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Stock# 12643

Extremely rare map of California, by George Goddard.

George H. Goddard came to California in 1850. In 1855, he surveyed a part of the boundary between California and Utah Territory (now Nevada). He later surveyed for the Western Pacific Railroad and for John Charles Fremont. He also surveyed most of the important passes Sierra Nevada Mountains. Mount Goddard still bears the name of this important early surveyor.

In 1855, Goddard compiled a manuscript map of California on a scale of two miles to the inch. The map was a remarkable improvement on the best available maps, so much so that Marlette, the State's Surveyor General petitioned the California legislature to purchase Goddard's map, stating that nowhere else can so complete and extensive a map be obtained. After the legislature rejected the proposal, Goddard submitted a version of the manuscript to Britton & Rey, who lithographed and published it for the first time in 1857. Among its many distinctions, it was the first map to accurately locate Lake Tahoe (here "Lake Bigler"), derived from Goddard's own surveys in the Sierra Nevada. The last recorded example of the map to appear on the market was offered in Warren Howell's Catalogue 50, where Howell offered the Grabhorn-Streeter copy. In part quoting Carl Wheat and Thomas Streeter, Howell described the map in 1972 (Catalogue 42) as a beautiful example of the cartographer's art, is unfortunately rare and little-known … it was by as by far the most complete and accurate map of California that had yet appeared.

Goddard, a talented surveyor, had first prepared a larger manuscript map, using all available data, on a scale of two miles to the inch, and the published map of 1857 was doubtless a re-drawing of this map on a smaller scale. The wealth of information which now appears throughout California graphically discloses the extent to which large portions of this vast and hitherto empty land had been peopled. Gold had swiftly done its work. The Goddard map is a fitting monument to the frenzied activity and achievements of the gold seekers, and with it the purely Gold Rush phase of California cartography comes to an end" (WHEAT, 25 California Maps, 22).

The map shows towns and settlements, trails, wagon roads, and county boundaries. Relief is indicated by hachures; numerous spot elevations are given; and physical features are named. The scale is 1 inch to 24 miles. Coverage includes the western half of Utah Territory and a northwestern corner of New Mexico Territory--- the area comprising the future State of Nevada. A reduced scale version, with revision, was published in 1858 and a new edition on a slightly larger scale in 1860.

No example of either the 1858 or 1860 editions have apparently been offered at auction or in a dealer catalogue in the past 50 years.. However, while researching this map, we were fortunate to note that a copy of an 1858 edition, most likely the true 2nd Edition of Goddard's map (this example being called by Goddard the 3rd Edition), was sold in a private transaction in 2005. This 1858 edition indicated that it had been updated following the adjournment of the legislature in 1858.

An exceptionally rare and important California map.

Condition Description
Several fold tears repaired and restored. Laid on fresh linen.
, Gold Region, 302; Wheat, Transmississippi, 921; Heckrotte, California 49, 36; Streeter Sale, 2819; Phillips, America, p. 185.