Auction 153, Lot 323

"Sketch of El Paso, Texas, and Vicinity; Showing Position of Astronomical Monument of 1878 near Ft. Bliss", U.S. Government

Subject: El Paso, Texas

Period: 1879 (published)

Publication: HR Ex. Doc. 1, 46th Cong., 2nd Session

Color: Black & White

10.9 x 7.1 inches
27.7 x 18 cm

The 1870s was a period of intense effort, by such prominent people as Clarence King, Ferdinand Hayden, and John Wesley Powell, to advance the geographical knowledge of the West. These various surveys presented a threat to the Army's supremacy in the field of mapping and to the related appropriations from Congress. As a result of these pressures, the Army Corp of Engineers developed a plan to systematically survey the entire West to be called the U.S. Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian. The region was divided up into 95 rectangles, with atlas sheets to be prepared for each, comprising an area 2°45' of longitude and 1°40' of latitude on a scale of eight miles to the inch. Lieutenant George Wheeler was chosen to head this immense project. Surveys were conducted each summer from 1872 to 1878, after which Congress cut off appropriations for field work; thus the survey was not completed as originally envisioned. Wheeler published annual reports from 1873 to 1884, as well as the final Geographical Report published in 1889. The maps from this report are a valuable document of the record of Western exploration.

This small map presents good detail of roads and topography around El Paso. A large inset at bottom depicts the city with street-level detail, including the location of the astronomical monument. These astronomical sites were of extreme importance to the U.S. Corps of Engineers, so much so that these sites appear on the Corps' Progress Maps.


Condition: B

Issued folding and backed with tissue to reinforce and repair a long fold separation. There is a small hole to the south of Mulera Peak that has been closed on verso with old paper.

Estimate: $90 - $110

Sold for: $55

Closed on 5/20/2015