Catalog Archive

Auction 181, Lot 184

Features Fremont's Large Map of the American West

"[Map with Report] Map of an Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842 and to Oregon & North California in the Years 1843-44 [with] Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains...", Fremont/Preuss

Subject: Western United States

Period: 1845 (published)

Publication: H.R. Ex. Doc. 166, 28th Congress, 2nd Session

Color: Hand Color

Size:
51.1 x 30.5 inches
129.8 x 77.5 cm

This is the large edition of the influential map which details John Charles Fremont's epic exploration of the American West. Fremont and his traveling companion and topographer, George Carl Preuss, launched the expedition from the frontier settlement of Westport at the juncture of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. There Fremont first met Kit Carson who signed on as guide to the expedition. Traveling across the Rocky Mountains at South Pass to the Columbia River in Oregon Territory, they then continued south along the Sierra Nevada nearly to the "Pueblo del los Angeles", northeast to Lake Utah and finally east to the Arkansas River. Fremont's map and report had a profound influence on emigration to the Far West as his westward route eventually became the Oregon Trail. Wheat, who called this "an important step forward from the earlier western maps" devoted seven text pages to its description. The map was drawn by Charles Preuss "whose skill in sketching topography...has probably never been surpassed in this country." There is much to study and appreciate in this rare map, but we return to Wheat for this short praise: "To Fremont and his magnificence map of his Second Expedition all praise. This is an altogether memorable document in the cartographic history of the West, and for it alone Fremont would deserve to be remembered in history."

Included is an untitled folding map (23 x 9") showing their route between Mountain Lake (Lake Tahoe) in the Sierra's and Nueva Helvetica. Fremont's party enjoyed a two-week respite as the guest of John Sutter near the famous Sutter's Mill. Also contains an untitled folding map of the Bear River in Utah (8 x 16.5"), and a single page map of The Great Salt - Lake which is an early map of the area including the front of the Wasatch Mountains.

This is the House of Representatives issue, which preceded the Senate version. Octavo, rebound in quarter faux leather with tips over cloth boards. 583 pp., 22 plates and 5 maps. The body of the book contains Fremont's two reports, titled "A Report on an Exploration of the Country Lying Between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains" and "A Report of the Exploring Expedition to Oregon and North California, in the Years 1843-'44." The volume also includes an unrelated 42-page report following Fremont's report (document #167).

References: Howes #F-370; Sabin #25845; Wagner-Camp #115.2; Wheat (TMW) #497.

Condition: B+

The large folding map is very good (better than most) with faint offsetting, a number of short splits at the fold junctions, and a 2.5" edge tear at left that has been closed on verso with tape. Text and plates are very good to near fine with occasional light toning and foxing. Modern binding is pristine.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,300

Sold for: $650

Closed on 2/10/2021

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