Map of the Rail Roads in the United States in Operation and Progress


Meticulous overview of the railroad system in the United States after the Compromise of 1850.

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With the admission of California as the 31st state in September of 1850, the United States had finally attained Manifest Destiny and stretched from coast to coast. The railroad would be a major factor in filling out the spaces in between, but it wouldn’t be until 1869 that it finally linked east and west.

The completion of the first transcontinental railroad remained a long way off, and this c. 1851 map of the eastern United States shows only two lines extending westward as far as Missouri. Several proposed routes can be seen in Iowa, Arkansas, and Louisiana; but only the last had any lines then in operation.

East of the Mississippi, a different story is unveiled. Railroads in operation or under construction are concentrated heavily across the Midwest and New England, with Chicago and St. Louis battling for future domination of the former.

The discrepancy in available rail lines is also visible between the north and the south and would be a critical factor during the Civil War. Inset maps of Texas and Florida show no railroads whatsoever, reflecting their remoteness.

Apart from rail lines, the map also shows basic topographic detail in hachure and labels rivers, towns, and forts. Created in 1852 by Israel D. Andrews to accompany a Senate report from the Treasury Department.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1852

Author: Israel D. Andrews

Sheet Width (in): 43.70

Sheet Height (in): 40.20

Condition: B+

Condition Description: A noble ruin resurrected. This former pocket map has been professionally restored and mounted on linen, preserving the magnificent original color and the vast majority of the image. There is a bit of scattered overlap from the mounting process, faint discoloration along former fold lines, and a bit of minor image loss from old creases. Very good condition overall.


1 in stock