SOLD: 1867 Keeler - Map of the Routes of the Union Pacific Railroads With Their Eastern Connections

SOLD: Keeler's important 1867 Union Pacific Railroad map


Map of the Routes of the Union Pacific Railroads With Their Eastern Connections

Map maker:

William Keeler

Place and Year:

Philadelphia, 1867


95.25 x 38 cm (37.5 x 15 in)




Hand colored

Condition Rating:


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Rare example of the Keeler "Report Map," which accompanied an extremely rare 1868 Union Pacific Railway promotional tract entitled Letter of John D. Perry, President of the Union Pacific Railway, (Eastern Division) together with the Reports of the Engineer and Geologist of the Road. Showing the Necessity and Advantages of its Construction to the Pacific.

While Keeler's map was known to Wheat, its existence in the present pamphlet was not known to Wheat and the pamphlet is extremely rare. There are no auction records for the pamphlet in the past 30 years and the only reference we find to the pamphlet is in a Cedric Robinson catalogue entry (1957-58).  As noted by Robinson, the pamphlet includes a "description of the proposed main line from Kansas City, along the valley of the Kansas and Smoky Hill to Fort Lyon, Fort Union, and on to Albuquerque, thence to California via Arizona, with alternate routes along the way."

Keeler's two maps of the west are among the most important maps of the period; Keeler's larger map treats the entire Western US in large.  As noted by Wheat,

Keeler's map extends from Cincinnati to the Pacific, and from about the 32nd to the 42nd parallel--or from Ft. Reno in Wyoming to Ft. Filmore in New Mexico; It has a superior showing of new military data, being in advance even of the Colton maps (for example, Ft. Fetterman on the upper North Platte, Camp Douglas near Great Salt Lake City, Ft. Reynolds, Ft. Morgan, and Ft. Sedgwick in Colorado). It also displays, with color symbols, deposits of gold, silver, coal, copper, and quick silver from eastern Colorado to California--information . . . economically pertinent to railroad operations. But primarily it is interesting for railroad routes west of the Missouri; The Union Pacific is shown completed as far as Fort D.A. Russell, near Cheyenne, the projected route then going past Ft. Sanders on the Larame, and past Ft. Hallbeck to Bitter Creek; alterations of the route made west of the Larmie by Dodge and his engineers in the summer of 1867 had not yet come to Keeler's attention.  The route goes on by Echo Canyon to the Great Salt Lake Valley, then swings north around the lake to the Humboldt, somewhere in the stretch becoming the Central Pacific R.R. The latter, somewhat prematurely, is shown completed down the Truckee almost to the great bend of that river.

What appears on this map as the "U.P.R.W.E.D." is represented as completed all the way to Ft. Wallace, near the west edge of Kansas (That was the expectation of the Company in the summer of 1867).  Just beyond, inside the Colorado line, this road branches,one route going northwesterly to Denver, the other southwesterly to Arkansas and the Purgatorie, thence to Ft. Union and Albuquerque, and on to California via the route later actually employed by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. From Albuquerque yet another line follows down the Rio Grande, with an extensive western branch turning off at Ft. McRae to seek out California via the Gila. This latter branch is not labelled. Keeler's railroad map is full of factual information, but is also full of hope and faith.

William Keeler's maps of the Western US are regarded as landmarks in the mapping of the Western United States, providing the best detailed and comprehensive look at the Western Railroad System after the close of the Civil War. His large map was widely distributed and its influence on the history of the Mapping of the Transmississippi West is profound.

In the same year as the publication of his large map, Keeler contributed a much rarer map for this rare pamphlet issued by the Kansas Pacific Railroad which was also bound into the present pamphlet, which was apparently unknown to most bibliographers.

In the spring of 1867 the President of the Kansas Pacific, invited a large group of prominent Americans, including many members of Congress, to travel by railroad from Philadelphia to Fort Harker in Kansas, 225 miles west of the Missouri River. Josiah Copley, one of the group invited to travel west, wrote a series of dispatches to the Pittsburgh Gazette reprinted at Philadelphia later in 1867 as  Kansas and the Country Beyond.  Copley illustrated his book with this now extremely rare version of Keeler's map of which the book says is probably the most accurate and reliable Railroad Map that has ever been offered to the public. It is a facsimile of the official map prepared from the most recent surveys and explorations under the authority of the Government at Washington, and was drawn and engraved by W. J. Keeler, Esq., of the Indian Bureau, expressly for this work. The lines of both the great Pacific Railroads are laid down as nearly as possible as they are to be, and with equal fairness and fidelity. It was not deemed to be either honest or politic to insult the intelligence of the country by stretching a favorite line, like a ribbon, across the continent, and then attempting to ignore, as far as possible, all other roads that are not subsidiary to it. All that is essential to a full and fair understanding of the great question of routes from the Missouri to the Pacific is given.

The present map, as Wheat notes, is not in fact a facsimile of Keeler's National Map, but rather an amplification with focus on the railroads. For more on the National map, see: Graff 2281. Howes K22. Martin & Martin 47. Phillips, America, p. 916. Streeter Sale 3077.


Very good.




Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West #117 & Vol. V, Part I, pp. 209-213 (discussing the present map & Keeler’s National Map of the same year; illustrating present map between pp. 204-205).