Rare Set with Maps: New York Natural History Survey, James Hall, et.al. Natural History of New York, 1836-1894.
Item Number: Book 606-D
A nearly complete set of all of the maps and publications related to the 1st Natural History Survey of New York. All of the very rare maps and publications are present. Only one of the volumes is lacking. The set consist of:
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1. Hall, James, et.al.; Proposal For A Survey of New York, 1836 and the First though Fifth Annual Reports of the Geological Survey of New York plus two additional reports and with atlas; 1837 - 1841. Albany, 1836 - 1841. & Text octavo, atlas, oblong quarto. Reports, 1836, pp. 60. Report 1837, pp. 214. Report, 1838, pp. 384, folded table & profile. Report, 1839, pp. 351. Report 1840, pp. 484. Report for 1841, pp. 184. & Two additional studies: the first is to the 1839 report, pp. pp. 22 & the second is to the 1840 report. pp. 18.
The 1836 report is in the original title wraps. Wraps are soiled, text is toned at margins. The 1837 through 41 reports are bound in three volumes in quarter calf over marbled boards with gilt titles. The bindings are tight and very clean, light foxing to outer margins of some text pages. The rare atlas of 15 engraved views, sections and plans is in the original blue wraps which are tattered and inserted in a modern clam shell case with gilt titles. The plates have light to moderate foxing. The two additional studies are in modern archival title wraps and are crisp and clean. Also present is “Guide to the Geology of New York, and to the State Geological Cabinet by Ledyard Lincklaen, NYS Assembly Document 136, circa 1850. pp. 41, 19 plates. In an archival folder. Binding is tight and clean, last plate with short repair at inner upper margin, not effecting image. Over all a very good set.
The Annual Reports are as follows: 1. Legislative Document 161, Feb. 1837; Report Relative to the Geological Survey of the State. Quarto, pp. 214. Contains reports by the first appointed geologists, botanist, zoologist, being John Torry, botanist, James De Kay, zoologist, Lewis Beck, mineralogist, William Mather, geologist 1st District, Ebenezer Emmons, geologist 2nd district, T. A. Conrad, geologist 3rd district, L. Vaunuxem, geologist 4th district. The report covers work done through 1836. 2. Legislative Document 200, Feb. 20, 1838. Report relative to the Geological Survey of the State. Quarto, pp. 384, folded chart. Contains reports by Beck, Conrad, Mather, Emmons, Vanuxem and Hall. Vanuxem had replaced Conrad in the 3rd district. Conrad presented the paleontological report. Hall joined the survey in the 4th district. Covered progress through 1837. 3. Legislative document 275, Feb. 27, 1839. Report Relative to the geological Survey of the State. Quarto, pp. 351. Contains a salary schedule of the members of the survey, reports by Beck, Conrad, Mather, Emmons, Vanuxem, and Hall. Covers work performed through 1838. 4. Legislative document 50, 1840. Report Relative to the Geological Survey of the State, January 24, 1840. Contains reports by De Key, Vanuxem, Emmons, Mather, Conrad, Hall and Beck. 5. Legislative Doc. 150. Report Relative to the Geological Survey of the State, February 17, 1841. Contains reports by Beck, Conrad, Mather, Emmons, Vanuxem, Hall. 6. The atlas plates include a vertical section of strata, view of the Rossic lead vein, two Adirondack views, map of Lake Champlain, view of Mt. Marcy, view of Mt McMartin, view of Indian Pass, view of Lake Golden, trap dike, Lake Henderson, Birds Eye view Genesee River, Rossie Mining District, falls on the Genesee, cross section.
2. Geological Map of the State of New York, 1842, by Legislative Authority, engraved by Sherman & Smith, NY. Large canvas-backed 4-sheet hand-colored wall map mounted on black wooden rods. Geology by E. Emmons, J. Hall, W. Mather, and L. Vanuxem. Size: 36 x 35 inches on sheet 39 x 36 inches. Original lacquered surface is faded, cracking and dried green fringe on outer map borders is perished. A very rare map still in good condition.
This map qualifies as the first geological map of New York officially issued by the State. Concluding that the European System for classification of rock strata was inadequate to describe New York’s sedimentary rocks, the geologists of the first New York Geological Survey adopted a new stratigraphic nomenclature, the “New York System”, based on the geographic location, composition, and fossil assemblage for each rock layer – the concept of type locality which is now accepted as standard stratigraphic practice in America and worldwide. Jules Marcou states that “This map is very important, and marks a second starting point in American geology”. In America, this system gained acceptance among geologists over a competing system of 12 numbered and named formations advocated by the Rogers brothers based on their studies of Appalachian rocks in Pennsylvania and Virginia. The map employs 19 colors accompanied by 4 geological profiles to illustrate the distribution of geological formations of the state.
This map and Emmons geological map were published within two years of each other and directly led to a disagreement among geologists of the NY Survey notably between Emmons and Hall, and created one of the great geological controversies of the 19th century. This map as with the Emmons map are both of fundamental scientific importance and are seldom encountered or appreciated outside of earth science historians.
3. Emmons, Ebenezer; Agricultural and Geological Map of the State of New York: by Legislative Authority; Engraved by Sherman & Smith, printed by S. C. Clark, New York, 1844. Hand-colored, 93 cm. high by 107 cm. wide. Contains b/w profiles: from the Connecticut line to Roxbury in Delaware Co., N.Y., from Jones Beach, L.I. to Oneonta, from St. John's, Canada to the Pennsylvania line, and from Ogdensburgh, N.Y. to Blossburg, Pa.
The map is folded as issued and is in a modern archival sleeve. The map has been re-backed with Japanese tissue, fraying at some folds with small pieces outside map image having been replaced. Over all map itself is very good.
This is a very rare copy of what is called the "Emmons" map and which played a key role in the start of the Taconic debate in North American geology. James Hall attempted to destroy all copies of this map as well as copies of the following report which was printed the same year and which was probably intended as an accompanying text for the map. This alternative geological map of NY showing the Taconic series was printed for Emmons in 1844. According to Jules Marcou, all copies were “stolen or destroyed by persons unknown” and thus it was never available to accompany Emmons 1844 report. A few copies of this alternate New York map later surfaced in 1887 and this is one of those maps. It is very rare.
4. Emmons, Ebenezer; The Taconic System; based on observations in New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island. Albany, Carroll & Cook, 1844. Quarto, pp. 67, errata, frontispiece view of Mt. Graylock, five additional plates, (one folding).
The rare work is complete and in the original boards with a later calf spine and gilt titles. The binding is tight and clean. The text has light to moderate foxing, the folded plate of profiles is toned. In very good condition.
Emmons printed the above study for separate publication outside the New York volumes. In it he details all of his evidence (fossils, stratigraphy) supporting his Taconic System which James Hall and some other prominent geologists of the period opposed. The work had a small printing and copies are quite rare. The report was published the same year as his separately issued Agricultural and Geological Map of the State of New York and was probably intended to accompany that map.
5. Hall, James, Ebener Emmons, et.al.; Natural History of New York; Paleontology, volumes 1 through 8 in 13. Albany 1847-1891. & Geology Volumes 1 through 4. Albany, 1842-1843. Special Volume Illustrations of Devonian Fossils: Gastropoda, Pteropoda, Cephalopoda, Crustacea and Corals of the Upper Helderberg, Hamilton and Chemung Groups. One of 130 copies printed, Albany, 1876. Zoology Volumes, 1 through 5, Albany, 1842-1844. Mineralogy volume 1, Albany, 1842. Botany, Albany 1843. Volume is not present. Agriculture, Volumes 1 through 5, Albany 1846-1854. Quarto: Volumes are:
PALEONTOLOGY (All by James Hall):
Vol. 1, Descriptions of the Organic Remains of the Lower Divisions of the New York System, 1847. pp. 338 and 97 plates some folded. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Vol. 2 Descriptions of the Organic Remains of the Lower Middle Division of the New York System, 1852. pp. viii, 362 and 101 plates. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Vol. 3, Descriptions and figures of the Organic Remains of the Lower Heldeberg Group and the Oriskany Sandstone, 1859. Two parts, vol. 1 text, pp xii, 532 and text illustrations. Part two, Plates, over 120 plates with many in several parts. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Vol. 4, part 1. (all published) Descriptions and figures of the Fossil Brachiopoda of the Upper Heldeberg, Hamilton, Portage and Chemung Groups. 1867. pp. xii, 428 and over 63 plates with many being in several parts. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Vol. 5, part 1 #1, Lamellibranchiata, containing descriptions and figures of the Monomyaria. 1884, pp. xviii, 268 and plates 1-33 and 81-92 which are quite detailed. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Vol. 5, part 1 #2, Text and Plates containing Descriptions and Figures of the Dimyaria. 1885. pp. lxii, 269-561 and plates 34-80 and 93-96.
Vol. 5, part 2 #1. Text containing descriptions of the Gasteropoda, Pteropoda and Cephalopoda of the Upper Heldeberg, Hamilton, Portage and Chemung Groups, 1879. pp. xv, 492. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Vol. 5, part 2 #2 . Plates containing figures of the Gasteropoda, Pteropoda and Cephalopoda. 1879. 113 plates, many double. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Vol. 6 Corals and Bryozoa, text and plates containing descriptions and figures of species from the Lower Heldeberg, Upper Heldeberg, and Hamilton Groups. 1887. pp. xxvi, 297 and over 61 plates with several being in parts. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Vol. 7 Trilobites and other Crustecea of the Oriskany, Upper Heldeberg, Hamilton, Portage, Chemung and Catskill Groups. Text and plates. 1888. pp. lxiv, 236, supplement pp. 42, 129 plates. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Vol. 8. Parts 1 and 2. Study of the Genera of Paleozoic Brachiopoda, 1892. Part 1, xvi, 367 and over 20 plates with several being in parts. Part. 2, 1894, pp. xvi, 394 and plates 21-84 with several being in parts. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Special Publication: Illustrations of Devonian Fossils: Gastropoda, Pteropoda, Cephalopoda, Crustacea and Corals of the Upper Helderberg, Hamilton and Chemung Groups. Albany, 1876. Quarto, pp. 7, Gastropoda, Pteropoda & Cephalopoda; 74 plates with descriptive text pages. Crustacea, 23 plates with descriptive text pages. Corals, 39 plates with descriptive text pages. Bound in contemporary tooled calf with gilt spine panels and titles. Rare, one of 130 copies.
Mather, William W.; Geology of New York, Part 1 Geology of the First Geological District. Albany, 1843. Quarto, pp. xxxvii, 672, 46 engraved plates (many folded and hand colored or tinted) and hand colored maps. (some folded).
Emmons, Ebenezer; Geology of New York, Part 2 Geology of the Second District. Albany, 1842. Quarto, pp. x, 437, seventeen engraved plates, (some hand colored or tinted) hand colored geological maps, and views. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Vanuxem, Lardner; Geology of New York, Part 3 Geology of the Third Geological District. Albany, 1842, Large quarto, pp. 306, 79 illustrations. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Hall, James; Geology of New York, Part 4 Geology of the Fourth Geological District, Albany, 1843. Large quarto, pp. ix, 525, 192 illustrations of fossils, views and sections, 66 plates of fossils, 22 plates of views, profiles and sections some hand colored, and Large folded, hand-colored, geological map of the middle and western states with colored sections. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
AGRICULTURE: (Ebenezer Emmons)
Part 1. Agriculture of New York, comprising an Account of the Classification, Composition and Distribution of the Soils and Rocks. Albany,1846. Large quarto, pp. xi, 371, 37 illustrations, 21 plates with folded hand colored map, sections, and views. THIS VOLUME CONTAINS EMMONS TACONIC GEOLOGY THEORY. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Part 2. Agriculture of New York, Analysis of Soils, Plants, Cereals etc. Albany, 1849. Large quarto, pp. 8, 343, 40, 42 plates (some hand-colored).. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Parts 3 and 4. Agriculture of New York. Fruits. Albany, 1851. Large quarto, Part 1, pp. 8, 340. Part 2, 95 hand colored plates. Part 1, Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles. Part 2, Original cloth, spine rebacked with lower part of original spine preserved).
Part 5. Agriculture of New York. Account of the Classification, Composition and Distribution of the Soils and Rocks...& The More Common and Injurious Species of Insects. Albany, 1854. pp. viii, 272, 50 plates some colored. Contemporary calf and marbled boards, gilt spine titles, x-lib. stamp on title page, plates and text with light to moderate foxing.
ZOOLOGY (James E. De Kay)
Part 1. Zoology of New York. Mammalia. Albany, 1842. Large quarto, pp. 13, 146, 33 plates. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Part 2. Zoology of New York. Birds. Albany, 1844. Large quarto, pp. 12, 380, 141 hand-colored plates. Bound in a presentation red calf with gilt titles. Titles faded, spine reworked.
Parts 3 & 4 in two volumes. Zoology of New York. Reptiles and Amphibia and Fishes. Albany, 1842. Large quarto, pp. 22, 410, 102 plates. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
Part 5. Zoology of New York. Mollusca & Crustacea. Albany, 1843-1844. Large quarto, pp. 350, 53 hand-colored plates. Original cloth with gold gilt cover and spine vignettes and spine titles.
The First Geological Survey of New York is without a doubt the most important early geological survey performed in the United States. Many other future state surveys were to be modeled after New York's survey. The contributions which were to result set the standard for North American stratigraphy and paleontology. Many giants in early American geology and paleontology began careers with the New York Survey. They included James Hall, Ebenezer Emmons, Lewis Beck and many others. In 1836 legislation was passed instituting a geological survey of the state the culmination of which was to be the massive set "The Natural History of New York" which began publication in 1842. Between 1836 and 1841 a preliminary report and five annual reports were issued containing the progress of the various geologists and their findings. In addition a very limited number appeared in an oblong quarto atlas of 15 large engraved plates which was issued at the end of the annual reports.
An American paleontologist and geologist; James Hall (1811-1898) was the first President of the Geological Society of America and devoted most of his career (63 years) to the Geological Survey of New York. During his career he also participated in the founding of State geological Surveys of California, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. Within the “Paleontology” series, the rarest report is his “Illustrations of Devonian Fossils”. Only 130 copies were printed and distributed to politicians who supported the New York Survey and libraries "friendly to Hall". The work consist of pictures which look like photographs of fossils. The illustrations were made by a new gelatin process developed by a Belgian (Ebert Bierstadt) and known as the "albertype Process". Hall did not use the process again due to costs and copies of the work are prized collector pieces. The "paleontology" volumes produced by Hall were to set the standard for paleontology in the United States and became the standard reference for future paleontological research in America.
In addition to the paleontology volumes, Hall was responsible for mapping the geology of fourth district which covered central and parts of western New York State including the region around Niagara Falls. In collaboration with other geologists; Hall arranged the Paleozoic rocks within New York into the "New York System". His interest in fossils and stratigraphy became evident in his 4th District Report. By that time Hall had spread his horizons beyond New York and his large "Geological Map of the Middle and Western States"; which accompanied the report, extended west to the Mississippi River, south to Kentucky and Virgina and north to the Canadian border. The report is beautifully illustrated with hand-colored profiles and sections, tinted plates of views, and numerous plates of fossils. Upon completion of the 4th District report, the State Legislature retained Hall to write the Paleontology volumes.
Another geologist involved in the New York Survey was Ebenezer Emmons. An American physician, chemist and geologist; Emmons (1800-1863) was a member of the Geological Survey of New York from its inception until 1850. After his infamous dispute with James Hall over Emmons "Taconic System" he joined the North Carolina Geological Survey in 1851 and remained with that survey until just before his death in 1863. His studies of the Paleozoic stratigraphy and pioneering geological work in the Adirondacks of New York were major contributions to our understanding of New York's geology. Emmons studied science under Chester Dewey at Williams College and was a student of Amos Eaton at Albany Medical College. It was during his association with Dewey in preparing the 1824 geological map of the Berkshires that he first became interested in the geology and stratigraphy of northeastern New York and western Massachusetts. It was Emmon's interest in northeastern New York's geology that led to his appointment to the New York survey to map the 2nd District which covers northern and northeastern New York from Lake Champlain west to the St Lawrence and south to the Mohawk Valley, encompassing the entire Adirondack region. Emmon's study of the 2nd District contained much new information on the Adirondacks including some of the first detailed studies of the iron deposits. The Adirondacks were still unexplored and Emmons detailed observations included the naming of lakes, river sources, and mountains then unknown to anyone accept Indians. The distinguished painter Charles Ingham accompanied one expedition. Emmons scaled the highest peak in the Adirondacks, measured its height and named it Mount Marcy. He also named Mt. McMartin and used the term "Adirondacks" thus naming the range.
Emmons also authored all of the volumes on the agriculture of New York. It is in volume 1 of the agriculture series that he once again enters the Taconic debate. In his introduction to this work Emmons explains why so much of it is devoted to his "Taconic System". He presents his views on the stratigraphy and age of the rocks within the Taconic Hills on the eastern New York border. Within the other volumes he deals strictly with the soils, crops and other aspects of New York’s agriculture. The volumes are noted for their beautifully hand-colored plates of fruits and other products.
William Mather was another geologist with the New York Survey. An American geologist; Mather ( 1804-1859) was one of America's first true field geologists. He received his scientific training in both physics and geology at West Point Military Academy during the tenure of Superintendent Sylvanus Thayer. He taught the Academy's mineralogy-geology course using Cleaveland's "Treatise on Mineralogy" and then joined the New York Survey as its first true scientist. In 1837 he was also appointed as the first Director of the Ohio Geological Survey (1837-1839). In both his New York and Ohio appointments, Mather achieved an amazing success. In both jobs he hired vital assistants familiar with the area and may have been the first American geologist to interview older residents to accurately determine, stream, river and coastal sea levels during that persons youth. As with Ebener Emmons, Mather always acknowledged these individuals in print. His report on the First Geological District covers eastern New York southward from Lake Champlain to and including Long Island and westward into the Catskills and Saratoga region. His studies include major contributions to the stratigraphy of these areas, the chemistry and origins of the Saratoga hot springs, the first definitive study of the geology of Long Island and the mineralogy of many of the noted localities in eastern New York. His report includes the beautifully hand colored geological map of Long Island and hand colored profiles. These are the first accurate geological profiles and map of the area and are usually missing from the volume.
The final geologist with the New York Survey was Lardner Vanuxem. An American geologist; Vanuxem (1792-1848) was with the First Survey of New York for only a short period before resigning due to illness. Prior to joining the survey he was Professor of Geology and Chemistry at South Carolina College and headed the First Geological Survey of South Carolina in 1825. Vanuxem's work overs western New York State from the Pennsylvania line to James Hall's boundary of the 4th District.
The final part of the geology of New York focused on the mineral deposits and mineralogy of the state. Lewis C. Beck (1798-1853) became the mineralogist for the geological survey of New York in 1836 at its inception. In 1840, he was named professor of chemistry at Albany Medical College. His Mineralogy of New York is one of the earliest systematic description of minerals of New York. The volume is rich in locality information, with an extensive bibliography, an extensive examination of economic mineral deposits (iron, sulfide, copper ores, etc.) and a very detailed descriptive mineralogy and crystal drawings.
James E. De Kay (1792-1851) authored some of the most beautiful volumes in the New York Natural History series. The volumes were usually limited to 300 hand-colored copies. De Kay attended Yale from 1807 to 1812, but did not complete a degree. Later, he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, receiving his M.D. in 1819.
After his return to the United States, he eventually gave up medicine for the study of natural history. He became involved with the Geological Survey of New York initiated in 1835 at its inception. He was tasked with the monumental multi-volume Zoology of New York State series. His volumes addressed the living mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians fish, mollusks and crustaceans. Following the scientific descriptions, De Kay provides indexes for both common English and Latin names referenced to the text descriptions that make it it easy to identify species shown in the plates. The volumes have become a classic in American natural history color plate books.
With the exception of the one volume on Botany this is without a doubt the most complete set of the 1st New York Natural History Survey to be offered in some time. The very rare parts of the survey are all present in this set with the condition being over all very good.