"Map of Route Pursued by U. S. Troops from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Sante Fe, New Mexico, via South Side of Canadian River in the Year 1849...", Simpson, James H. (Lt. Col.)
Period: 1849 (dated)
Color: Black & White
19.1 x 10.8 inches
48.5 x 27.4 cm
This fascinating map depicts a portion of the Marcy Trail that followed the 32nd parallel from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Santa Fe, New Mexico in search of a safe and practicable route west. The expedition was commanded by Captain Randolph B. Marcy and included a large party of California emigrants, inspired by California gold fever. The survey along the route was conducted by Lieutenant James H. Simpson, who collected data and compiled the first accurate and detailed map of the region. The survey was made with a chain and compass checked by astronomical observations made with a sextant and chronometer. Simpson credits the surveys of the Canadian River and of New Mexico, made in 1845 - 46 & 47, by Lieut. T. Abert of the Topographical Engineers in the preparation of his maps. The map was drawn by Lt. Simpson with the assistance of Mr. E.M. Kern and Mr. Champlin.
This map is the first of four, depicting the first portion of the expedition from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Old Fort Holmes, near present-day Norman, Oklahoma. It is filled with details encountered along the way, including forts, rivers and creeks, topography, and many notes on wildlife, geological, emigrant roads, Indian tribes and villages, availability of water and wood, and much more. A table of distances from Fort Smith is in the bottom right corner. This expedition represents the first detailed mapping of the area, and was later used for the Whipple railroad expedition in 1853.
References: Wheat (TMW) #640.
Issued folding with professional repairs to several fold separations and small holes at fold intersections. There are some small, minor damp stains and light soiling.