Rare Western Americana book by Stansbury, Howard; Exploration and Survey of the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah.
Item Number: Book - 714
Stansbury, Howard; Exploration and Survey of the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah. Senate Exec. Doc. #3, Philadelphia, 1852. Text, quarto, pp. 488, 59 plates (some folded, some colored). Atlas, quarto, 2 large folded maps.
Both parts are complete and in the original embossed cloth, gold gilt spine and cover titles. Titles are very bright. Light foxing and light lower margin damp stain just touching lower edge of some text and plates, maps are clean with only minor light toning. A very good set.
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Captain Howard Stansbury was ordered by Colonel Abert to accompany a regiment along the Oregon Trail as far as Fort Hall, where he was to begin a detailed survey for a military post to help emigrants prepare for the desert crossing to California. This project had previously been urged by Fremont but ￼rejected. Stansbury was further ordered to do a detailed survey of the entire valley of the Great Salt Lake, study the Indian tribes and Mormon settlements which had just begun to develop. He was to map the lakes, locate the settlements and map a supply route from the Mormon settlements to the emigrant trail to California. In addition he was to note all potential resources including timber and minerals, the geology and geography as well as wildlife. In short this was to be the first comprehensive in depth survey of that entire region. from the geologic formations to the local ethnology. To satisfy Abert's desire for details on a southwestern trail, Stansbury was ordered to return home along the Old Spanish Trail to Santa Fe and further detail it. Stansbury along with his assistant Lt. John W. Gunnison did not reach Ft. Leavenworth in time to accompany the specified regiment so set out with their own party of eighteen men along the Oregon Trail. Upon arrival in Fort Bridgier they secured the services of Jim Bridgier as a guide to Salt Lake City. They received a hostile reception at every Mormon settlement since it was believed that the government was to forceably remove the Mormons. This was a rumor which took sometime for Stansbury to overcome. Stansbury and Gunnison performed a monumental survey of the region. Both had kept journals from the outset of the expedition which also became part of the official report. Not only were they part of the report but also enabled much detail to be added to the "Map of a Reconnaissance between Fort Leavenworth on the Missouri River and the Great Salt Lake in the Territory of Utah..." Gunnison had primary responsibility in the construction of this map. Wheat praises the map for the additions to our knowledge of the geography, especially that within the Salt Lake region and its addition of new routes into and through the emerging territory. The plates include some of the first views of Salt Lake City, the hot springs, the valley itself from panoramic overlooks, Salt Lake, and other geographic features. The second large map is titled "Map of the Great Salt Lake and Adjacent Country in the Territory of Utah..." and is again a major production. It extends north to the then Oregon Territory boundary along the 42nd parallel includes the Wasatch Mts, Ogdens Hole and Cache Valley. It permanently established the cartography and place names of the region, including ranges, individual peaks, and streams. (both Indian and Mormon names are given for streams). This map and the work itself remains a cornerstone to Utah's cartography.