“Colton’s Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia.” New York: G.W. & C.B. Colton, 1867. 16 3/4 x 26 3/4. Lithograph. Full original hand-coloring. Very good condition.
An excellent map of the northwestern part of the United States, along with southern British Columbia. This area was going through many changes in the 1860s because of the increase settlement in the northwest, but also because of the Idaho Gold Rush (1860-63). From 1846, all of the United States west of the Rockies and north of California had consisted of the Oregon Territory and then, in 1854, of Oregon and Washington Territories. In 1863, Idaho Territory was created in the eastern part, but also including what had been the western part of the Dakota Territory to the east of the Continental Divide. This territory was too large for administrative purposes, so a year later, in 1864, the northeastern part of this large Idaho Territory was broken off as the Montana Territory, as shown on this map just three years later. At that time, what had been the southeastern part of Idaho (essentially present-day Wyoming) was attached back to Dakota Territory, until it became its own territory in 1868. This map is one of the first to show Wyoming as its own territory, a year before the official creation of Wyoming! This “jumping the gun” by publishers was not unusual, as fierce competition often spurred the companies to try and be the first to show new developments.
This region was a “happening” place in the 1860s and this map includes an impressive amount of information. The settlement and development of Oregon and Washington east of the Cascades is nicely illustrated, while in the eastern parts mostly Indian tribes are shown. The gold rush settlements and development in Idaho and Montana are clearly depicted, as are forts and Indian tribes. With the movement of prospectors and settlers throughout the region shown, it is particularly interesting that the map includes many of the early trails, including “Emigrant Road,” “Pony Express Route,” the “Overland Mail Route,” and “Cherokee Trail,” as well as routes of early explorers such as Fremont, Stansbury, and Mullen.