Colorado and the Northern Rockies, 1859


Theodor Ettling.  “United States (North West Sheet).”  Supplement to Weekly Dispatch of Sunday.  London: Weekly Dispatch, September 25, 1859.  16 3/4 x 11 3/4.  Lithograph by T. Ettling.  Printed by Day & Son.  Original outline color.  Very good condition.

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A rare map showing the Northern Rockies and the Front Range at the time of the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush.  The Weekly Dispatch was a London newspaper which began to issue atlas sheets about this time, “some portion of a delineation, the fullest, the most complete and accurate which the geographical science at their command could furnish.”  Once all the sheets were completed in 1863, the atlas was issued as a bound volume.  This particular sheet was issued as a Supplement to the “Weekly Dispatch of Sunday” on September 25, 1859, as shown in a blind stamp in the upper left corner.  The map shows from the Spanish Peaks in the south to just over the Canadian border in the north, and from just east of Fort Kearney to the central Rocky Mountains.

The map was drawn by Theodor Ettling, a Dutch draughtsman, engraver and lithographer who worked first in Amsterdam, later moving to London where he produced maps for some of the British papers of the mid-nineteenth century.  He seems to have made quite a study of North America, including issuing a map of “Opper Californie” in 1849.  The map shows the area after the Kansas-Nebraska Act, with today’s Colorado divided into its original parts of Utah, New Mexico, Kansas and Nebraska.  Topography is shown, including major peaks along the Front Range, and the junction of the Platte River and Cherry Creek is depicted, though no indication is given of the Gold Rush settlements.  Early exploration routes are indicated and forts such as Bent’s and St. Vrains are also indicated and named.