Gilpin,W./ Geologic map North America / Virtual Map Fair


Description: William Gilpin. "Map of North American delineating the Mountain System and its Details, The Great Calcareous Plain as a Unit, and the continuous encircling Maritime Selvage." From Mission of the American People. Philadelphia, 1873. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

A unique map of North America by William Gilpin, created to promote the notion of the economic development of the central part of the United States. William Gilpin (1815-1894) had an early career with the U.S. Army during the Indian Wars in the Southeast and then in Missouri and to the west. Independence, Missouri, was once Gilpintown when he lived there. Politically associated with Sen. Thomas Hart Benton and John C. Fremont he changed from a western Democrat to a Republican in 1856. When Colorado became a territory in 1861, Lincoln made him the first governor. Subsequent land speculation in Colorado and New Mexico made him a wealthy man, and his writings such as Mission of the American People, for which this map was designed, made him a prominent proponent of Manifest Destiny.

He believed first that it was the temperate climes of the world which were the central location of future economic development, and he say the United States as uniquely situated along that band to take advantages of trade with both East and West. He firmly believed in America's placement at the core of future greatness. The center point of this potential development, graphically shown on this map with concentric circles, was centered on the area around Topeka Kansas. Gilpin believed that a trans-continental railroad though this area would benefit Americans as no others, especially those in the great plains. Gilpin was one of the first to realize the potential of this region. $325
  • Number: 1760021
  • Dealer: The Philadelphia Print Shop USA

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