Auction 119, Lot 244

"[Lot of 2 - Gold Rush Maps]", U.S. Government

Subject: California

Period: 1848 (dated)

Publication: HR Doc, No. 1, 30th Congress, 2nd Session

Color: Black & White

6.4 x 9 inches
16.3 x 22.9 cm

These Gold Rush maps were made by Lt. William T. Sherman, of later Civil War fame, who drew the maps when he was working as an adjutant to U.S. Military Gov. Mason. Gold was first discovered in January 1848 near Coloma. John Sutter tried in vain to keep the discovery quiet and by summer the hills above the American River were filled with prospectors. In July, Col. Mason, the Military Governor of California, toured the diggings and sent a report to the President officially announcing the discovery of gold. These maps were a part of this important report, and spawned the great California Gold Rush.

1) Upper Mines. Nos 1 & 8 / Lower Mines or Mormon Diggings. No. 3 is one of the earliest printed maps to actually name and locate gold discoveries in California. The Upper Mines are along the South Fork of the American River and show where James Marshall first found gold. The lower map depicts numerous tents surrounding a store with a large area of the bar marked GOLD.

2) Positions of the Upper and Lower Gold Mines on the South Fork of the American River, California. July 20th, 1848. This map is one of the earliest and best first-hand accounts of the Gold Rush. It covers the country along the American River from its junction with the Sacramento River to just above Weber’s Creek. It shows Sutter’s Fort and numerous other diggings.

References: Wheat (Gold) #51 and 52.

Condition: B

Both backed with Japanese tissue to reinforce folds, with some scattered foxing, primarily on the second map.

Estimate: $300 - $350


Closed on 5/9/2007