Colton 1856 Minnesota


“Minnesota.”  From Colton’s Atlas of America.  New York: J.H. Colton, [1855]-1856.  14 5/8 x 11 7/8.  Lithograph.  Full original hand-coloring.  Very good condition.

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In the mid-nineteenth century, the center of map publishing in America moved from Philadelphia to New York.  The J.H. Colton publishing firm played a large role in this shift.  This map shows the Minnesota shortly before statehood (1858), when it included the eastern portion of what was to become Dakota territory, one of the few separate maps of this large, transitory territory.  The map has fine detail and it is a strong example of the Colton’s successful work.  The map presents the counties in contrasting pastel shades, and includes depictions of towns, rivers, marshes, and some topography.  Of particular interest are the indications of the burgeoning transportation network in the state, with roads and railroads clearly shown, especially in the southeastern part of the state and along the Mississippi River.  An attractive map as well as a worthwhile historical document.