Catalog Archive
Auction 106, Lot 177

"Map No. 1 From San Francisco Bay to the Northern Boundary of California", Williamson & Abbot

Subject: California

Period: 1855 (dated)

Publication: U.S. Pacific Railroad Surveys

Color: Black & White

23.3 x 27.5 inches
59.2 x 69.9 cm
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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."

This map is quite detailed from Red Bluffs and north with place names, watershed and fine hachure in the mountainous areas. The balance of the map is mostly in skeletal format. Details the numerous explorations of the named survey crews. Locates the Emigrant Trail plus the earlier explorations of Warner and Williamson in 1849, and Wessell in 1852. Notes the place Warner was killed in 1849. An area to the west is noted as not explored "Instrumentally." Extends to show all of San Francisco Bay.

References: Wheat (TMW) #881.

Condition: B

Issued folding, now pressed and tissue backed. Toned along folds.

Estimate: $140 - $180

Sold for: $210

Closed on 3/3/2004