Catalog Archive
Auction 106, Lot 160

"Geological Map of the Route explored by Lt. A.W. Whipple…From the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean 1853-1854", Whipple, Amiel Weekes

Subject: United States - Southwestern

Period: 1859 (published)

Publication: U.S. Pacific Railroad Surveys

Color: Hand Color

36.7 x 8 inches
93.2 x 20.3 cm
Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

During the 1850s, the U.S. government sponsored an extensive series of expeditions designed to gather information on the vast new territories that had been acquired in western North America. The discovery of gold in California further stimulated westward traffic and heightened the need for a faster and more convenient way to bring the far-flung parts of the country together. In 1853 Congress commissioned the Army's Topographic Bureau to conduct a series of surveys to find a suitable route for a transcontinental railroad. There were six major expeditions; five of them covered the area between the Great Plains and west coast, and the sixth explored the coastal states of California and Oregon. All of these expeditions were accompanied by naturalists and artists to document the landscape, flora and fauna along the route. The reports, maps and lithographs were published in the 13 volume report "Explorations and Surveys to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a Railroad from the Mississippi river to the Pacific Ocean."

A very colorful map that details the country from Memphis across the West to the small town of Los Angeles. The underlying geology surveyed by the notable geologist, Jules Marcou, is delineated and color-coded with an index. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad later traveled the western part of this survey. Locates a few cities along the way: Helena, Napoleon, Vicksburg, Pine Bluff, Little Rock, Fort Smith, San Antonio, Fort Defiance and Needles.


Condition: B

Nice example with bright coloring. Folding as issued, now tissue backed. Light toning along folds, else very good.

Estimate: $120 - $160

Sold for: $60

Closed on 3/3/2004