Book by William H. Emory; Notes of a Military Reconnoissance from Fort Leavenworth in Missouri to San Diego, in California, including part of the Arkansas, Del Norte, and Gila Rivers. Washington, HED #41, 30th Congress, 1848.
Item Number: Book-168
Emory, William H.; Notes of a Military Reconnoissance from Fort Leavenworth in Missouri to San Diego, in California, including part of the Arkansas, Del Norte, and Gila Rivers. Washington, HED #41, 30th Congress, 1848. Octavo, pp. 614, 68 plates, 3 folded maps and plans.
The set is complete and in a recent calf and cloth with gilt titles and large folded map in separate matching calf slipcase, map with archival repairs on verso of folds, exceptionally clean set, free of the usual foxing. Rare with all maps and plates present.
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Emory was educated as a geologist and topographer. Amongst his many contributions to our scientific knowledge of the southwestern, United States, was the first colored geological map of that region. His works are especially noted for their attention to precise details and meticulous observations. He did not include what became known as "imaginary geography" which some cartographers added to make for a more showy presentation. Emory stuck to known details only. For those reasons his maps and plates were much used by future map makers. Emory's carefully fixed points on his maps (obtained via astronomical observations) enabled other map makers to accurately tie in other regions to those geographic positions. For these reasons; Wheat considers Emory's large map found in the above work to be "the most important milestone in the cartographic development and accurate delineation of the Southwest". Another less well known milestone was apparently recorded during Emory's expedition. It is believed that he was the first to carry a siphon barometer overland to the Pacific unbroken. The House printing is exceptional in that it included Abert's report on New Mexico with a map; Lt. Col. Cooke's report on his march from Santa Fe to San Diego and Capt. Johnston's journal of the march. Together these reports provide a detailed view of the American southwest. Many of the plates are views of prominent landscape features, settlements and Native Americans. The large folded map is titled " Military Reconnaissance of the Arkansas, Rio del Norte and Rio Gila". Many of the House issues did not include this large map (Wheat, 1959) making this a rare work with the map present. The map's route starts in Fort Leavenworth, extends to Bent's Fort in Arkansas heads southwest along a portion of the Santa Fe Trail crossing Raton Pass then it reaches Las Vegas, New Mexico and finally Santa Fe. The route then is shown continuing through the Rio Grande valley to Albuquerque and westward to the Gila from where it follows the Gila to its confluence with the Colorado. The route continues on to the westcoast and San Diego and Los Angeles. Emory shows the Pacific Coast from the northern portions of Lower California to Monterey and San Francisco.