Catalog Archive
Auction 139, Lot 272

One of the Earliest Printed Government Surveys

"Map of the Routes Examined and Surveyed for the Winchester and Potomac Rail Road…", Humphreys, Andrew A.

Subject: Virginia

Period: 1832 (dated)

Publication: 24th Congress, 2nd Session, HR Doc. 465

Color: Black & White

27 x 21.3 inches
68.6 x 54.1 cm

This is one of the earliest printed government surveys that was drawn from the original plot by Lt. Andrew Atkinson Humphreys. It was based on surveys by Lts. A.D. Mackay and E. French in 1831 and Lts. French and J.F. Izard in 1832. The topographic map illustrates an area between the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers to Winchester. It locates Harper's Ferry, Charleston, Smithfield Village, Winchester, and scores of individual farms with the owner's name. It shows mills, distilleries, blacksmith shops, etc. along the proposed routes. Across the bottom is an extensive table giving a summary of the routes surveyed.

The Commonwealth of Virginia was embroiled in controversy over the development of a railway network in this region. The existing transportation system was inefficient for the farmers and iron furnaces in the Shenandoah Valley, as it concentrated economic trade benefits within Virginia at the exclusion of neighboring Maryland and Pennsylvania. This rail line was designed to divert Shenandoah Valley wheat from Alexandria and stimulate growth in Baltimore. Completion of the line in 1836 greatly contributed to the decline of Alexandria.

References: Claussen & Friis #271; Modelski (Railroads) #4.

Condition: A

The map is clean and bright with a very small tear at the right binding trim that extends 0.5" into the image. Issued folding.

Estimate: $200 - $250

Sold for: $230

Closed on 2/15/2012