Auction 137, Lot 264

"Preliminary Map of the Western Portion of the Reconnaissance and Survey for a Pacific Rail Road Route Near the 35th Par. [with] Wagon Road from Fort Defiance to the Colorado River", Whipple, Amiel Weekes

Subject: Southwestern United States

Period: 1857-58 (dated)

Publication: HR ex doc. 124, 35th Cong. 1st session

Color: Black & White

Size:
49 x 26 inches
124.5 x 66 cm

This map shows the region from Albuquerque, New Mexico west to San Diego, CA originally drawn by A.W. Whipple and updated by E.F. Beale. This is a significant map in the history of southwestern exploration, as it demonstrated conclusively the utility of the 35th parallel route for overland travel. Beale's route was heavily traveled by immigrants to California, and the Santa Fe Railroad also follows this route. Much of the notoriety of Beale's expedition derives from the fact that he used as many as 75 Egyptian camels to carry the expedition's equipment and supplies. Beale advocated the construction of dams and military posts along the way to facilitate emigration to the West Coast. The map is offered with Beale's original 8vo report written to John B. Floyd, Secretary of War, and James L. Orr, Speaker of the House. The disbound, 87 pp report details Beale's explorations and includes his recommendations and estimated cost to improve the wagon road by straightening and improving grades, constructing bridges and other improvements. During the year long journey Beale notes "I have not last a man" nor was there any illness and that the medicine chest "proved only an encumbrance." The map and report are rarely offered together.

References: Wheat (TMW) #939.

Condition: B

There is a 6" repaired binding tear at upper-left near the title and some splits and small holes in the fold intersections that have been professionally repaired with archival material on verso. Narrow binding side margin at left. Report pages are mostly clean.

Estimate: $700 - $850

Sold for: $350

Closed on 9/14/2011

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