Catalog Archive
Auction 157, Lot 765

"Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to Ascertain the Practicability of a Ship-Canal Between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, by the Way of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec", U.S. Navy Dept.

Subject: Exploration & Surveys, Mexico

Period: 1872 (published)


Color: Black & White

9.3 x 12 inches
23.6 x 30.5 cm

This complete report, by Captain Robert W. Shufeldt of the US Navy, outlines the possibility of building a canal at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico in order to create a navigable route for ships between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Prior to the construction of the Panama Canal, several sites were reviewed to determine the best location for an interoceanic canal. It was eventually determined that building a canal at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec was too costly, and efforts were redirected to Panama. This volume is complete and includes the 151-page report, 11 plates, and 20 maps. See the images for the list of maps.


Condition: B+

The maps are mostly in very good (B+) condition with light toning along the folds, a few fold separations, and occasional minor offsetting. Maps #5 and #19 have moderate toning along several folds and long fold separations. Map #11 has a 4" binding tear and map #18 has a damp stain. The plates range in condition from near fine (A) to good (B) with light scattered foxing primarily confined to the blank margins. Four of the plates have a light damp stain in the bottom left corner. The text is toned with a damp stain in the bottom right corner of the first 50 pages. The hinges are starting and the spine and covers are sunned with some stains.

Estimate: $120 - $150

Sold for: $90

Closed on 5/4/2016