This item has been sold, but you can get on the Waitlist to be notified if another example becomes available, or purchase a digital scan.

1884 Holt Map of Wyoming Territory - finest commercial map of Wyoming

Holt's New Map of Wyoming. - Main View

1884 Holt Map of Wyoming Territory - finest commercial map of Wyoming


The finest commercial map of Wyoming Territory issued at the height of the Wyoming Cattle Boom.


Holt's New Map of Wyoming.
  1884 (dated)     31.5 x 34.5 in (80.01 x 87.63 cm)     1 : 760320


A near flawless 1884 second edition of Holt's important and rare separate-issue map of Wyoming Territory. Issued at the height of the Wyoming Cattle Boom (Bubble), Holt's map is considered to be one of the finest maps of Wyoming and the earliest commercially published map to show the territory in significant detail. Throughout, the level of attention to accuracy is extraordinary, with individual residences, ranches, forts, Indian reservations, mining districts, resources, railroads, stage roads, and regular roads named. To the left and right the title, vignettes of cattle and a meat processing plant pay homage to the Wyoming Territory's then bourgeoning cattle industry. In the upper left corner of the map, Yellowstone National Park is mapped with care.
The Wyoming Cattle Boom
Settlement in Wyoming began around 1841 and grew steadily through the middle and late 19th century. Emigrants traveling westward along the Oregon Trail were entranced by Wyoming's open range and mild winters - perfect for cattle ranching. In the 1860s, the Union Pacific Railroad routed through Cheyenne instead of Denver, further increasing Wyoming's appeal as a center of large-scale ranching. Wyoming historian T.A. Larson estimates that by 1886 there were 1.5 million cattle (the same as now) on the range and the industry dominated 90 percent of regional commerce. This commodious situation would not last. In the year this map was made, 1884, a terrible drought hit northern Texas and slowly crept northward hitting the Wyoming ranges 2 years later. The summer of 1886 was the driest yet recorded, and the following winter of early 1887 the coldest, with temperatures regularly reaching 60 degrees below zero. Hundreds of thousands of cattle died from the harsh conditions, an equal amount where shuttled to slaughterhouses in Chicago, driving the price of wholesale steers down to 1/2 its 1884 high. Larson estimated that Wyoming lost about 15 percent of its total herd, with ranchers in Crook and Carbon counties losing more than 25 percent. Ranching in Wyoming continued after the bubble burst, but on a much more modest scale, and it was not until present that the cattle population again aspired to pre-1886 levels.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is the first national park established in the United States and, arguably, the world. It was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in March of 1872. The park is mostly contained in northwestern Wyoming, but parts extend into adjacent Montana and Idaho. In total, Yellowstone National Park covers some 3468 square miles, encompassing thousands of acres of iconic lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the world's largest supervolcano. The volcano, which has erupted 2 - 3 times in the last several million years, remains active, leading to the park's famous hydrothermal activity, including more than half of the world geysers.
Publication History and Census
This scarce map was drawn by Frank and Fred Bond, draftsmen in the employ of the Surveyor General of the District of Wyoming. It was published by George L. Holt of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The map was lithographed and printed in New York by the firm of G.W. and C. B. Colton. There were five editions; 1883, 1884 (present example), 1885, 1886, and 1888. The present example is the 2nd state, issued in 1884, predating the creation of Fremont County. A half-sized version of the map, without the vignettes was later issued for the House of Representatives Documents of the 49th Congress (1885 - 1887)


George L. Holt (fl. c. 1867 - c. 1910) was a Wyoming druggist, businessman, and publisher based in Cheyenne, Wyoming during the second half of the 19th century. He was one of the earliest pioneers to Wyoming, arriving in Cheyenne in September of 1867. Holt ran a drugstore on Main Street, Cheyenne, upon which the entire region relied in times of need. In the 1880s he and his wife relocated to Buffalo, Wyoming, where his drugstore continued to operate until roughly 1920. Along with Peter Murray, he was also a shareholder in the 'Cross H Ranch', located just south of Buffalo. Holt was a board member of the First National Bank of Buffalo, the first such bank charted in Wyoming Territory. Holt one important map of Wyoming from 1883 to 1888, but no other known maps. He was survived by his son, Wilbur R. Holt. More by this mapmaker...

Frank Bond (1856 - 1940) was an American cartographer, draftsman, surveyor, illustrator, and politician. Born in rural Jones County, Iowa, Bond graduated from the University of Iowa. In 1772, he moved to Cheyenne Wyoming, where he worked for the Wyoming Surveyor-General's Office and later the General Land Office as a draftsman. He left this position to edit the Cheyenne Tribute and engage in local politics. Bond was elected as a member of the first Wyoming legislature. In 1900, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he held the positions of Chief of the Drafting Division and Chief Clerk at the General Land Office. While at the Land Office, Bond helped determine the borders of Yosemite National Park . As a skilled mapmaker and illustrator, Bond created numerous maps. He was also an active illustrator, painter and ornithologist, creating and preserving bird refuges throughout the country. He had a twin brother, Fred Bond, was also an important surveyor and draftsman. Learn More...

Joseph Hutchins Colton (July 5, 1800 - July 29, 1893), often publishing as J. H. Colton, was an important American map and atlas publisher active from 1833 to 1897. Colton's firm arose from humble beginnings when he moved to New York in 1831 and befriended the established engraver Samuel Stiles. He worked under Stiles as the 'Co.' in Stiles and Co. from 1833 to 1836. Colton quickly recognized an emerging market in railroad maps and immigrant guides. Not a cartographer or engraver himself, Colton's initial business practice mostly involved purchasing the copyrights of other cartographers, most notably David H. Burr, and reissuing them with updated engraving and border work. His first maps, produced in 1833, were based on earlier Burr maps and depicted New York State and New York City. Between 1833 and 1855 Colton would proceed to publish a large corpus of guidebooks and railroad maps which proved popular. In the early 1850s Colton brought his two sons, George Woolworth Colton (1827 - 1901) and Charles B. Colton (1832 - 1916), into the map business. G. W. Colton, trained as a cartographer and engraver, was particularly inspired by the idea of creating a large and detailed world atlas to compete established European firms for the U.S. market. In 1855, G.W. Colton issued volume one the impressive two volume Colton's Atlas of the World. Volume two followed a year later. Possibly because of the expense of purchasing a two-volume atlas set, the sales of the Atlas of the World did not meet Colton's expectations and so, in 1856, the firm also issued the atlas as a single volume. The maps contained in this superb work were all original engravings and most bear an 1855 copyright. All of the maps were surrounded by an attractive spiral motif border that would become a hallmark of Colton's atlas maps well into the 1880s. In 1857, the slightly smaller Colton's General Atlas replaced the Atlas of the World, which lacked the border. Most early editions of the General Atlas published from 1857 to 1859 do not have the trademark Colton spiral border, which was removed to allow the maps to fit into a smaller format volume. Their customers must have missed the border because it was reinstated in 1860 and remained in all subsequent publications of the atlas. There were also darker times ahead, in 1858 Colton was commissioned at sum of 25,000 USD by the government of Bolivia to produce and deliver 10,000 copies a large format map of that country. Although Colton completed the contract in good faith, delivering the maps at his own expense, he was never paid by Bolivia, which was at the time in the midst of a series national revolutions. Colton would spend the remainder of his days fighting with the Bolivian and Peruvian governments over this payment and in the end, after a congressional intervention, received as much as 100,000 USD in compensation. Nonetheless, at the time it must have been a disastrous blow. J. H. Colton and Company is listed as one of New York's failed companies in the postal record of 1859. It must have been this that led Colton into the arms of Alvin Jewett Johnson and Ross C. Browning. The 1859 edition of Colton's General Atlas lists Johnson and Browning as the 'Successor's to J. H. Colton' suggesting an outright buyout, but given that both companies continued to publish separately, the reality is likely more complex. Whatever the case may have been, this arrangement gave Johnson and Browning access to many of Colton's map plates and gave birth to Johnson's New Illustrated (Steel Plate) Family Atlas. The Johnson's Atlas was published parallel to Colton's atlas well in to the 1880s. The Colton firm itself subsequently published several other atlases including an Atlas of America, the Illustrated Cabinet Atlas, the Octavo Atlas of the Union, and Colton's Quarto Atlas of the World. They also published a large corpus of wall maps, pocket maps, and guides. The last known publications of the Colton firm date to 1897 and include a map and a view, both issued in association with the Merchant's Association of New York. Alice M. Colton married August R. Ohman (May 3, 1859 - April 22, 1934) on January 5, 1897. In 1898, Ohman joined the Colton firm, which continued to publish as Colton, Ohman & Co. until 1901. Learn More...


Very good. Original fold lines exhibit some wear. Accompanies original gilt stamped binder.


Rumsey 4069.001. OCLC 55796517. Wheat, C. I., Mapping of the Transmississippi West, 1540 – 1861, 1302. Streeter 2254. Colton, S., A catalogue of The Everett D. Graff collection of Western Americana, 1944. Phillips (maps) 1128 (1883 edition). Library of Congress, G4260 1883 .B6.