Map of the Country between the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans


One of the earliest depictions of a proposed Transcontinental Railroad.

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Even before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo made Manifest Destiny a reality, there were proponents of a Transcontinental Railroad that would connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to ensure the economic and military security of the United States. This document was designed by Robert Mills (architect of the Washington Monument) and reflects one such route; connecting Van Buren, Arkansas (at Fort Smith) to San Diego and San Francisco via a southern route through what is now Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Eastern routes would connect the lines to major terminals at Chicago, St. Louis, New York, and New Orleans.

In his map, Mills gave significant attention to territory still under ownership of Mexico, some of which would be incorporated into the U.S. via the Gadsden Purchase in 1853 to facilitate creation of the southern route. Ultimately, however, the First Transcontinental Railroad (completed in 1869) would take a more northerly route through Nebraska, Wyoming and Nevada, connecting points at Council Bluffs, Iowa and Sacramento.

Adjacent to the primary map is a secondary world map depicting the proposed route in relation to major international commercial routes, with a caption explaining further how the railroad will benefit the economic vitality of North America. Lastly, a chart at the bottom depicts a profile of the elevation changes along the route from Little Rock to San Diego – a very important consideration when planning a railroad! This map comes with the 17 page report made by the Committee on Public Lands to the U.S. Senate, which includes information on the proposed route as well as a distance table.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1852

Author: Robert Mills

Sheet Width (in): 33.75

Sheet Height (in): 11.75

Condition: B

Condition Description: The map is in good condition, with discoloration and fading concentrated along fold lines and along the upper edge. Creasing along fold lines an uneven top margins with some separation along fold lines repaired on verso. Comes with corresponding 17 page U.S. Senate Report.