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Item #36093 Iowa. General Land Office - C. ROESER UNITED STATES, G. L. O., Principal Draughtsman.


Washington, D.C. General Land Office [printed in New York by Julius Bien, lithographer], 1878-1879. Color-lithographed map. Sheet size: Approx. 27 x 33 7/8 inches.

A very detailed colour-coded map of Iowa showing towns, rivers, roads, railroads, among other landmarks.

The General Land Office was founded in 1812 as an independent government agency responsible for the surveying and disposition of land in the public domain. Prior to the Civil War, much of the attention of the GLO was fixed on the settlement of such land east of the Mississippi which had resulted from military bounties and cessations by the original thirteen states. The end of the Civil War, the Homestead Act, the completion of the Trans-Continental Railroad and the military campaigns against Native Americans in the West (with resulting treaties that "transferred" land ownership to the United States), together engendered an incredible increase in westward settement and expansion. Newly-admitted states and newly-created territories west of the Mississippi were primed for settlement. Between 1866 and 1876, the GLO surveyed over 200,000,000 acres of land in the public domain for settlement in New Mexico, Idaho, Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and elsewhere. As the official surveyors of these remote areas, and with access to military information, the maps of the General Land Office were far and away the most accurate and detailed of the western states and territories published to that time. Indeed, these large-scale official maps became the basis for future maps of those regions by commercial cartographers. In 1876, the GLO, headed by S.S. Burdett, published an atlas containing 18 maps (on 19 sheets, California being on two sheets), showing the regions of the United States with newly surveyed and plotted public lands. Although the GLO had issued individual maps of the United States to accompany their annual report in 1866 and 1868, the 1876 Geographical and Political Atlas of the States and Territories (sometimes referred to as The Centennial Atlas) was the first atlas to be published by the department. The incredible growth of settlement in the west, coupled with new exploration and surveying in the short time following the 1876 atlas, engendered a second atlas to be published by the General Land Office between 1878 and 1879 [i.e. where the present example is from]. Like the Centennial Atlas, the maps were composed by the chief draughtsman in the GLO, Charles Roeser, Jr. The maps were done on a large scale and are consequently very detailed. Chromolithographed by Julius Bien, each map is colour coded to clearly depict land plotted for settlement, the locations of the general land offices, Indian territories, county divisions, towns, rivers, roads, railroads, etc. Furthermore, like The Centennial Atlas, the Atlas of the States and Territories over which Land Surveys have been Extended was produced for official purposes and distributed to members of Congress, government agencies, each land office, the post office, the railroads, and other large entities and was not available for public distribution. The limited distribution of this atlas, coupled with its large size, accounts for its great rarity today; very few copies are known to be in private hands and no copies were in the famed collections of Rumsey, Streeter or Graff.

Phillips, Atlases 1405.

Item #36093

Price: $800.00