New Hampshire, Colton Pocket Map, 1854

New Hampshire, Colton Pocket map,1854
J. H. Colton, Author
New York, 1854
engraved ?, colored
Unrestored original condition
Very good original condition, bright clear colors, map shows almost no signs of age or use, imprint is crisp and beautiful.
15.75 × 19 inches
Sale Status: 
For Sale

This rare Colton pocket map New Hampshire, copyright 1854  presents a compact and detailed description of New Hampshire at the beginning of railroad expansion, industrialization and the growth of population in New Hampshire's major cities and regions to the north due to railroad access. To make the point, Colton's map presents county population statistics for 1840 and 1850 to quantify the influx of new inhabitants and the considerable growth of households in New Hampshire. According to Cobb, this  map is only Colton's second mapping of New Hampshire and its railroads after the 1853 Colton's Railroad and Township Map of New England with portions of New York. As with all Colton maps, the New Hampshire map provides finely detailed geography including the White Mountains range, and specifically the height of Mt. Washington at 6,300 feet, the headwaters of the Connecticut River in the north tip of New Hampshire, comprehensive mapping of towns and travel connections along with decorative colors, fine lettering and  an intricate scrolled, floral border that in this instance is also hand colored. The format of the map differs from that of Colton's map New Hampshire in his first edition of the American Atlas, as that version lacks census data, has a simpler scrolled border and also does not record the height of Mt. Washington. This map also differs from Colton's portrayal of New Hampshire in his 1854 large wall map of the United States that does not give the height of Mt. Washington (see Rumsey).

This map is an exact match to the example at Dartmouth College, Rauner Special Collection Library that in its photograph appears to be varnished, is not attached to a pocket cover but nonetheless is the same imprint as the example here, showing on the map New Hampshire county census figures for 1840 and 1850,  the height of Mt. Washington, exhibiting the unusual floral and intertwined decorative border as well as the copyright notice dated 1854 with the peculiarly thick inking of the "4" in "1854". The measurements given here are for the map sheet size. It would appear the measurements given for the Dartmouth College copy are the slightly smaller map dimensions. The imprint appears to be a first edition.

The inside of the pocket map book cover bears the name and address of J.H. Colton & Co. in New York.  The inside  cover advertises J.H. Colton & Co.'s  other publications and atlases, including "Guide Books and maps for Travelers in Great Variety" and under the heading "New Atlases" Colton's first American Atlas.  This New Hampshire pocket map was intended for the train traveler who might board a direct train to Concord or Manchester or Dover, New Hampshire and thence north to the White Mountains. The map itself is small enough to unfold on one's lap while in transit. The pocket covers measure a compact 5" x 3 1/2" and readily fit in a gentleman's pocket or a lady's purse. Today the comparison in scale might be an iphone, certainly a robust device but nonetheless of little use without an electrical recharge and cell coverage. By contrast, J.H. Colton's 1854 pocket map New Hampshire will get you there, up the mountain and down the other side for the entirety of your journey in even the most remote, unwired corner of  New Hampshire.

Cobb also lists a Colton New Hampshire pocket map dated 1855 as no. 223 and offers the same description of the map but for the publication date.

Cobb 216.

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