Whitney, Josiah Dwight; Geological Survey of California: Geology. Volume 1 Report of Progress and Synopsis of the Field-Work from 1860 to 1864. Caxton Press, Sherman & Co., Philadelphia, 1865. Quarto, pp. xxvii, 498, 9 plates, 81 wood cuts.
The work is complete and in the original publisher’s green cloth with gilt cover vignette and spine titles. The binding is tight with bright titles, light scuffing to boards, inner hinges nicely tightened. The text is clean and bright, private owner’s name stamp on title page. In very good condition.
Josiah Dwight Whitney (1819-1896) was an American geologist. He was born into a prominent New England family and educated at several private schools before entering the Sheffield School at Yale University in 1836 to study chemistry and mineralogy and graduated in 1839. In 1840 he became an unpaid assistant to Charles T. Jackson on the New Hampshire Geological Survey. In 1841 he heard a lecture by Charles Lyell and decided that geology was to be his profession. In 1842 he went to Europe to continue his studies and for the next five years he studied chemistry and geology in France and Germany. Upon his return to the United States in 1847 he joined Jackson to conduct a mineral survey of the copper and iron deposits of the Lake Superior region. With the dismissal of Jackson, the highly regarded final report was published in the names of Whitney and his companion John Wells Foster. Whitney then became a mining consultant, and eventually wrote the book, Metallic Wealth of the United States (1854). The work would be the standard reference for the next 15 years. During the 1850s, Whitney also participated in geological surveys of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. His travels and studies in the principal mining regions made Whitney the foremost authority of his day on the economic geology of the United States.
In 1860 Whitney was appointed the State Geologist of California and would hold the position until 1874. In 1865 he also became a professor at Harvard University in order to establish.
At the California Survey, Whitney surrounded himself with prominent figures in geology, mineralogy, paleontology, botany and zoology, including Clarence King and many others.
The results of the survey were to be published in two geology volumes and two paleontology volumes. The bulk of the geology appears in the above volume. The full-page woodcut plates; from drawings by Whitney and C. F. Hoffman and photographs by Carleton Watkins, show scenery in the Sierras and Yosemite. The Yosemite illustrations are some of the earliest published views of that region. Below are pertinent chapter headings:
Chap. 1: Introduction.
Chap. 2: The Monte Diablo Range.
Chap. 3: The Peninsula of San Francisco.
Chap. 4: The Coast Ranges North.
Chap. 5: The Coast Ranges South.
Chap. 6: The Coast Ranges from the Vicinity of Los Angeles South.
Chap. 7: The Region between Cañada de Las Uvas and Soledad Pass..
PART II: Geology of the Sierra Nevada.
Chap. 8: Marine Sedimentary Rocks.
Chap. 9: The Mining Region.
Chap. 10: The High Sierra.
Chap. 11: The Eastern Slope.
Appendix A: Tabular Statement.
Appendix B: Description of Fossils.
Some of the finished reports were not to be published by the State of California. Whitney fell out of favor with the State Legislator. He first published two volumes on paleontology when the legislators were demanding information about gold. The legislature grew impatient and slowly cut the budget. In 1867, the survey was eliminated from the budget, and work was suspended in 1868.