Territory of New Mexico


Detailed government survey of the New Mexico territory published on the eve of statehood.

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Despite the appearance of order and organization on the map, the New Mexico territory was undergoing a drastic change at the time of publication. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw rapid expansion and settlement in the area. The completion of the Sante Fe and Southern Pacific railroads, discovery of oil and coal deposits, and popularity of ranching all drew emigrants from the East. These new inhabitants created tension among the original Spanish owners, squatters, and cattle barons that laid claim to much of the territory. The General Land Office, whose job it was to organize surveys and verify claims, was drastically understaffed and had difficulty keeping up.

Physical features of the landscape are clearly depicted – mountain ranges, rivers, lava beds, and deserts made survey work especially difficult. This map reflects the accumulation of their work up to 1909, with nearly the entire territory surveyed for townships (although a great deal of subdividing was yet to be done). Congress would admit New Mexico as the 47th state three years later in 1912 (with Arizona to follow the same year).

Map Details

Publication Date: 1909

Author: General Land Office

Sheet Width (in): 22.5

Sheet Height (in): 18.5

Condition: A

Condition Description: The map is in excellent condition with bright color and a strong image. Uneven left margin.