Fine example of this rare edition of the US Coast Survey chart of Hampton Roads and th Elizabeth River published separately on thick paper.
The Chart was apparently never issued in an official Coast Survey Report, as only the Preliminary Sketch map of 1857 is recorded in this work. .
The map extends from Fort Monroe in the north to Norfolk, Portsmouth, Gosport and Navy Yard. Includes sailing directions Bound to Newport News Point and Hampton Roads and Elizabeth River, notes on soundings (in feet), bottom conditions, and ranges, and charts on light houses and tides.
Printed on thick paper and never folded, the chart is in near fine condition. We note only a few institutional examples of the map, with no recorded appearances at auction or in dealer catalogues in the past 30 years.
The United States Office of the Coast Survey began in 1807, when Thomas Jefferson founded the Survey of the Coast. However, the fledgling office was plagued by the War of 1812 and disagreements over whether it should be civilian or military controlled. The entity was re-founded in 1832 with Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler as its superintendent. Although a civilian agency, many military officers served the office; army officers tended to perform the topographic surveys, while naval officers conducted the hydrographic work.
The Survey’s history was greatly affected by larger events in American history. During the Civil War, while the agency was led by Alexander Dallas Bache (Benjamin Franklin’s grandson), the Survey provided the Union army with charts. Survey personnel accompanied blockading squadrons in the field, making new charts in the process.
After the Civil War, as the country was settled, the Coast Survey sent parties to make new maps, employing scientists and naturalists like John Muir and Louis Agassiz in the process. By 1926, the Survey expanded their purview further to include aeronautical charts. During the Great Depression, the Coast Survey employed over 10,000 people and in the Second World War the office oversaw the production of 100 million maps for the Allies. Since 1970, the Coastal and Geodetic Survey has formed part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and it is still producing navigational products and services today.