Colton's Western Tourist and Emigrant's Guide

Previous Next Pioneers & Immigrants Exhibit Page Home Search
Record 166/261
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
Enlarge Image
Enlarge Image
Admin/Biog History Originally published in 1850 as The Western Tourist and Emigrant's Guide, this volume was printed in 1852. This small pocket guide and map would be indispensable to immigrants to the United States and pioneers moving westward, with its information on travelling distances, routes for stage coaches, railroads, and steamboats. It states, "The great region of the North and West, comprehended in the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and the territories of Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska, is daily becoming more and more important and interesting. Its vast resources are hi a state of rapid development. Industry and enterprise, aided by en-lightened legislation, are calling forth its energies; and the prophetic declaration, that "Westward the star of empire takes its way," is advancing to fulfillment. A few years ago this region, then denominated the "Far West," was regarded as the outskirts of civilization--it is now (at least the greater portion of it) the residence of an active, vigorous, and intelligent population. The steamboat, railroad car, and telegraph have become its great movers. Cities have sprung up in the wilderness as if by the will of the magician; agriculture, manufactures, and commerce flourish; literature, science, and the arts are extending their healthful and invigorating influ-ence throughout the country. Blessed with a soil unsurpassed in fertility, and a salubrious climate; and possessing, by means of its great rivers and lakes, advantages for trade and commerce, it enjoys all the influences that can render a country prosperous and a people happy.
The object of the present publication is to give a succinct account of the states and territories into which it is divided, and exhibit to the reader such information respecting their present condition and prospects as is necessary to a right understanding of the great interest of the region; and also to supply the public with a book of travel on which they may rely. Great experience, and no little expense have been employed in its compilation, and it is confidently anticipated that there will be found in its pages more extensive information, and a more accurate and far fuller list of routes than in any like publication. Both departments of the work have been corn-pried from entirely new material, and are adapted to the present state of things, and the extended facilities of travel by railroad, river, lake, canal, and stage-road.
Under the head of each state and territory will be found its respective boundaries and extent--its physical aspect--an account of its rivers, lakes, and internal improvements--its industry, as applied to the development of its resources--its natural products--its manufactures and commerce--its educational condition--descriptions of its chief cities, towns, and villages, and a sketch of its history and progress. This information is followed by "Tables of the Routes" in each state, which are indexed for convenience of reference.
To the tourist, commercial traveler, and emigrant such a work must be especially desirable,--embodying, as it does, a vast fund of information necessary for his convenience, and without which it is impossible to proceed understandingly on his journey.
The map accompanying this work has been carefully drawn from the government surveys. It exhibits the county and township lines; the location of cities and villages; and the tracks of railroads, canals, and post-roads, &c.; and is the most complete general map of the northwestern states yet published."
Collection Map Small Collections
Dates of Accumulation 1852
Abstract 1852 edition of "The Western Tourist and Emigrant's Guide Through the States of Ohio; Michigan; Indiana; Illinois; Missouri; Iowa; and Wisconsin, and the Territories of Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska: being an Accurate and Concise Description of Each State and Territory; and Contains the Routes and Distances on the Great Lanes of Travel. Accompanied with a Large and Minute Map, Exhibiting the Township Lines of the United States Surveys, the Boundaries of Counties, and the Position of Cities, Villages and Settlements, Etc., Etc." published by J. H. Colton, No. 86 Cedar Street, New York.
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Legal Status Oshkosh Public Museum
Object ID SC350.3
Object Name Book
Copyrights Public Domain
Subjects Maps
Emigration & immigration
Westward movement
Railroad travel
Title Colton's Western Tourist and Emigrant's Guide
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION ~ For access to this image, contact

NOTICE: This material may be freely used by non-commercial entities for educational and/or research purposes as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other presentation without the permission of The Oshkosh Public Museum. 2005 Oshkosh Public Museum, All Rights Reserved   
Last modified on: December 12, 2009