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An important pocket map of the California gold regions issued to year of the California gold rush. Pocket maps were issued for places people were interested in traveling to, and no place in the United States was of more interest for travelers in 1849 than the California gold regions. This map was intended for those heading to California to participate in the great gold rush. It was only the second map to be issued of just the gold fields. It contains all the information such a '49er' would need, including indications of all the mines, diggings, roads, mills, and other features of note. In the upper corner is a small map showing the various routes to California, and the main map extends from San Francisco, where most would land, north beyond the gold fields. The map is based on an 1848 by Edward Ord, but with some new information added to reflect later events. The map is almost as much a promotional document as a cartographic one, with notes scattered all over such as "Gold found on all these streams," and "Low Clay Hills and Gravel containing Gold." A note at the bottom lists the distances from Sutter's Fort to the lower and upper mines. A map like this, intended for use by travelers and often taken out into the field, would have a very low rate of survival, so it is especially surprising to find a copy in such excellent condition as this. It is a wonderful survivor of that important part of American history. $11,500
George Horatio Derby. "Sketch of General Riley's Route Through the Mining Districts. July and Aug 1849." From Message From the President of the United States, Transmitting Information in Answer to a Resolution of the House of the 31st of December, 1849, on the subject of California and New Mexico. Washington: 1849. 21 x 19 1/2. Lithograph by Ackermann's Lithr., New York. With folds as issued. Very good condition. Wheat: Maps of the California Gold Region: 79. Denver.
An important map of the California gold regions drawn in its earliest days. Up to April 1849, Upper California was administered by a series of military governors. On April 12, Lt. Col. Bennett C. Riley was instructed to take over the administration of civil affairs, in effect to prepare California for statehood. As Acting Governor, Rley called for an election for delegates to write a constitution, the convention taking pace in September that year. The constitution written was adopted by a general election in November 1849, leading to an elected government and then statehood on September 9, 1850. During his term, in July and August 1849, Riley took a tour of the mining regions; he was accompanied by Lt. George H. Derby, who drew this map showing the region with Riley's tour marked upon it. The map was based on a sketch by Derby, copied by J. Mc. H. Hollingsworth.
Carl Wheat notes the importance of this map in its record of the early California gold rush. "…Derby's map graphically shows how the miners were beginning to swarm up the Sierra streams into the general area which he designated as 'Diggings.'" It shows the location of many of the mining camps for the first time, some of the names of which have not survived. Among those shown are Mormon Island (mistakenly labeled "Mormont" by Hollingsworth), Coloma (mislabeled "Colluma") and the wonderful note of "Tent." Besides the mining camps, topography is clearly presented, as are roads, towns, rivers and bays as far south as Monterey. $850
"A New Map of the State of California, The Territories of Oregon, Washington, Utah & New Mexico." Philadelphia: Charles Desilver, 1856. 16 x 12 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition. Denver.
Charles Desilver, one of the many publishers working in Philadelphia during the mid-nineteenth century, issued an atlas of maps based on the famous Tanner-Mitchell-Cowperthwait series. Desilver used much the same information as originally drawn in the 1840s, but updated the maps with new counties, roads, towns, etc. Here the country west of the Rockies is depicted with the state of California and the rest comprised of just four territories: Washington, Oregon, Utah and New Mexico. Settlement in those territories was quite sparse at the time, with some cities shown, and a number of counties developed in the western part of the northern most territories. The map was issued just after the Gadsden Treaty (1854) so the current southern border with Mexico is depicted. Of note are depictions of the southern route proposed for the Pacific Railroad, the Spanish trail from Santa Fe to Los Angeles, the routes of Lewis & Clark and Fremont, and the Oregon Trail. Forts are indicated, as are the territories of various Indian tribes. Of interest is the small section entitled "Middle Park," which is shown as part of Utah, but which is currently part of Colorado (the western part of which is shown as part of Kansas Territory. Overall, a terrific and up-to-date map of the western United States. $575
"California." New York: J.H. Colton & Co, 1856. 15 1/2 x 13 3/4. Lithograph. Full original hand-coloring. Some transference of text from adjoining page. Else, very good condition. In the mid-nineteenth century, the center of map publishing in America moved from Philadelphia to New York. The J.H. Colton publishing firm played a large role in this shift. This map of California, with its fine detail, is a strong example of their successful work. First issued as a pocket map in 1853, this map was one of the first maps of just California and it was very influential in the mapping of the state subsequently. The counties are shown with contrasting pastel shades and rivers, lakes, swamps, and orography is neatly presented. Also of interest are the indications of the early road network in the state. A detailed inset map shows San Francisco. $275
"Williams' New Trans-Continental Map of the Pacific R.R. and Routes of Overland Travel to Colorado, Nebraska, The Black Hills, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Montana California and the Pacific Coast." New York: Henry T. Williams, 1877. 22 3/4 x 36 1/2. Lithography (Osborne's Process) by A.M. Photo-Litho Company, N.Y. Original hand color. Separation at folds repaired on verso. Very good condition. Denver.
A terrific, folding railroad guide of the American West about a decade after the completion of the trans-Continental Railroad. The map extends from Omaha to the west coast and its focus is on that landmark Pacific Railroad, the route of which-with all its stops-is shown with a bold black line. Also depicted in bold are important off-shoot lines, including a number in California, including the Southern Pacific R.R., and lines to Eureka, Nevada, and Denver, Colorado. The Northern Pacific Railroad, then under construction across the northern part of the county, is indicated, but not in bold. Other lines, including proposed routes, and stage routes are also shown. The map highlights the states with contrasting colors and many towns, settlements and forts are named. Orography is graphically indicated and impressively up-to-date, giving a good picture of the topography of the West. On the back of the guide are advertisements for railroad lines, hotels, and time tables. A most graphic and decorative map. $1,200
Go to a sequence of maps of this same area, from about 1860 to 1880
"County Map of the State of California." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, Jr., 1871. 21 1/4 x 15 1/4. Lithograph. Full original color. Full margins. Slight separation at center fold. Else, very good condition. With insets: "San Francisco." and "San Francisco Bay and Vicinity." Denver.
For most of the middle part of the nineteenth century, the firm founded by S. Augustus Mitchell dominated American cartography in output and influence. This fine map is from one of his son's atlases. California is depicted with its counties brightly colored and topographical features detailed. Shown are towns, mountains, rivers, lakes, roads and railroads, both existing an proposed. The Central Pacific Railroad, which was joined with the Union Pacific the year this map was issued, is shown running northeast from Sacramento. The Southern Pacific Railroad is shown running from San Francisco as far as Gilroy and then the proposed route extends further south to the California-Arizona border. In the north of the state are many counties, but the southern section is still shown as relatively undeveloped. This map is twice the size of Mitchell's earlier map of the state, showing its tremendous growth in this decade. $375
Asher & Adams. "California & Nevada, South Portion." Washington: 1874. 16 1/4 x 23. Lithograph. Original hand color. Short tears and chips in margins, a few just into image. Overall, good condition.
In their atlas of 1874, Asher & Adams included two separate maps of parts of California, reflecting the size and importance of the state and allowing for greater detail; this map shows the southern regions. The Washington cartographic publishing firm presented this information in a clear fashion, and the map has a very attractive, light pastel coloring. $75
"California and Nevada." Philadelphia: O.W. Gray & Son, 1881. 26 x 15 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.
A large-scale, detailed map of the two states, with impressive information on towns, lakes, rivers, counties, and especially the topography. In 1869, the first continental railroad connected these states with the west, followed in 1883 with Southern Pacific RR. This map shows the region as prospering from the first, but just before the completion of the latter. The rail lines in the states are indicated, including the Central Pacific RR, a railroad running from Los Angeles south to Yuma, and the connection by rail between Sacramento and Los Angeles. Also of interest are the insets of the city of Sacramento, the vicinity of San Francisco, and Yosemite Valley. $175
Rand McNally. "Standard Map of California." (Northern). From Commercial Atlas of America. 1925. 18 3/4 x 26. Key of California railroad lines. With inset map of San Francisco & Vicinity. $85
"Western States Section Rand McNally new Commercial Map of the United States" Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1925. Features from Denver Colorado to the Western Coast. 25 3/4 x 18 1/2. Very good condition. $150
"California." Chicago: Geographical Publishing Co., ca. 1930. 21 x 15 1/4. Chromolithograph. Very good condition. With inset maps of San Francisco & Los Angeles. $80
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