"Preliminary Map of the Western Portion of the Reconnaissance and Survey for a Pacific Rail Road Route Near the 35th Par. Made by Capt. A.W. Whipple T.E. in 1853-54... [with report] Wagon Road from Fort Defiance to the Colorado River...", Whipple, Amiel Weekes
Subject: Southwestern United States
Period: 1857-58 (published)
Publication: H.R. Ex. Doc. #124, 35th Cong. 1st Sess
Color: Black & White
49 x 26 inches
124.5 x 66 cm
This map shows the region from Albuquerque, New Mexico west to San Diego, CA originally drawn by A.W. Whipple and updated by E.F. Beale. This is a significant map in the history of southwestern exploration, as it demonstrated conclusively the utility of the 35th parallel route for overland travel. Beale's route was heavily traveled by immigrants to California, and the Santa Fe Railroad also follows this route. Much of the notoriety of Beale's expedition derives from the fact that he used as many as 75 Egyptian camels to carry the expedition's equipment and supplies. Beale advocated the construction of dams and military posts along the way to facilitate emigration to the West Coast. The map is offered with Beale's original 8vo report written to John B. Floyd, Secretary of War, and James L. Orr, Speaker of the House. The disbound, 87 pp report details Beale's explorations and includes his recommendations and estimated cost to improve the wagon road by straightening and improving grades, constructing bridges and other improvements. During the year long journey Beale notes "I have not last a man" nor was there any illness and that the medicine chest "proved only an encumbrance." The map and report are rarely offered together.
References: Wheat (TMW) #939.
Issued folding with numerous splits mostly at fold intersections with only minor loss of image. There is light toning primarily along the fold lines and a 4.5" edge tear at top left that has been closed on verso with archival tape. Disbound text has light toning and scattered foxing.