area measures 12.5 x 20.5 inches (31.75 x 52.07 centimeters)
Condition: Very good. Original fold lines visible. Minor discoloration over fold lines. Blank on verso. Professionally flattened and backed with archival Japanese tissue.
Code: KansasNebraska-publicsurvey-1855 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)