Catalog Archive
Auction 101, Lot 582

"[Lot of 10] Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean…1853-6", U.S. Railroad Surveys

Subject: History - Railroad

Period: 1853 (published)


Color: Printed Color

9.5 x 11.5 inches
24.1 x 29.2 cm

Partially complete set of the monumental railroad survey in 10 [of 13] volumes. The present volumes will form the basis of an easily assembled complete set. Considered by Wagner-Camp as the "cornerstone work in a Western Americana collection and is considered one of the most important works on the Transmississippi West for its published reports on the explorations and the data collected during the surveys." Illustrated with hundreds of lithographs, both black and white and tinted color, and nearly 50 maps, mostly large folding. The plates include scenery, native inhabitants, flora, fauna, birds, botanical, etc. Published by the Federal Government, these reports provide the single most important contemporary source of knowledge of the West. Most of the folding maps are fine with many never being opened. All bindings good with shelf wear and rubbing, except for volumes VIII and IX that have very poor bindings. Contents of all generally very good, including the California plates and map, which are near mint.

References: Wagner-Camp, p. 262.

Condition: A

Missing volumes II, X and XI. Contents generally very clean. Marbled boards with quarter calf on spines with original black leather and gilt labels, except for Vol. IX in cloth. All volumes appear complete, but are uncollated.

Estimate: $1,400 - $1,600

Sold for: $2,500

Closed on 12/4/2002