Colvin, Verplanck; Report on the Progress of the Topographical Survey of the Adirondack Region of New York for the Year 1879. Albany, Weed Parsons and Company, 1880. Octavo, pp. 536, colored frontispiece view of Lake Tear of the Clouds, 32 plates (some folded views), seven large folded maps.
In original rust colored cloth with gilt titles. Binding is tight, minor archival restoration at spine ends. Inner hinges nicely restored. Maps expertly repaired at short tears near hinge area (caused by weight of maps in volume, not use), minor tears at some folds also repaired. All repairs were with archival tape. In very good condition.
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A topographical engineer, Colvin was born in Albany, New York, 4 January, 1847. He was educated at private schools, and then at the Albany Academy, where he excelled in the sciences. Although he entered the legal profession he retained a keen interest in the sciences He delivered part of a free course of lectures given in the Academy's geological hall, and in 1865 to make his first expedition into the Adirondack wilderness. Until 1872 he continued to spend his summers in exploration, while his winters were occupied in the practice of law and further scientific studies. During the summer of 1869 he made the ascent of Nt. Marcy, and in 1870 the first ascent of Mt. Seward. In 1872 Colvin applied to the legislature for financial aid and a support staff, and thus the Adirondack survey was instituted, with Colvin as superintendent. His work during that year included the discovery
of Lake Tear-of-the-Clouds, the most elevated lake spring and source of the Hudson River. Each year during the summer months Colvin directed surveying parties engaged in field-work throughout the Adirondack region, and accurate measurements of the altitudes of most of the important, mountains were made under his supervision. He was appointed in 1873 as a commissioner of state parks to report upon the expediency of setting apart the whole Adirondack region as a state forest reserve, and subsequently exerted his influence toward the passage of a bill on this subject.. This led to the establishment of the Adirondack "Forever Wild Wilderness" designation. The maps and plates are stunning with the plates providing some of the earliest views of parts of the Adirondacks.