Map of Manitoba, Kewaydin, British Columbia and North West Territory, Shewing the Country to be Traversed by the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Published 1882, Montreal
Size: 55" X 21"
Condition: Backed on original linen with occasional separation at folds.
A rare colour-lithographed map of Western Canada depicting the territorial boundaries, roads, trails, telegraphs and rail network, proposed and completed, from Ontario and parts of Western Quebec to British Columbia. The map was published by Edward Stanford and engraved by J. Bartholomew. This is the second issue of the map with the others being printed in 1880 and 1883. Although all three issues are rarely seen on the market, this issue is of particular interest in that it follows the incorporation of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1881 and helps give a progress report in the construction the only second transcontinental rail network.
This map is important also for the depiction of the autonomous District of Keewaydin (an Objibway term meaning “land of the Northwest wind”) that was created in 1876 until 1905. Keewaydin was created from the Hudson’s Bay Company’s territory of Ruperts Lands on the West side of Hudson Bay that was originally ceded to the North West Territories in 1870 which coincided with the entry of British Columbia into the Canadian Confederation the following year. As such, maps depicting this autonomous district of Keewaydin, although rarely seen on the market, are of great historical significance in terms of the provincial boundary disputes that date from this era and predate the creation of the Prairie provinces such Alberta and Saskatchewan. The following report provides a good example of these disputes: http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/bibliography/1190/9.html
As previously mentioned, this map is also important in showing the progress of the construction of the rail network of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) that was incorporated a year earlier in 1881 that also coincided with the CPR’s purchase of the Dominion Express Company, the first all-Canadian express route between Eastern and Western Canada for parcel delivery and money transfers. The CPR was also now actively involved in the sale of the its land grants dating from 1881 to help defray the cost of the construction of the greatest engineering feat in Canadian history. The importance of the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in terms of its social, economic and political ramifications cannot be under estimated. By linking British Columbia and the Western Territories , including the newly formed province of Manitoba to the former British colonies of Upper and Lower Canada, including New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, the claims to Canadian sovereignty were solidified and Western expansion could proceed. Furthermore, by linking the East and West with a rail system in the newly formed Canadian political entity following Confederation twenty years earlier out of fear of American expansion, the historical trade patterns of a North South axis could now be altered to and East West axis and thus gain economic independence from the United States.
This map would thus have been of great interest, as it now to map enthusiasts and collectors alike, in providing a progress report of the process by which Westward expansion occurred and and solidifying of the sovereignty of Canada in the West.