Catalog Archive
Auction 106, Lot 202

"Map No. 2 From Great Salt Lake to the Humboldt Mountains…", Beckwith, E. G., Capt.

Subject: Nevada and Utah

Period: 1855 (dated)

Publication: U.S. Pacific Railroad Surveys

Color: Black & White

19 x 20.6 inches
48.3 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."

Finely detailed map with delicate hachure to indicate mountainous elevations. Includes the region from the Great Salt Lake and across the flats to the Humboldt range. Several proposed railroad routes noted, including one earlier surveyed in 1854 through the To-a-no Mountains. Very good depiction of the Emigrant Road skirting north of the lake. Wheat considers this an excellent map "due in large part to Egloffstein's work as Topographer for the Route."

References: Wheat (TMW) #823.

Condition: B

Issued folding, now tissue backed. Toned along folds, else very good.

Estimate: $60 - $80

Sold for: $45

Closed on 3/3/2004