Catalog Archive
Auction 145, Lot 225

"Reconnaissance of the Western Coast of the United States (Northern Sheet) From Umpquah River to the Boundary…", U.S. Coast Survey

Subject: Northwest Pacific Coast

Period: 1864 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

22.1 x 24.7 inches
56.1 x 62.7 cm
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The Office of Coast Survey is the oldest U.S. scientific organization, dating from 1807 when Congress directed that a "survey of the coast" be carried out. By 1836, it was called the U.S. Coast Survey and in 1878, the name was changed to the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. Today the Office of Coast Survey is a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA.

The survey teams, composed of civilians as well as Army and Naval officers, charted the nation's waterways and produced a wide array of reports, survey charts, hydrographic studies of tides and currents, astronomical studies and observations, and coastal pilots. These charts are an important record of the changing nature of the nation's coastlines. In additional to coastal charts, the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey produced land sketches, Civil War battle maps, and the early aeronautical charts.

This terrific chart delineates the coast from the first official scientific reconnaissance of the Pacific coast, one of three prepared by Lieutenant James Alden for this important survey. This sheet covers the region from the boundary with Canada south past the Columbia River, Cape Foulweather and south to the Umpquah River near today's Reedsport and the historical Umpquah Lighthouse. Good detail of soundings in the complex waterways of the Straits of Juan de Fuca, the San Juan Islands, the Gulf of Georgia and Puget Sound. The chart outlines the coastal littoral, shows dangerous reefs and shoals, gives offshore bathymetric soundings, plus general and specific harbor sailing instructions. The most impressive feature is the eight views of entrances and promontories along this rugged coastline - among them, Flattery Rocks, Tillamook Head, Destruction Island, Cape Lookout and the entrance to the Columbia River and Cape Disappointment. The map was drawn by W.M. McMurtie and engraved by G. McCoy, J.V.N. Throop and apprentice J.J. Knight. One of the finest Coast Survey charts produced.


Condition: B

Issued folding, now pressed with a few tiny spots of foxing and backed with Japanese tissue to repair several fold separations, holes at fold intersections, and two tiny holes in blank areas of image.

Estimate: $200 - $240

Sold for: $230

Closed on 6/12/2013