Rare separately issued map of California, focusing on the progress of the General Land Office's township surveys, published by John Mullan and printed by Britton & Rey in San Francisco.
The map was prepared for John Mullan, one of the most important names in the exploration and survey of the Pacific Northwest. The map notes that "Copies of This Map For Sale By John Mullan General Land Agent & Attorney For Land Claimants. . . ."
A note below the title provides:
The full mark in each Township indicates that the Township has been surveyed.
When additional Townships are surveyed notification to that effect will be published at the end of each month in the San Francisco papers & those having copies of this map can amend the same accordingly.
The most salient feature of the map is the identification of the various land districts in the state, including Shasta, Humboldt, Marysville, Sacramento, San Francisco, Stockton, Visalia and Los Angeles. Early counties are also located.
Mullan was born in Norfolk, Virginia and graduated from West Point in 1852. He became a member of Isaac Stevens's party to explore the newly created Washington Territory. Mullan was placed in charge of selecting a wagon route (now commonly called the Mullan Road) between Fort Benton (Montana) and Fort Walla Walla (Washington). Mullan, a topographical engineer, began gathering information in 1854.
Mullan was promoted to First Lieutenant in February 1855 and transferred to Florida for two years. He returned to Washington Territory, and from 1858 to 1862, was engaged as chief of construction in building the wagon road across the Rockies.
John Mullan fought in the Wright Campaign in September of 1858 where he was in charge of the Nez Percé scouts. Mullan was promoted to Captain in 1862 and married in 1863. He resigned to begin ranching near Walla Walla, an endeavor that failed. Thereafter, he secured a contract to deliver mail from Chico, California, to Ruby City, Idaho, but was forced to relinquish his contract within a year. Mullan thereafter opened a successful law practice at San Francisco, before moving to Washington, D.C., in 1878. From 1883 to 1884, he succeeded General Charles Ewing as Catholic Commissioner for Indian Missions, (later the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions), which involved defending Roman Catholic mission interests and the rights of Native Americans.
Mullan's Report on the Construction of a Military Road from Fort Walla Walla to Fort Benton (1863), described the task, which was entirely successful. Mullan also wrote: Miners' and Travellers' Guide to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado, via the Missouri and Columbia Rivers (1865).
The map is extremely rare. We note only the example at the Bancroft Library at the University of California, with no auction records or dealer catalogue entries.