Catalog Archive
Auction 106, Lot 226

"Map No. 3 Rocky Mountains to Puget Sound…", Stevens, Isaac Ingalls

Subject: Washington

Period: 1853-54 (dated)

Publication: U.S. Pacific Railroad Surveys

Color: Black & White

36.6 x 24.5 inches
93 x 62.2 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 is an excellent and complex map that details the many routes of McClelland, Gibbs, Donelson, Arnold, Saxton, and Mullan, to name just the majority of survey parties. It clearly indicates the great difficulty of finding a railroad route through the numerous mountain ranges. With a large inset of "Reconnaissance of the Railroad Route From Walla Walla to Seattle via Yak-e-mah River & Snoqualmie Pass." Extends east to the Rocky Mountains to include Lewis & Clark Pass, Flathead Lake, and south to Fort Hall.

References: Wheat (TMW) #866.

Condition: B

Toned along folds, one tiny lifted area of paper at fold. Issued folding, now backed with tissue.

Estimate: $150 - $200

Sold for: $190

Closed on 3/3/2004