Map of the United States, the British Provinces, Mexico, Et cetera


This 1849 map shows the United States, British North America (present-day Canada), and Mexico, with inset maps of South America and of the newly-discovered gold region of California. The routes of the U.S. mail steam packets to California, 17,000 miles (27,359 kilometers) from New York to San Francisco via Cape Horn, or 5,900 miles (9,495 kilometers) via Panama, are shown. The map also traces several land routes across the western United States, including the caravan route to Santa Fe, the routes taken by Kearny and Frémont, and the Oregon Trail. John C. Frémont (1813−90) was a soldier and explorer who mapped much of the territory between the Mississippi River and the Pacific. Stephen Watts Kearny (1794−48) was an army officer who in 1846 led an expedition westward from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and brought law and order to the recently acquired territory of New Mexico. The Oregon Trail was a wagon route widely used by migrants from the mid-1830s to the late 1860s. An illustration on the left side of the map shows Pyramid Lake, Upper California (in present-day Nevada), which it notes Frémont discovered in 1844. Frémont was almost certainly the first non-Indian to reach the lake. The map was drawn and engraved by John M. Atwood, about whom little is known. It was published by J.H. Colton & Company, which was founded in New York City, most likely in 1831, by Joseph Hutchins Colton (1800–93). As in this example, virtually all Colton maps were framed in decorative borders of intertwining vines, flowers, or geometric shapes. The map is accompanied by a pamphlet of 11 pages, which provides information for travelers including routes, distances, and fares.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

J.H. Colton & Company, New York


Title in Original Language

Map of the United States, the British provinces, Mexico &c.

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map : hand color ; 40 x 56 centimeters


  • Scale 1:15,000,000


  1. Richard Stockwell Ladd, Compiler. Maps Showing Explorers' Routes, Trails & Early Roads in the United States: An Annotated List (Washington: Library of Congress, Map Division, 1962).

Last updated: October 30, 2015