Catalog Archive
Auction 106, Lot 178

"Map No. 4 From the Valley of the Mud Lakes to the Pacific Ocean…", Beckwith, E. G., Capt.

Subject: California

Period: 1855 (dated)

Publication: U.S. Pacific Railroad Surveys

Color: Black & White

18 x 20.6 inches
45.7 x 52.3 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."

Wheat considers this an excellent map "due in large part to Egloffstein's work as Topographer for the Route." This map covers from Pyramid Lake to the Sacramento River in good detail while the western portions are in skeletal form. Delineates the proposed railroad route plus the one to the south surveyed in 1854. Locates Mount Shasta, Red Bluffs, Marysville, Auburn and the Head of Navigation on the Sacramento River. In the Gold Region the map locates Nevada, Coloma, Placerville and Auburn.

References: Wheat (TMW) #825.

Condition: B

Issued folding, now tissue backed. Toned along two folds.

Estimate: $80 - $100

Sold for: $75

Closed on 3/3/2004