Colton, G.W-Central America
Lithograph with original hand colouring. Overall sheet size: 42.8cms x 35.5cms. On verso is text describing the West Indies. Map also shows inset of Aspinwall city and city of Panama.; Isthmus of Panama, Harbour of San Juan de Nicaragua, the ‘Nicaragua Route’.( Before the construction of the Panama Canal the most practical route from the Caribbean to the Pacific was through Nicaragua. Known as the Nicaragua Route, this passage was controlled by the Accessory Transit Company, a property of the American tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt. This crucial trade was interrupted in 1854 by the outbreak Civil War in Nicaragua. In an attempt to keep the route open, the Liberal Party of Nicaragua, under Francisco Castellón, enlisted the aid of the American adventurer William Walker. Walker invaded Nicaragua with sixty armed men and managed to have himself fraudulently elected President, after which is began an Americanization program that included reintroducing slavery into the region, a process that became known as ‘fillibustering’. Eventually Walker's small private army was defeated by the Central American Collation and Walker himself was sent back to New York, where he faced charges for illegally waging war. However Walker returned to British Honduras (Belize), where he was captured and executed by the British governors who saw him as a threat to their own ambitions to construct a canal route. He was aged 36 when he died. Highly decorative border. The map depicts forts, rivers, railroads etc. . The hand colouring is in Colton’s recognizable pink and greens depicts various state and territorial boundaries. Slight toning to margins and waterstaining in bottom left else good condition. Dated 1855 in plate.
George Woolworth Colton (1827 - 1901) was the son of Joseph Hutchins Colton (July 5, 1800 - July 29, 1893) who was an important American map and atlas publisher operating between 1833 to 1897. JH Colton recognized a gap in the market and published guides for immigrants and updated maps with decorative borders after purchasing the copyright from cartographers such as David H. Burr. His two sons worked in the business with him on the vast output of railroad maps, guides and several atlases. The non payment of the fee from Bolivia for a large quantity of maps of the country was financially disastrous for the company. The maps are characterised by their decorative spiral borders and vibrant contemporary hand colouring.