Auction 137, Lot 919

"[Lot of 2] Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, and Chihuahua, connected with The Unted States and Mexican Boundary Commission During the Years 1850, '51, '52, and '53. Vol. 1 [and] Vol. II", Bartlett, John Russell

Subject: Exploration and Surveys

Period: 1854 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

6 x 9.5 inches
15.2 x 24.1 cm

This is a two volume set of Bartlett's journal during his time leading the Boundary Survey efforts. Bartlett describes his personal narrative to include "only such digressions as seemed absolutely necessary for a full understanding of the subject". The first volume has three divisions of the expedition including "New York to El Paso", "El Paso to the Copper Mines", and "Journeys and Incidents in Sonora". The second volume includes "Journeys and Incidents in California", "San Diego to El Paso, Along the Gila" and "El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico". The reports include 94 woodcut engravings and 16 tinted lithographs including a great early view of Napa Valley. Octavo, hardbound in original green cloth boards. Gilt lettering on spine.

Included with this report, is a hand-colored General Map Showing the Countries Explored & Surveyed by the United States & Mexican Boundary Commission in the Years 1850, 51, 52 & 53. This map covers the entire western United States and northern Mexico with particular emphasis on the land recently obtained from Mexico. It is filled with place names, numerous Indian villages, geographical notes, and exploration routes. Wheat notes this is, all in all, an excellent map of the West that has a very early depiction of the Gadsden Purchase. It is one of the first commercial maps to show Jackson Lake east of the three Tetons. Sublettes Lake is noted as the source of the Yellowstone River. The geography of the unnamed Great Basin follows closely the cartography of Fremont's maps of 1845 and 1848. Utah is in its largest configuration stretching from California beyond the Continental Divide to Kansas. A note in the Staked Plains declares that "the whole country from the head waters of the Red, Brazos & Colorado Rivers to the Rio Pecos is a sterile and barren plain without water or timber producing only a few stinted shrubs which are insufficient to sustain animal life." Published by J.H. Colton & Co.

References: Wheat (TMW) #798; Wagner-Camp #234:1.

Condition: B

Map is clean and bright with two small repaired tears on verso that just extend into the image. Report pages and plates are clean, but the binding is loose in Volume 1 and partially disbound in Volume 2. Covers are almost detached and the spine is chipped.

Estimate: $600 - $1,000

Sold for: $450

Closed on 9/14/2011