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Description

Extremely rare separately issued example of Charles Wilkes' map of the Sacramento River, with a large inset of San Francisco Harbor, which appeared in edition of 100 copies in 1858.

Charles Wilkes conducted his landmark US Exploring Expedition Survey between 1838 and 1842. In 1841, Wilkes explored the West Coast of California, including a trip up the Sacramento River and San Francisco Harbor, at a time when Upper California was still a part of Mexico. One of the few settlements he encountered was John Sutter's recent settlement of New Helvetia (probably then less than 1 year old), which Sutter had established following his receipt of a land grant from the Mexican Government in 1839, which is shown on the map.

The present map was NOT issued as part of the 5 volume report issued by Wilkes in 1845. It did not appear until 1858, when it appeared in Atlas Vol. II of Vol. XXIII of the Wilkes Expedition publications, Hydrography. of which only 100 copies of the atlas produced, of which 58 were given sent to the Department of State for distribution (presumably to foreign nations). This is the first time we have ever encountered the map for sale. We can find no records of Atlas Vol II for sale or at auction. Haskell notes that only the official issue was published and that no copies of an unofficial issue were ever published.

The inset map of San Francisco is based upon Beechey's survey of the Harbor, which would have been the only obtainable survey available to Wilkes in 1841. The present example would appear to be a separately published example of the map and may have been offered prior to the publication of the Atlas referenced above.

Condition Description
Separately issued example, mounted on linen, with green silk edges. A few minor spots.
Reference
Haskell 85.