Important early map of the Four Corners region, by Captain John N. Macomb, chief topographical officer in New Mexico.
In 1859, Captain Macomb was ordered to lead an expedition northward along the Old Spanish Trail to locate a route into Utah. John S. Newberry, who has served as geologist on a recent expedition with Joseph C. Ives the year before, accompanied the party. The results of Macomb's survey, Newberry's important geological report, and the illuminating map of the expedition, were not published until 1875. The map was engraved in 1864, but its official publication was delayed by the Civil War.
The major discovery of the expedition was the confirmation that the Green and Grand rivers unite to form the Colorado River, which flows into "the profound chasm of the Colorado Canyon," in Newberry's words, revealing to Newberry the drainage of the central part of the Far West. Macomb's map details these relationships for the first time, conveyed through the striking topographical renderings of Egloffstein.
Wheat refers to the map as a landmark, "because it is the first to show a trail to the junction of the Green and Grand. Second, because it is the culmination of Egloffstein's method of ruling maps and applying acid for varying times to convey the idea of altitude. And, third, because of the numerous trails of other explorers contained on it. It will stand for a long time as perhaps the finest map produced by this curious and revealing, yet evanescent, method."
The map is a superb rendition of the Four Corners area with tremendous detailing that includes Egloffstein's remarkable topography, well-known natural features, pueblos, explorers' routes, towns, and archaeological sites. An exciting document of a highly important expedition.