Vintage Map Print of California and San Francisco by: Colton, 1856
1856 California
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1856 California

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By: Joseph H. Colton

Date of Original: 1856 (published) New York

Original Size: 16 x 13 inches (40.5 x 33 cm)

This is a fine print reproduction of a map of California, published by Joseph H. Colton out of New York in 1856. The map is color coded by county and shows railroads, common roads, rivers, canals, ports, lakes, forts, large towns and villages of the mid-19th century. The map also includes a detailed inset map of the city of San Francisco colored by ward and detailing the growth of the city extending into the Bay of San Francisco. other noteworthy cities and towns found within the map include San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Monterey, Stockton, Sacramento, Nevada City, and Shasta City to name a few. The state of California is bordered to the east by the Territory and Utah and New Mexico instead of Nevada.

Published just sever years after the discovery of gold at Sutter's mill in 1849, much of the population resides between San Francisco and gold country. Many counties in this map will later be reconfigured, divided, and renamed. Within the central valley west of the Sierra Nevada mountains is a long stretch of marsh land along the San Joaquin River that feeds Tulare Lake. Contrasting this map with the ongoing drought the state suffers from today adds to the intrigue of this map. 

Inventory #NA160

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What can be referred to as modern cartography has been around for over 550 years. Throughout that time an enormous amount of new land was discovered, cities were founded while others perished. International trade and travel became the norm, political borders were ever-changing, and numerous wars were waged. With all that being said, hundreds of thousands of maps were created that show such events and episodes in time. 
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