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1860 Johnson Map of Nebraska Territory and Kansas

Johnson's Nebraska and Kansas. - Main View

1860 Johnson Map of Nebraska Territory and Kansas


Nebraska Territory in its fullest expression.



Johnson's Nebraska and Kansas.
  1860 (undated)     13.25 x 16 in (33.655 x 40.64 cm)     1 : 4942080


A beautiful 1860 first edition example of Johnson's map of Nebraska and Kansas. This is one of the rarest and most desirable of all Johnson atlas maps. Like most of Johnson's state maps, this map was derived from the work of J. H. Colton, who derived his atlas maps from an earlier wall map of North America produced by Colton and D. Griffing Johnson. The map details the regions between the Great Salt Lake and Iowa and between the Canadian Border and New Mexico, covering territorial Kansas and Nebraska as well as parts of adjacent Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Utah.
Nebraska Territory at its Fullest
This is one of the few maps to focus in the vast and ephemeral Nebraska in its full territorial glory extending from the 40th parallel to the border British America or Canada. This massive Nebraska territory, incorporated in May of 1854, included most of the northern Great Plains, much of the Missouri River Basin, and the eastern part of the northern Rocky Mountains. By 1861, a year after this map appeared, Nebraska Territory would be significantly reduced by the formations of Colorado and Dakota Territories.
American Indian Lands
When this map was printed Nebraska and Kansas had only recently been opened for settlement. Consequently, it excited considerable interest as both a place of resettlement and a dangerous segment of the transcontinental emigrant routes. At the time, this area was populated by diverse and powerful Indian nations including the Comanche, Kioways, Arapahoes, Cheyennes, Sioux, Dacotahs, Poncas, Pawnee's, Omahas, Missouris, Delawares, Shawnee, Osages, Crow, Black, and others - whose territorial claims Johnson attempts to note.
Proposed Pacific Railroad Routes
Johnson also identifies three of the routes proposed for the Pacific Railroad, the Stevens Route far to the north, the Beswith Route running through the center of the map, and the Gunnison Route passing through Kansas. Settlement of this region would soon lead to the discovery of gold around Pike's Peak and the 1858-1859 Colorado Gold Rush.

This map is hand colored in pink, green, yellow and blue pastels to define state and territorial boundaries. Surrounded by Johnson's typical strapwork border used from 1860 to 1864. Issued for the 1860 first edition of Johnson's Family Atlas.


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