G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co., Colton’s Map of the United States of America, 1866. Map #93642. Archives and Records Program, Texas General Land Office, Austin, TX.

Colton’s Map of the United States of America, 1866

Detail of Title block, ornate border, and one shipping vessel

J.H. Colton, one of the most notable mapmakers of the nineteenth century, drew this beautiful map of the United States.

It was issued as a pocket map, folded and bound between covers, and includes an ornate border, hand water-coloring, engravings of the U.S. Capitol and two ships to designate the trade routes in the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.

Detail showing the United States Capitol Building.

Colton’s maps are easily distinguishable by their ornate borders.

The varying typeface used to label the states suggests that this was a proof edition or very short-lived ephemeral production.

Detail showing inconsistent font for state names.

This is an atypical map of Colton’s, whose maps generally extended from the Atlantic Ocean to the Plains, not from coast-to-coast, but it was likely meant to illustrate the unification of the country after the Civil War.

Detail showing the state of Texas.

Colton identified the major cities, geographic features, and military forts in Texas, as well as roads and rail lines between cities.

The “German Settlements” are identified in the area north of Fredericksburg.

A reproduction of this map can be purchased on the GLO website.