Colton's Route-Book Through the United States of America and the Canadas, 1850.

Colton's Route-Book Through the United States of America and the Canadas: containing the Routes and Distances on the Great Lines of Travel, By Railroads, Stage Roads, Canals, Lakes and Rivers. Accompanied with A Large and Accurate Map.
New York, 1850
hand colored lithograph
Unrestored original condition
: bright untouched original hand colored lithograph, folding map of the United States, on thin paper, one mended 4" separation where map attaches to book. Book cover has one reddish stain, otherwise cover and text in good condition. Gold printed cloth cover with decorative border and scene of train crossing a bridge and steamboat below. Prior owner's pencil manuscript name "A.D. Wood, Lafayette Ind." written softly into inside front cover.
29.75 × 26 inches
Sale Status: 
For Sale

This 1850, first edition Colton's Route-Book Through the United States is a book listing all canals, stage roads and rail connections accompanied by several finely detailed maps folded into the book for travelers to see the numbered routes described in the book. The book is divided into sections, from the East Coast to the West Coast.  The train routes between major cities and their respective train stations are named with a separate column showing the route number appearing on the map.  A route guide to California and Utah was novel in 1850. While this section of Colton's Route-Book  for Utah and California has the fewest entries, these town and route names are of significant historical note as part of the Westward expansion to the Pacific Coast and the completion of America's transcontinental railroad system.

The book contains a Table of United States and Foreign Moneys in the form of gold coins and silver coins.  There is a list of canals because canals offered an important means of travel. At the end of the book is the publisher J.H. Colton's catalogue of titles, descriptions and prices for Colton wall maps and travel guides as of 1850 for the westward bound immigrant, businessman or tourist. This catalogue is also today a useful bibliography of early Colton works up to 1850 for antique map collectors.

Folded into the back of the book is the "Large and Accurate Map" of the title,  showing the United States of America, a large inset map of New England and Eastern New York, an inset map of the United States and Central America and inset map of the Isthmus of Panama Showing the Route of Travel Between Chagres & Panama. The brightly colored map has a decorative, floral border. The map does not show the western half of the United States.  Nonetheless, when you hold this book in your hands, you have a definitive travel route guide with the most up to date information available as of 1850 to visit the entire United States.

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