Catalog Archive
Auction 164, Lot 206

"Map Showing the Route Pursued by the Exploring Expedition to New Mexico and the Southern Rocky Mountains...", Fremont, John Charles

Subject: Western United States

Period: 1846 (published)

Publication: Expedition to the Upper Arkansas River

Color: Black & White

28.1 x 19.5 inches
71.4 x 49.5 cm

John C. Fremont is an important historical figure best remembered for his three explorations of the west in the 1840s. Fremont married Jessie Benton, daughter of Sen. Thomas Hart Benton in 1841. The Senator championed the idea of Manifest Destiny, pushing for national surveys of the West and arranging for his son-in-law to lead them.

From 1842 to 1846 Fremont led three explorations of the west with Kit Carson as guide and Charles Preuss as the topographer. His early route became know as the Oregon Trail and his explorations are credited with encouraging the huge overland migration to the west. He was the first American to see Lake Tahoe, and finally determined that the Great Basin is endorheic, or closed basin with no outlet to the sea.

Fremont went on to become a millionaire, a California senator, a governor to Arizona Territory, the man who is credited with saving Kit Carson's life, and much more, yet died penniless and in virtual obscurity. Some scholars regard Fremont as a hero of significant accomplishment, while others view him as a failure who repeatedly defeated his own best ideals. He remains an enigmatic figure in the history of the United States. Read more of his fascinating story here.

This famous map by Lt. Abert, assisted by Lt. Peck, is considered of great importance as it shows the first precise astronomical observations in this unknown part of the country. It covers the area from Missouri to the Rocky Mountains, as far north as Ft. Laramie and south to Santa Fe. The entire length of the Santa Fe Trail is detailed, including the location of Council Groves and Pawnee Rock. It is largely based on Fremont's famous 1845 map, with new information added west of the eastern Rockies and along the expedition route. Wheat considers the map to be "one of great interest."

References: Wheat (TMW) #489; Wagner-Camp #120.

Condition: B

Issued folding with light dampstains along the fold lines and a small abrasion just to the south of Spanish Peaks resulting in small loss of image. There is a small fold separation along the left fold and some light extraneous creasing at left.

Estimate: $550 - $700

Sold for: $300

Closed on 9/13/2017