Catalog Archive
Auction 179, Lot 206

"Explorations and Surveys South of Central Pacific R.R. War Department Preliminary Topographical Map… [in] Letter from the Secretary of War, Communicating ... A Preliminary Report of Lieutenant George M. Wheeler...", Wheeler, George (Lt)

Subject: Southwestern United States

Period: 1872 (published)

Publication: Sen. Ex. Doc. 65, 42nd Congress, 2nd Session

Color: Black & White

21.9 x 27.8 inches
55.6 x 70.6 cm
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This map was the result of Wheeler's spectacular exploration of 1871. The sudden emergence of the Interior Department's civilian surveys posed a major threat to the military's mapping and exploration efforts. Wheeler, barely 30 years of age, was tasked to gather information and produce a highly accurate map of the area. Having accomplished this, he conceived of the U.S. Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian, of which this map is the forerunner.

The map is very detailed with scores of mining districts located and named. Wheat refers to it as a "map of great interest." Wheeler was modest regarding the map's construction and in the notations announced that the map "is a hasty and partial compilation from the topographical data already received, many still remaining en route." The map displays a portion of Nevada together with parts of California, Utah and Arizona, as bounded by Tucson, San Bernardino and the Sierra Nevadas, St. George, and north to Mountain City, above Elko. The map is still bound with the 94 page report that Howes describes as the "first official exploration of this area, including the Mojave and Death Valleys." Ocatvo, hardbound in modern full leather.

References: Wheat (TMW) #1237; Howes #W-321.

Condition: A

The folding map on heavy paper is clean, bright and near fine with a short repaired binding tear at left and a few minor splits at the fold junctions. Text is clean and tight. Modern binding has one abrasion on the front cover, otherwise fine.

Estimate: $180 - $220

Sold for: $90

Closed on 9/16/2020