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Archive for the ‘Chilson Collection’ Category

The Herman P. Chilson Collection of Western Americana, located in the Archives and Special Collections, includes books, journals, maps, pamphlets, and other print materials relating to local histories, South Dakota history, Native American cultures, and United States western expansion. The Chilson Collection is cataloged and information about items in the collection can be found using the library catalog.

Learning about birds and watching birds was one of Mr. Chilson’s many interests, and he included ornithology books in his 1979 donation to the University of South Dakota. One of the ornithology books is The Passenger Pigeon, written by W.B. Mershon and published in 1907. This book includes many contemporary accounts of the passenger pigeon and its decline.

September 1, 2014 will be the 100th anniversary of the death of Martha, the last passenger pigeon (Discover September 2014, p. 70).

Read Full Post »

This cartobibliography consists of eighteenth and nineteenth century maps housed in the Archives and Special Collections Department of the University Libraries at the University of South Dakota. The maps selected focus on the Northern Great Plains with special emphasis on South Dakota. Also included are select maps of Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Iowa, and Nebraska. Entries are arranged chronologically by year of publication and then by map title. Most entries include publisher, date of publication if known, scale and dimensions of the map. For call numbers, consult the University Libraries online catalog. This cartobibliography compiled by John Van Balen, circa 2000.

Over the next 2 or 3 years, I want to play around with this cartobibliograpy whenever I need a reward for completing other tasks at work. I hope to add call numbers and to correct typographical or formatting errors that may have crept into the list over the years. Let me know if you see anything I should add, delete or change.
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1732

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Title: Carte de la Louisiane et du Cours du Mississippi. Dressee sur un grand nombre de memoirs entra. Sur ceux de M. Le Maire par Guill. Delisle de L’Academie R. des Scien. Amsterdam.

Map size: 67 x 53 cm. Scale 1 inch = 186 miles.

Description: Map draws on the explorations of LeSeur, LaSalle, Marquette and Jolliet. Depicts the lower Mississippi River and correctly shows the Missouri flowing from the northwest south to the Mississippi. The Missouri River is labeled the Pekitanoui, Riviere Large and the Missouri and shows locations some of Indian tribes.
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1772

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Title: An Accurate Map of North America, Describing and Distinguishing the British and Spanish Dominions on this Great Continent. According to the Definitive Treaty Concluded at Paris 10 Feb., 1763. Also all the West India Islands Belong to, and Professed by the Several European Princes and States (on separate sheet, see entry 2) By Eman[uel] Bowen, Geographer, and Engraved by John Gibson. Printed for Robert Sayer, 1772.

Map size: 116 x 56 cm. Scale: British statue miles 69 ½ to a degree.

Insert map: “A particular map of Baffin and Hudson’s Bay.”

Scale: British statute miles 69½ to a degree.

Description: Physical relief symbolized and place names provided. The region that the state of South Dakota occupies is described as the land of the “Maha & Tin Tons, the Wandering Indians.” Roads, fortifications, cities, and the names of various Indian tribes provided.

Statements on map: Articles IV, V Vi, VII, XVII, XVIII, IV, of the Treaty of Paris
(1763).
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Title: A map of “All the West Indian Islands Belonging to, and Professed by the Several European Princes and States.” By Eman Bowen, Geographer, and Engraved by John Gibson. Printed for Robert Sayer. 1772.

Map size: 116 x 56 cm. Scale: British statute miles 69½ to a degree.

Inset map: Sea of California.

Description: Depicts the routes of the Spanish Gallons, trading routes, Indian villages, provincial towns, forts, roads, mines and salt pits. Map is colored and depicts Spanish possessions in yellow, British possessions light brown and French possessions in light blue.

Statements on map: Articles XX, of the Treaty of Paris (1763).
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1802

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Title: Carte du Missouri Levee’ on Rectifiee dans toute son Etendue. Par Fois. Perrin du Lac.

Map size: 63 x 52 cm. Perspective map not drawn to scale.

Description: This map is published in Voyage dans les deux Louisianes, et Chex les Nations Sauvages du Missouri… 1805. Perrin du Lac’s map incorporates the explorations of John Evans and James Mackay. Map shows the Missouri River from St. Louis to the 47th latitude.
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Title: North America. Aaron Arrowsmith. [s.n.] [s.l.] [1802?].

Map Size: 39 x 24 cm. Scale ca 1:35,000,000.

Description: This map was originally appended to a book, title unknown. The Missouri River is represented and in the Dakota region “villages of the tall Indians and Manders” are shown.
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1807

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Title: Charte von Nord America Nach den Neuesten Entoeckungen und Zuveriafsigsten Astronomischen Ortsbestimmungen Entworfen. Augsburg, by Joh [ann] Walch, 1807.

Map Size: 56 x 49 cm. Scale: none given.

Description: Shows locations of Indian tribes, rivers and lakes for the Great Plains region.
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1814

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Title: A Map of Lewis and Clark’s Track, Across the Western Portion of North America from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean; by order of the Executive of the United States, in 1804 & 5 & 6. Copied by Samuel Lewis from the original drawing by Wm. Clark. Reproduced from the original by the Lithotype Printing Co., New York. 1893.

Map Size: 67 x 30 cm. Scale: ca. 1:4,300,000.

Description: Shows the following features: locations of Indian tribes, including their populations; the use of Indian words to name some features; relief shown by hachures.
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1843

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Title: Hydrographical Basin of the Upper Mississippi River from Astronomical and Barometrical Observations Surveys and Information. By J. N. Nicollet. In the years 1836, 37, 38, 39, and 40; assisted in 1838, 39 & 40 by Lieut. J. C. Fremont, of the Corps of Topographical Engineers…. Authorized by the War Department.

Map Size: 92 x 79 cm. Map Scale: ca. 20 miles to the inch.

Description: Relief shown by hachures, includes many geographical names. Accompanied Senate Document 237, and House Document 52, Reports of the 28th Congress, 2nd Session, 1845. Nicollet’s Report (Senate Document 237), left unfinished due to his death, and describes the geography of the region.
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1846

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Title: Map of Oregon, California, New Mexico, N.W. Texas and Proposed Territory of Ne-Bras-Ka. By Rufus B. Sage. Lithographed by f. Michelin, New York. 1846.

Map size: 69.5 x 49 cm.

Description: Line symbol with name alongside indicates trails. Map presents the locations of battles (Mexican-American War), Indian tribes and major settlements. Relief is indicated by hachures.
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Title: Polynesia or Islands of the Pacific Ocean

Publisher: Charles Knight & Company, London. Engraved by J. & C. Walker. 1846

Sheet size: 33 x 43.5 cm. Scale: Maps have various scales.

Description: Colored map with line border. Physical relief indicated by hachures. Island groups represented: Norfolk, Admiralty & Salomon Islands, Cooks, Pitcairn, Juan Fernandez, The Low Archipelago, Fiji and Tonga, Tonga-Tabou, Samoa, Sandwhich (Hawaiian_ Galapagos, Santa Cruz, Vankikoro, Marshall, Orgia, Ladrones, Gilbert, and Pelew Islands. Included explanatory statements, cultural and physical features.
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1848

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Title: Map of Oregon and Upper California from the Surveys of John Charles Fremont and Other Authorities. Drawn by Charles Press under the Order of the Senate of the United States. Lithographed by E. Weber & Co. Baltimore. 1848.

Map Size: 75 x 91 cm. Scale: 1:3,000,000.

Description: Relief represented by hachures. Covers the area from the Rocky Mountains west. Political boundaries tinted light green. Fremonts route indicated by dotted line symbol. Settlements and locations for Indian tribes depicted. Elevations above sea level shown. Map from Geographical Memoir upon Upper California… 1848 (30th Cong., 1st sess., Sen. Misc. Doc. 148, Serial 511).

Diagram included with the map “Profile of the Traveling Route from the South Pass of the Rocky Mountains to the Bay of San Francisco.”
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1850

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Title: Map of Minnesota Territory. By J.H. Young. Published by Cowperthwait, Desilver & Bulter, Philadelphia. 1850.

Map Size: 43 x 34 cm. Scale 1:2,450,000.

Description: A detailed multicolored map with a decorative green border, which shows all of the Minnesota Territory which included parts of Dakota west to the Missouri River. The lands ceded by the Sioux Indians in 1851 are outlined in red. Physical relief is symbolized by hachures. Explanatory annotations are included. Map detached from atlas and page number 36.
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1851

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Title: The United States. Map drawn and engraved by J. Rapkin. Illustrations by J. Merchant and engraved by J. Rogers. Printed by John Tallis, London; New York. 1851.

Map Size: 37 x 26 cm. Scale: [1" = 300 miles, ca. 1:12,500,000].

Description: Ornamental line border with portraits. Colored state and territory boundary lines. Line symbols represent relief, major railroads, etc. Nebraska and parts of the Missouri Territory depicted. Representations of Excelsior, Washington Monument, and scenes with Indians. Map from Tallis’s Illustrated Atlas, and Modern History of the World, Geographical, Political, Commercial, and Statistical.
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1854

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Title: Map of the Proposed Northern Route for a Railroad to the Pacific. Edwin F. Johns, C.E., lithographed by E.C. Kellogg & company, Hartford, Conn., 2nd ed. 1854.

Map Size: 55 x 81 cm. Scale: [1" = 100 miles, ca. 1:6,750,000].

Description: Outline map using line symbol for the proposed route for the Northern Pacific Railroad, as well as selected distances between places by dashed line. Dotted line symbol shows selected trails with name alongside. Elevations above sea level are shown. Population data is printed beneath state and territorial names.
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1855

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Title: Nebraska and Kanzas. Published by J [ospeh] H[utchins] Colton and Company, New York. 1855 [1856].

Map Size: 46.5 x 39 cm. Scale: [1" = 80 miles, ca. 1:7,000,000].

Description: Political division colored; Nebraska light yellow, Minnesota light gray, Kansas light orange. Territorial and state borders are outlines in red, except for the Minnesota-Wisconsin border which appears to have been overlooked. Sargents Bluff is indicated as a settlement located between the Floyd River and Omaha Creek. Sioux City is indicated. Physical relief is indicated by hachure. Map removed from Colton’s Atlas of the World, page number 50.
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Title: A New map of Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, and Indian Territories. Published by Charles Desilver, Philadelphia. 1856.

Map Size: 44 x 34.5 cm. Scale: 2 ¾” =300 miles, ca. 1:7,000,000.

Description: Colored map with decorative vine and leaf border. Railroads and trails are indicated by line symbols. Descriptive statements are included on this map, i.e., “Great Indian Treaty Ground,” “fossil turtles.” Exploration routes are indicated with the explorers name alongside. Organized counties and Indian reserves are indicated by line symbol and name. Relief is indicated by hachures.
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Title: Reconnoissance’s in the Dakota Country by G[ouverneur] K. Warren. Lieut: Top. Eng. U.S. A. Made while attached to the staff of Bvt. Brig. Gen. Harney, Commander of the Sioux Expedition in 1855. Assisted by Mr. Paul Carrey on the route from Fort Pierre to Fort Kearney, and by the voluntary services of Lieut. G.T. Baleh, U.S. Ord: on the route from Fort Laramie to Fort Pierre. The sketch from Fort Pierre to the mouth of the White River is by Lieut: D. Curtis 2nd Inf. This map contains in addition, all authentic explorations within the limits comprised by it. They are those of Major Long, Nicollet, Captain Fremont and Capt. Stansbury. Lithographed by P.S. Duval & Company, Philad. 1855.

Map Size: 157 x 94 cm. Scale: 1:600,000.

Description: Relief indicated by hachures. Map shows settlements, Indian place names and exploration routes. Dates and places of exploration encampments indicated.
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Title: Section of Map compiled in P.R.R. Office with additions designed to illustrate Lt. Warrens Report of Military Reconnaissance’s in the Dacota County. Compiled by Lt. Warren, T.E. Drawn by E. Freyhold. Lithographed by P.S. Duval & Company, Philadelphia.

Map Size: 48 x 38 cm. Scale: 1:300,000.

Description: This map was prepared b the Office of Pacific Railroad Explorations and Surveys and draws upon the surveys undertaken for a railroad line across the Dakotas. Map shows the tracks of exploration expeditions. Shows locations of Indian tribes.
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Title: Sketch of the Public Surveys in Kansas and Nebraska. (No.1) Lithographed by A. Hoen & Company, Baltimore. From report of the Commissioner of the General Land Office. 1856. 34th Cong: 1st Sess., Senate Ex. Doc. No. 1,. 1855.

Map Size: 33 x 55.5 cm. Scale: 1″ = 18 miles.

Description: Land survey of townships and Indian Lands and drainage. Shows Indian reservations: Pottawattamies, Delawares, Sacs & Foxes, and Kickapoos. Map depicts the progress of public land surveys in Nebraska and northeastern Kansas.
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1857

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Title: Map of the United States and their Territories between the Mississippi and the Pacific Ocean and Part of Mexico. Compiled from surveys made under the order of W. H. Emory, Major 1st Cavalry, U.S. Commissioner. And from maps of the Pacific Rail Road, General Land Office, and the Coast Survey. Projected and drawn by Lt. N. Milchler, Top. Engrs., by Thomas Jekyll, C.E. 1857-1858. Selmar Siebert’s Engraving and Printing Establishment.

Map Size: 57 x 50 cm. Scale: 1:6,000,000.

Description: Accompanied a Report of the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey, in Senate Executive Document 108, 34 Congress, 1st Session.
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Title: Map showing the Progress of the Public Surveys in the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska. To Accompany the Annual Report of the Surveyor General (Senate Ex. Doc. No. 2, 35th Cong. & House Ex. Dec. No 2, 1st Sess. 35th Cong.). Lith. By Wagner & McGuigan, Phila. 1857.

Map Size: 63 x 47 cm. Scale: 1:1,140,000.

Description: Land surveys of townships and Indian lands. Line symbols indicate the progress of land surveys.
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Title: Nebraska and Kanzas. Published by J.H. Colton and company, New York. 1855 [1857].

Map size: 46 x 37.5 cm. Scale: [1" = 80 miles, ca. 1:7,000,000].

Description: Colored map with decorative border of interlacing vines. Dakota Territory (Colored light gray) is delimited as the area lying between the Missouri River and the Red River of the North and the Big Sioux River. Nebraska Territory extends west from the Missouri River to the head waters of the Rocky Mountains. This edition included more place names then earlier editions, i.e. includes Fort Randall, Dakota City, etc. The Omaha Reserve is not shown on this map. Descriptive geographical statements are included. Removed from atlas page number 50.
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Title: Territory of Minnesota. By Prof. H. D. Rogers & A. Keith Johnston. Engraved by W. & A. K. Johnston, Edinburgh. John Murray, London. 1857.

Map size: 45 x 36.5 cm. Scale: 1:3,450,000.

Description: Territory of Minnesota colored light red. Organized counties outlined in red with names provided. Descriptive notes are included with some place names. The proposed route of the Pacific Railroad is shown. Indian reserves are indicated. Selected elevations above sea level provided. Relief indicated by hachures.

Map detached from the Atlas of the United States, page number 6.
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Title: Territory of Nebraska. By Prof. Henry D. Rogers & Alexander Keith Johnston. Engraved by W. & A.K. Johnston, Edinburgh. John Murray, London. 1857.

Map size: 45 x 36.5 cm. Scale: 1:3,450,000.

Description: The Territory of Nebraska is tinted light blue. Map indicated “proposed Pacific Railroad Routes,” in purple line symbol. Indian tribal areas are generally indicated. Indian names for places have been included, i.e., “Waashesha River,” for the Vermillion River, Fames River, “Tehan Sasa.” Relief indicated by hachures. Map removed from the Atlas of the United States, page 7.
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1858

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Title: Map of the Territory of the United States from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean by the order of the Hon. Jeffn Davis, Secretary of War. To accompany the reports of the explorations for a railroad route made in accordance with the 10th & 11th sections of Army Appropriation Act of March 3rd 1853. Complied from authorized explorations and other reliable data by Lieut. G. K. Warren …. Engraved by Selmar Siebert.

Map size: 45 x 42 inches. Scale 1:3,000,000.

Description: Map accompanied House Executive Document no. 91, 33rd Congress, 2nd Session. This map provides a realistic assessment of the known state of geographical knowledge west of the Mississippi River. When naming some selected features, Warren provided the Indian name or the variant names for that feature.
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Title: Military Map of Nebraska and Dakota. By Lieut. G [Gouverneur] K. Warren, Top’l Eng’rs, from the explorations made by him in 1855-6 while attached to the staff of Brev. Brig. Gen. W.S. Harney, comm’g Sioux Exped’n, and in 1857 under the direction of the Office Expl’ns and Survey, Capt. A.A. Humphreys in charge. [Washington]: Engineer Dept., United States Army, 1875. (N. Peters, Photo Lithographer).

Map size: 1 map on 2 sheets; 107 x 80 cm. Scale: [ca. 1:1,220,000].

Description: Relief shown by hachures and spot elevations. Shows routes of 20 exploration parties from Lewis & Clark (1804) through G. K. Warren (1856). The Map was printed by resolution of the United States Senate. Taken from: Preliminary report of explorations in Nebraska and Dakota in the years 1855-’56’, 57 by Lieut. G.G. Warren.
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Title: Minnesota. Published by J.H. Colton & Company, New York. 1858.

Map size: 24 x 16cm. on sheet 34.5 x 30 cm. Scale: 1:3,623,775.

Description: Colored map with decorative floral border. Counties, settlements and major transportation routes indicated. Inset map: “Vicinity, of the Falls of St. Anthony.” Includes a companion map “Nebraska and Kansas.”
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Title: Nebraska and Kansas. Published by J. H. Colton & Company, New York. 1858.

Map size: 25 x 14 cm on sheet 34.5 x 30 cm. Scale: 1:3,623,775.

Description: Colored map with decorative floral border. Counties are indicated by line symbol and name. Only the eastern parts of Kansas and Nebraska are depicted on this map. Line symbols indicate roads and railroads.

Companion map:”Nebraska.”
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1859

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Title: Map of Nebraska. From Explorations of Lt. G.K. Warren, Top’l, Eng’rs., in 1855, 56 & 57, and other authorities. N.H. Hutton & J.H. Snowden, Ass’t. Top, Engrs. 35th Cong., Senate Ex. Doc. No. 1, House. Ex. Doc. No. 2, 2nd Session. Submitted with Annual Report of Exploration and Survey, War Department. 1859.

Map size: 27.5 x 27.5. Scale: 1″ = 100 miles, ca 1:6,200,000.

Description: Topography symbolized by hachures. Military posts trails shown. Proposed exploration routes indicated by dashed line symbol and explanation “should be examined.”
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1860

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Title: Map of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. By S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr. Philadelphia. Drawn and engraved by W. H. Gamble. 1860.

Map size: 33 x 25 cm. Scale: [ca. 1:4,000,000].

Description: Colored map with decorative floral and ribbon border. Physical relief indicated by hachures. Counties indicated by color, line symbol and name. Nebraska Territory includes parts of Wyoming to the South Pass. Pony Express route is indicated. Map detached from atlas, page number 39.
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Title: Johnson’s Nebraska and Kansas. By Johnson and Browning, New York. 1860.

Map size: 34 x 34 cm. Scale: 1″ = 80 miles ca. 1:5,000,000.

Description: Territories are distinguished by colors; Nebraska light yellow, and Kansas light red. Territorial boundaries are outlined in red. Relief is symbolized by hachures. Major trails, settlements and well known physical features are indicated. Selected distances between places are given. Nebraska Territory is delimited from the 40th parallel to the Canadian border. Map paged 51.
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Title: Map Showing the Progress of the Public Surveys in the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska. To accompany Annual Report of the Surveyor General. Senate Ex. Doc. No. 1, 2nd Sess. 36th Cong. Lithographed by J. Bien, New York. 1860.

Map size: 63 x 49 cm. Scale: 18 miles to an inch, 1:6,336.

Description: Indian reserves are indicated by line symbol and name. Township lines are depicted. Progress of surveying is shown by line and letter symbol.
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Title: Minnesota and Dacotah. S. Augustus Mitchell. [Philadelphia]: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., [1860?].

Map size: 39 x 34 cm. Scale: 1 inch equals approx. 55 miles, [ca. 1:3,484,800].

Description: Colored map with floral and ribbon border. Map removed from Mitchell’s New General Atlas, page number 35.
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Title: Nebraska, Kansas and Dacotah. Engraved by Oliver J. Stuart, New York. Detached from McNally’s System of Geography, page number 18. [1860].

Map size: 24 x 30 cm. Scale: 2 ¼” =250 miles.

Description: Relief indicated by hachures, map colored. No roads or trails depicted. A set of geographical exercises is included on the verso of this map.
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1861

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Title: Johnson’s Nebraska, Dakota, Colorado, and Kansas. By Johnson and Browning, New York. [1861].

Map size: 43 x 34 cm. Scale: 1″ = 80 miles, ca. 1:5,000,000.

Description: Colored map with decorative border. Physical relief indicated by hachures. Nebraska Territory extends to the South Pass in Wyoming. Dakota Territory includes parts of Wyoming and Montana. State and territories are outlined in red. Proposed route for the Pacific Railroad shown. Map detached from atlas, page number 51.
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1862

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Title: Johnson’s Nebraska, Dakota, Colorado, & Kansas. By A. J. Johnson and Ward. 1862.

Map size: 44 x 35. Scale: 1″ = 80 miles. ca. 1:5,000,000.

Description: Territories and states outlined in red. Nebraska colored light green, Kansas light red. Routes explored for the Pacific Railroad are indicated. Most military posts are depicted. Indian place names are provide with some physical features. Detached from atlas, paged number 55.
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Title: Map of Colorado Territory. Francis M. Case. [s.l..: s.n.] House Reps. Ex. Doc. no. 1, 37th Cong. 3rd Sess. Denver; Sept. 1st. 1862.

Map size: 58 x 46 cm. Scale: 1′ = 18 miles, 1:1,140,000.

Description: Shows progress of public land surveys. Townships lines are indicated. Some areas are labeled “gold bearing region.” Double line symbol indicates established roads. Physicals relief is indicated by hachures. The Cheyenne-Arapahoe reservation is indicated.
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Title: Map Showing the Progress of the Public Surveys’ in Kansas and Nebraska. To accompany Annual Report of the Surveyor General. (Ho. Ex. Doc. no 1., 37th Cong. 3rd Sess.) Serial set 1160, at head of title: (8) [1862].

Map size: 65 x 55 cm. Scale: 1″ = 18 miles, [ca. 1:1,140,480].

Description: Mapped area extends to Long. 100 degrees 54′ 25″ West. Indian reserves and selected places are shown. Shows land grant railroads. Progress of surveying is indicated by line and letter symbol.
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1863

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Title: Ceded Part of Dakota Territory (A). Showing the Progress of U.S. Land Survey during 1861. Under the direction of Surveyor General G.D. Hill. An localities for which estimates are presented for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1863. Sen. Ex. Doc. No. 1, 37th Cong. 2nd Sess.

Map size: 35 x 42 cm. Scale: 1″ = 18 miles.

Description: Township lines are identified. The Yankton and Ponka Reserve are indicated.
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Title: Map of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. By S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr. Philadelphia. Dawn and engraved by W. H. Gamble. 1861 [1863].

Map size: 38 x 31 cm. Scale: 1 ½” = 100 miles, [ca. 1:4,000,000 ].

Description: Counties are distinguished by colors and name. Map is hand colored. Dakota is colored blue, Nebraska light red and Kansas flesh colored. State borders are outlined in darker tints. Nebraska Territory extends to the South pass in Wyoming. Immigrant Trials are indicated by line symbol. Physical relief is indicated by hachures. Map removed from atlas and paged 43.
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Title: Map Showing the Progress of the Public Surveys in Kansas and Nebraska (9). To accompany Annual Report of the Surveyor General. Ho. Ex. Doc. No. 1, 38th cong. 1st Sess. 1863.

Map size: 81.5 x 64 cm. Scale 1″ = 18 miles. Scale [ca. 1:1,140,480].

Description: Indian reserves are indicated by name and line symbol. Progress of surveying is symbolized by line symbol and letter. Map area extends west to longitude 27.
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1864

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Title: Johnson’s Nebraska, Dakota, Colorado, Idaho and Kansas. By Johnson and Ward. [1864].

Map size: 45 x 33.5 cm. Scale: 1 inch equals approx. 80 miles, ca 1:5,000,000.

Description: Decorative border. State and territorial boundaries outlined in red. Dakota Territory extends west to longitude 104, and is tinted light green. Railroad lines are indicated by line symbol. Hachures indicate relief. Indian tribal areas are generally indicated. Verso includes “Historical and Statistical View of the United States, 1860.” Map removed from atlas and paged 55.
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Title: Map of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. Showing also the Southern Portion of Dacotah. By S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., Philadelphia. Drawn and engraved by WQ. H. Gamble. 1861 [1864].

Map size: 31 x 39 cm. Scale: [1:4,118,400] 1 in. to ca. 65 miles.

Description: Counties are colored and indicated by name. Wyoming is depicted as “attached to Dacotah,” the lettering “attached…,” is not inked in. State oundaries are outlined in various shades of color. The Santa Fe Route is indicated by line symbol and name alongside. Indian tribal areas are generally indicated. The Pony Express Route as well railroad routes are depicted. Map removed from atlas paged 43.
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Title: Map of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. Showing also the Eastern Portion of Idaho. By S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr. Philadelphia. Drawn and engraved by. W.H. Gamble. 1861 [1864].

Map size: 38 x 31 cm. Scale: 1:4,100,000.

Description: Colored map with decorative floral border. Physical relief indicated by hachures. Counties indicated by color and name. State and territorial boundaries are highlighted in darker tinted of color. Wyoming is labeled “Idaho,” and in the title of the map” The Eastern Portion of Idaho.” Map removed from Mitchell’s New General Atlas, page 43.
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Title. Map of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. Showing also the Southern Portion of Dacotah. S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr. Drawn band engraved by W.H. Gamble. 1861 [1864].

Map size: 38.5 x 31 cm. Scale: 1 inch equals approx. 65 miles. [ca. 1:4,000,000].

Description: Colored map with decorative border consisting for roses and ribbons. Wyoming is labeled as “Attached to Dacotah,” and the lettering is darkened in. Counties are colored in and indicated by name. Physical relief is depicted by hachures. Indian place names are provided. Map removed from Mitchell’s New General Atlas, page 43.
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1865

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Title: Johnson’s Nebraska, Dakota, Idaho and Montana. By A. J. Johnson, New York. 1865.

Map size: 68 x 45 cm. Scale: ca. 1:3,484,800.

Description: Nebraska, Montana and Idaho counties are colored and named. Dakota Territory extends north to the Canadian border. Idaho extends east to longitude 110. Line symbol indicated railroad lines with name printed alongside. Dashed double line symbol indicates the Pony Express route. Exploration routes are indicated by double line symbol and explorers name alongside. Descriptive geographical statements are included, i.e., “covered with stinted grass,” “gold mines,” etc. Physical relief indicated by hachures. Map removed from atlas paged 63.
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Title: Johnson’s Nebraska, Dakota, Montana and Kansas. By Johnson and Ward. [1865].

Map size: 34 x 33. Scale: [ca. 1:3,420,000].

Description: Colored map with decorative line border. Physical relief is indicated by hachures. Military posts are indicated. Indian place names are provided. Montana and Colorado are colored light green. States and territories are outlined in light red. Dakota Territory is shown to extend to 111th longitude and the crest of the Wind River and Rocky Mountains. Map depicts routes followed by exploration groups. Map removed from Johnson’s new illustrated family atlas of the world, page 63.
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1866

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Title: Map of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. Showing also the Southern Portion of Dacotah. By S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., Philadelphia. Drawn and engraved by W.H. Gamble. 1861 [1866].

Map size: 38.5 x 31cm. Scale: [ca. 1:4,118,400].

Description: Colored map with decorative border. Wyoming is indicated as “attached to Dacotah.” Counties are indicated by line symbols and name. Map detached from Mitchell’s New General Atlas, page 43.
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1867

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Title: Map of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. Showing also the Southern Portion of Dacotah. By S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., Philadelphia. Drawn and engraved by W.H. Gamble. 1867.

Map size: 38.5 x 31.5 cm. Scale: [ca. 1:4,118,400].

Description: Decorative floral border consisting of intertwined grape fines. Counties are by named outline in red. No state or Territorial units are colored; rather this map reflects an unfinished or outline quality. Wyoming is indicated as “Attached to Dacotah.” Physical relief is depicted by hachures.
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1868

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Title: Map of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. Showing also the Southern Portion of Dacotah. By S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., Philadelphia. Drawn and engraved by W.H. Gamble. 1867 [1868].

Map size: 39 x 31.5 cm. Scale: 1 ¼” = 80 miles.

Description: Floral border consisting of intertwined grape vines. Dacotah territory is colored light green, with dark green territorial borders. Counties are colored and indicated by name. This edition includes trails, counties, and places not included in Mitchell’s 1867 edition of this map. Map paged 48.
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1869

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Title: Johnson’s Nebraska, Dakota, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Published by A. J. Johnson, New York, 1865 [1869].

Map size: 57 x 39.5 cm. Scale: ¾” = 40 miles.

Description: Map bordered with decorative line design. State and territorial boundaries outlined in red. Wyoming is colored solid green. Montana, Idaho, Dakota and Nebraska have multiple internal coloring indicating counties. Distinctive line symbols (dashed double line, solid line, double line) indicate explorers routes, roads and railroads, most with names alongside. Hachures indicated physical relief. Map removed from atlas, paged 67-68.
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Title: Map of Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado. Showing also the Southern Portion of Dacotah. By S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr. Philadelphia. Drawn and engraved by W. H. Gamble 1867 [1869].

Map size: 38.5 x 31cm. Scale: 1 1/4″ =80 miles.

Description: Map bordered with floral design. Dacotah is colored green. Counties are variously colored for Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas. Line symbols indicate roads, trails and railroads. State and territorial boundaries are outlined in darker colors. Physical relief is indicated by hachures. “Wyoming,” boldly printed out on this edition. Line symbol indicated the Union Pacific Railroad route. Map removed from atlas paged 52.
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1870’s

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Title: Dakota. Published by Colton [Joseph Hutchins], New York. [187-?]

Map size: 44 x 37 cm. Scale: 1:2,090,880.

Description: Map depicts all of Dakota Territory. Individual counties are colored and indicated by name. Territorial boundary is outlined in red. Selected township lines are delineated. Line symbols indicated railroads. Physical relief is depicted by hachures. Map removed from atlas paged 106.
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1872

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Title: Asher & Adams’ Nebraka. Asher and Adams. 1872.

Map size: 61 x 44cm. Scale: 20 miles to an Inch.

Description: Counties are colored and indicated by name and boundary. Railroad lines are indicated by line symbol and name. Selected roads are depicted. Reservations and organized counties of southeast Dakota are shown. Physical relief is symbolized by hachures.
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1873

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Title: County Map of Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Dakota, Wyoming, Montana. By S. Augustus Mitchell, Philadelphia. 1872 [1873].

Map size: 37.5 x 57.5 cm. No scale.

Description: Map bordered with floral grape pattern. Counties colored and indicated by name and boundary. State and territorial boundaries are outlined in red. Railroad lines indicated by line symbol. Indian tribal areas generally depicted. Physical relief indicated by hachures.
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Title: Map of Nebraska, Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. New York, J. David Williams. Imprimerie de Ferd. Mayer. 1873.

Map size: 48 x 34 cm. Scale: 1 ½” = 80 miles.

Description: Colored map indicated territorial and state divisions. Counties are colored and indicated by name. Physical relief in depicted by hachures. Settlements, trails, and railways are shown. Indian tribal areas are generally depicted. Map removed from atlas and paged 16.
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Title: Nebraska. O.W. Gray’s Atlas, Philadelphia. 1873.

Map size: 69 x 43 cm. Scale: 1:1,140,000.

Description: Nebraska counties are named and colored in. Township lines are indicated. Railroad lines are depicted by line symbol and name. The Nebraska state boundary is highlighted in red. Major drainage patterns indicated by line symbol.. Indian reserves are shown. Map removed from atlas and paged 122-123.
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1874

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Title: Asher & Adams’ Wyoming. Asher and Adams. 1874.

Map size: 62 x 44.5. Scale: 20 miles = 1 inch.

Description: The five organized counties of Wyoming are colored and named. Major physical features are indicated. The Union pacific railroad is symbolized by parallel lines Distances between railroad water stations and depots indicated in miles. Township lines where surveyed are noted. Yellowstone National park is indicated and outlined in green. Physical relief is symbolized by hachures. Map detached from atlas and paged 119-120.
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1875

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Title: Map of a Reconnaissance of the Black Hills, July and August, 1874, with Troops under the Command of Lt. Col. G.A. Custer, 7th Cavalry, by Capt. Wm. Ludlow, Corps of Engineers, 1875.

Map size: 24 x 21 inches. Scale: 1″ = 12 miles.

Description: Depicts Custer’s route and places of encampment. Shows place names, and routes followed by various exploration groups, i.e., Warren (1857), Raynolds (1859), and the N.P.R.R. Survey (1871) & 1872). Descriptive geographical statements are included, i. e., “high hills heavily wooded.” Physical relief by hachures.
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Title: Map of the Black Hills from a Reconnaissance By Capt. William Ludlow, Corps of Engineers, and Maps of Warren and Raynolds. Capt. William Ludlow. Map drawn by Sergeant C. Becker. Report of a Reconnaissance of the Black Hills of Dakota. Made in the Summer of 1874. Engineer Bureau. Annual Report, 1875. pt. 2 pp. 1113-1230.

Map size: 37 ½ x 23 inches. Scale: 1″ = 3 miles.

Description: Reconnaissance routes and dates of encampment shown. Physical relief depicted by hachures. Place names provided along with descriptive statements.
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1876

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Title: State of Nebraska. Department of the Interior, General land Office. Compiled from the official records of the General Land Office and other sources by, C. Roeser, Principal Draughtsman, G.L.O. Photo Lith & Print. By Julius Bien, New York. 1876.

Map size: 83.5 x 67 cm. Scale: 1 = 15 miles.

Description: Map depicts the extent of public surveys. Counties are identified by name and boundary. Railroads and roads are indicated by line symbol. Indian reservations, military reserves, cities, towns, and county seats are identified by symbol.. Map is not colored.
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1879

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Title: State of Nebraska. Department of the Interior. General Land Office. Compiled from the official records of the General Land Office and other sources by C. Roeser, Principal Draughtsman, G.L.O. Photo Lith & Print. By Julius Bien, New York. 1879.

Map size: 86 x 68 cm. Scale: 1″ = 15 miles.

Description: County map of Nebraska. County boundaries are outlined in light red and the Missouri and Platte River are tinted blue. Indian reservations are noted. The progress of public surveying is indicated as well as the railroads “20 mile limit.” Physical relief is depicted by hachures.
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Title: The Upper Midwest. Stieler’s hand-Atlas, No. 84. Petermann: Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika in 6 Blattern, Bl. 2. Gotha: Justus Perthes. 1879.

Map size: 46.5 x 40 cm. Scale: 1:3,700,000.

Description: Depicts all or parts of Dakota Territory, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, and parts of Wisconsin, Illinois, Wyoming, Montana and Colorado. State and territorial boundaries are highlighted in blue and yellow. Railroads and explorers routes are depicted by line symbol and with name alongside. Descriptive geographic statements are included.
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1880

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Title: Gray’s new Outline Map of Omaha, Douglass County, Nebraska. O.W. Gray Philadelphia. 1880.

Map size: 33.5 x 77cm. Scale: 1″ = 1100 feet.

Description: City plan of Omaha, Nebraska. Depicts industrial manufacturing and residential districts. Map also shows the various channel changes of the Missouri River (1856, 1870, and 1878) as they have occurred near Omaha.
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1881

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Title: Nebraska. Rand, McNally & Company’s Nebraska. Chicago. 1881.

Map size: 53.5 x 37 cm. Scale: 2 ½” = 60 miles.

Description: Counties are outlined in yellow as well as the Nebraska state border. Railroad lines are indicated by orange line symbol with their name indicated alongside. County seats are shown by symbol. Verso: Index to Nebraska. Map paged 314-315.
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1882

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Title: Nebraska. Rand, McNally & company’s Indexed Atlas of the World. Chicago. 1882.

Map size: 53 x 38 cm. Scale: 2 ½” = 60 miles.

Description: Counties outlined in yellow and identified by name. Railroad lines identified by red line symbol with name of railroad printed alongside. Township lines are depicted. Map detached from Rand, McNally & company’s Indexed Atlas of the World.
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Title: New Railroad and County Map of Nebraska. Geo. Cram. Chicago. 1882.

Map size: 34.5 x 28.5. Scale: 1″ = 36 miles.

Description: A multi-colored county map of Nebraska. Major places are indicated. Railroad lines are depicted by line symbol. Railroad lines are not named. Physical relief indicated by hachures. Verso of map: New Railroad and County map of Colorado.
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1883

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Title: Johnson’s Nebraska, Dakota, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. By Alvin J. Johnson & Company. New York. 1865, 1883.

Map size: 66 x 45.5 cm. Scale: ¾” = 40 miles.

Description: Colored map with decorative line border. Counties are indicated by name and color. Railroad lines are indicated by distinctive line symbol. Exploration routes indicated with explorers name alongside. Physical relief depicted by hachures. Map detached from atlas.
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1884

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Title: State of Nebraska. Compiled and drawn by M. Hendges. Washington D.C.: Department of the Interior, General Land Office. 1884.

Map size: 86 x 58 cm. Scale 1″ = 15 miles.

Description: Detailed map showing county seats, towns and villages, Indian and Military reservations, and completed railroads. Physical relief is depicted in great detail.
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1888

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Title: Nebraska. Rand, McNally & Company’s New Business Atlas Map of Nebraska. 1888.

Map size: 68 x 55 cm. Scale: 1 1/8″ = 20 miles.

Description: Counties are indicated by name and boundary. Township lines indicated Railroad lines indicated by name and boundary. Railroads are depicted by line symbol and by name. Nebraska state boundary is defined by pink wash. Major Cities and towns indicated. On verso: Index to Nebraska. Map removed from Rand, McNally & Company’s New Business Atlas Map of Nebraska, paged 214-15.
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1889

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Title: State of South Dakota. Department of the Interior, General Land Office. Compiled from the official records of the General Land Office and other sources under the supervision of A.F. Dinsmore, principle draughtsman G.L.O. Photolithographed and printed by Julies Bien & Company, 1889.

Map size: 87 x 58 cm. Scale: 1:760,320.

Description: Shows named places including boundaries for all organized and unorganized counties, rural post offices, railroad lines, selected streams, military posts, and Indian reservations.
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Title: North Dakota. Engraved for Gaskell’s Atlas of the World. Chicago. 1889.

Map size: 34.5 x 29 cm. Scale: ½” = approx 20 miles.

Description: Multi-colored county map of North Dakota. Physical relief indicated by hachures. Map detached from Gaskell’s Atlas of the World and paged 72. On verso Nebraska.
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1910

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Title: Post route map of the State of South Dakota showing post offices with the intermediate distances on mail routes in operation on the 1st of June, 1910. United States Post Office Department, 1910.

Map size: 109 x 81 cm. Scale: 1:633,600.

Description: Names all post offices at of June, 1910.
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1918

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Title: State of South Dakota. Washington, D.C.: Department of the Interior, General Land Office, 1918.

Map size: 91 x 66 cm. Scale: 1 inch = 12 statute miles.

Description: Base map of South Dakota, shows principle geographic features, and communities.

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A Postcard Collection from the University of South Dakota’s Archives
 

The USD Archives and Special Collections is home to many unique holdings from South Dakota’s past.  This on-line exhibit, Greetings from South Dakota, is a compilation of 27 postcards rendering images from throughout the state.  As a part of our Chilson Collection, this group of 159 cards is entitled “South Dakota postal cards,  A collection of cards of early South Dakota.”  Although the collection is relatively small, the images are diverse and give a glimpse of life in South Dakota in the early 1900s.  All dates given are based on that of the postal date unless otherwise written on the front of the postcard.

Text and images taken from an online exhibit done for the Archives and Special Collections by Jami Guthrie.

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Fraser Harrison, British writer and author of Infinite West: Travels in South Dakota will speak on “A Visit to Yankton, the River City” at the W. H. Over Museum in Vermillion at 7:00 PM on Monday, June 17, 2013. In honor of his visit, I present the following travel and description books from the Chilson Collection. These books were written with a different purpose in mind. They were meant to entice emigrants to buy land in the territory.

Armstrong, Moses Kimball. History and resources of Dakota, Montana, and Idaho: to which is appended a map of the Northwest. Yankton, Dakota Territory: G.W. Kingsbury, 1866.

Foster, James S. Outlines of history of the Territory of Dakota, and emigrant’s guide to the free lands of the Northwest. Yankton, Dakota Territory: M’Intyre & Foster, printers, Union and Dakotian office, 1870.

Armstrong, Moses Kimball. Information circular on Dakota Territory. Its location, soil, climate, public lands, rivers, forests, minerals, markets, schools, churches, society, towns, cities, thoroughfares, navigation and rairoads [sic]. Isssued [sic] annually from [sic] the land and title office of M. K. Armstrong, Yankton, Dakota Territory. [Sioux City, Iowa]: Sioux City Register printers, 1870.

Cross, Fred J. The free lands of Dakota; a description of the country; the climate; the beautiful valleys, and ocean-like prairies; the crops; the land laws, and the inducements offered to immigrants. Yankton, Dakota Territory: Bowen & Kingsbury, printers., Press and Dakotaian office, 1876.

Real Estate Association of the Corn Belt of South Dakota. A brief description and a few testimonials concerning the corn belt of South Dakota. Yankton, SD: Press & Dakotaian printers, 1893.

Batchelder, George Alexander. A sketch of the history and resources of Dakota Territory. Yankton, SD: Press Steam Power Printing Co., 1928. Reprint of 1870 original.

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ella-deloria2

Ella Deloria (1888 or 1889 – 1971) was born on the Yankton Reservation. She was “a teacher, speaker, author, and researcher in linguistics and anthropology” (Murray 1974, viii). She was associated with the University of South Dakota from 1961 to 1964 (Murray 1974, 146-149).

The Chilson Collection contains the following books that she authored, coauthored, or edited:

Boas, Franz and Ella Deloria. Dakota grammar. Sioux Falls, SD: Dakota Press, 1979.

Deloria, Ella Cara, comp. Dakota texts. New York: G. E. Stechert, agents, 1932.

Deloria, Ella Cara, comp. Dakota texts. New York: AMS Press, 1974.

Deloria, Ella Cara, comp. Dakota texts. Vermillion, SD: Dakota Press, 1978.

Deloria, Ella Cara. Deer women and elk men: the Lakota narratives of Ella Deloria. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1992.

Deloria, Ella Cara. Ella Deloria’s The buffalo people. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1994.

Deloria, Ella Cara. Ella Deloria’s Iron Hawk. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1993.

Deloria, Ella Cara. Speaking of Indians. New York: Friendship Press, [1944].

Deloria, Ella Cara. Speaking of Indians. Vermillion, SD: Dakota Press, 1979.

Deloria, Ella Cara. Waterlily. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988.

She wrote several articles for the Museum News, which were published by the W.H. Over Museum at the University of South Dakota and are in the Chilson Collection:

“The Origins of the courting flute,” 1961.

“Easter Day at a Yankton Dakota church,” 1962.

“Some notes on the Yankton,” 1967.

“Some notes on the Santee,” 1967.

She also did several oral history interviews with the South Dakota Oral History Center at the University of South Dakota:

Loder, Richard, interviewer. “Oral history interview with Ella Deloria, Wallace Eagle Shield, and Sophie Many Deeds,” 1969. AIRP 383.

Loder, Richard, interviewer. “Oral history interview with Ella Deloria and J. Jeston,” 1969. AIRP 443, 444, and 445.

Some of her unpublished papers are at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. Other unpublished papers were at the University of South Dakota, and then moved to the Ella Deloria Archives in Chamberlain, South Dakota. See http://zia.aisri.indiana.edu/deloria_archive/index.php.

Biographies:

Medicine, Beatrice, and Sue-Ellen Jacobs. “Ella C. Deloria: the emic voice.” In  Learning to be an anthropologist and remaining “Native“: selected writings. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2001.

Murray, Janette K. “Ella Deloria: a biographical sketch and literary analysis. ” PhD diss., University of North Dakota, 1974.

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D000112

X. L. A. Society, 1915, Dallas High School, Dallas, South Dakota
Fourth row [back], left to right: Peterson, Lewis, Nichols, Basil Hodson, Jansen, Watt
Third row from front, left to right: Lang, Ryokowska, Rudolph, Ticknor, Lancaster, Meyer, Whitt
Second row from front, left to right: DeVorss, Lewis, Pederson, Craven, Lona Wilson, Buroh, Olson
First row [front], left to right: McDowell, Weaver, Alta Wilson, Peterson, Jacobson

I have been working to identify these two photographs on and off for four years, if not longer, when I get a free moment or two.  Haunted by their faces, so familiar, and intrigued by the background studio setting that appears nowhere else in the collection, these photographs have stumped me for a while.

For the longest time my student assistants, coworkers and I have been trying to unlock the “XLA” clue on the banner. No national organization fit. No local organization fit.

All came together this past week.

According to the stamp on one of the photograph’s window mounts, Green was the photographer and the studio was located in Gregory, SD. Using They Captured the Moment: Dakotas Photographers 1853-1920 by Robert Kolbe and Brain Bade [Chilson Collection F651 .K54 2006], I discerned that Green was in business from 1911-1918.

“Why was this photograph in our collection?” “Why would USD students travel to Gregory, South Dakota to have their portraits taken?” Things were not making sense.

Then I zeroed in on the banner initials “DHS.” “What cities were close to Gregory?” “Dallas High School?”

Our Chilson Collection carries a book called Dallas, South Dakota: The End of the Line published by the Dallas Historical Society [Chilson Collection F659 .D15x D35].

From that moment on, things could not have been simpler. With book in hand, I turned a page and found a reproduction of the only high school annual in the entire publication. The annual was from 1915 and after the first few pages of advertisements, there was Walter Frankenfeld listed as the instructor for “Commercial and Athletics.” There were also portraits of several of the students in the photographs that I could use to match up.

Walter Frankenfeld?!”

Herman Walter Frankenfeld served as registrar at the University of South Dakota from 1926-1964. I turned back a few pages and read:

March, 1914, M. I. Ellis was hired as superintendent of schools at a salary of $1,200.00 per year. Walter Frankenfeld was hired as commercial teacher and coach at $75.00 per month. “Frankie” was rehired the following year, then went to war, and returned after the war and taught two more years in Dallas, where he met and married his wife, the former Ruth Patrick, who taught in Dallas High School. After leaving Dallas he went to the University of South Dakota where he served as registrar until his retirement.

Deeper into the reproduced yearbook, there was the photograph shown below with everyone identified. A few pages more and the other photograph presented itself also with students identified.

I learned the X. L. A. Society was founded in 1911 by Superintendent Barr:

…with Miss Henderson as sponsor. Florence Watwood was the first president and during the year much rivalry was evident between the two societies in the way of tearing down the pennants of one another and painting the interiors of the school building with their respective colors……

During the present year the members of the society have progressed rapidly along literary lines. Superintendent Ellis arranged a competition between the two societies [X. L. A. and Geilik] for better programs given during the winter months. After much hard work on the part of both societies the X. L. A. ‘s were victorious by a small margin.

The membership has increased from twenty to the present number of thirty.

We know from alumni records that Katherine Ellis (Kositsky), Earl Halverson, and Edward Prchal attended and graduated from the University of South Dakota. We also know that Frankenfeld held a long tenure here. So we have a glimpse of pre-University of South Dakota days for these folks – two photographs taken in Gregory, South Dakota.

All these years the answers were as close as the Chilson Collection. The one and only yearbook reproduced in the Dallas Historical Society publication held all the answers.

D000111

Class in Commerce, 1915, Dallas High School, Dallas, South Dakota
Back row, left to right: Earl A. Halverson, Jansen, Ward Evans, Basil Hodson, Edward Prchal, Lewis, Earl Evans, Logerwell
Front row, left to right: Katherine Ellis, Cunningham, Lona Wilson, Professor Walter Frankenfeld, Frances Ticknor, Pederson, Blanche Meyer

 

Update: Travelling from Dallas, South Dakota to Vermillion in 2014 takes roughly a little over 2 1/2 hours if taking US-18 by car. According to an account written by Faye Cashatt Lewis in “The University I Knew” published in 1973:

The train trip from Dallas to Vermillion was an all-day affair, and either going or coming it meant being at the depot at four o’clock in the morning. It involved travel in three different states. First, down into Nebraska to change trains at Norfolk, then into Iowa to change again at Sioux City, then back into South Dakota for about 50 miles, to Vermillion.

 

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Bill Nye

Bill Nye. There’s a name that automatically brings back memories. No, not Bill Nye the Science Guy, but don’t worry… I was fooled too! I stumbled across this story while rambling through the Chilson Collection. The voice and history of the Western enthusiast, Edgar Wilson Nye, more commonly known by his pseudonym Bill Nye, comes to life in the story Bill Nye: The Western Writings, written by David B. Kesterson. Bill Nye may have been humorous, but his goal was not to promote science like the one of this era. He was a journalist, writer, and an advocate of the West. He gives interesting, and contrasting, insights on life in the West, being witty as well as satirical in the stories he spun. Founder of the Laramie Boomerang, a newspaper that still exists in his beloved Wyoming, Nye went on to become well known for his comical tales that always seemed to hide another meaning behind them. Bill Nye: The Western Writings reveals the life journey of a writer who loved the West, but acknowledged its faults with humor to cover his tracks. He lived during the time of the “Wild Frontier,” the infamous Jesse James, the humorist and realist Mark Twain, and renowned poet James Whitcomb Riley and either had influence or direct contact with all of these recognizable symbols of America. Not only did Nye indulge in promoting the West, while broadcasting its faults, he would go on to become an advocate for women’s suffrage. Bill Nye’s biography takes an interesting perspective on life of the West among many other outlooks on life in general. This is one of the many treasures that can be found in the Archives and Special Collections, one just has to keep an open mind to what they are looking to discover!

Works Cited

Kesterson, David B. Bill Nye: The Western Writings. Boise: Boise State University Western Writers Series, 1976. Print.

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