Finely colored example of Ringgold's map of the Sacramento River, from Suisun City and Brannan Island in the south, to Sacramento City, Boston and the American River.
The map includes 3 profile views from the Sacramento River, each showing large sailing vessels on the river, as well as large inset plans of Sacramento & Boston, Suisun City and the confluence of the middle & west forks of the river.
The chart offers a highly detailed treatment of the Sacramento River, then the primary gateway to (and from) the Gold Regions. In the lower river, the various forks are tracked, along with the names of several early land owners (Reuben, McDonald Mathewy and Todd). Near Schoolcraft Island, the property owned by Barber Sr. and Barber Jr. is shown, along with two Indian villages and the lands of A Bunyon and Sons.
Further north, Readings Ranch appears on the east bank of the river, along "Webster or Russian Embarcadero", which, according to William Robinson Grimshaw's Narrative, was
so named because here in former years the Russian launches came to receive cargoes of bides, tallow & wheat, in which commodities Capt. Sutter paid for a large tract of land at or near Bodega purchased from a Russian company. The place is now the town site of Freeport. . .
Sutterville appears just south of Sacramento City, with Sutter's Fort shown to the east.
Cadwalader Ringgold was a US Navy officer who served in the US Exploring Expedition and later headed an expedtion to the northwest, before retiring briefly before the Civil War. Ringgold entered the US Navy in 1819 and commanded the schooner Weazel, against West Indian pirates in the late 1820s. From 1838 to 1842, he participated in the Wilkes Expedition. In August 1841, Ringgold led a 60-map exploring party in San Francisco Bay, exploring the sources of the Bay for 20 days. This expedition travelled as far as Colusa, California.
In July 1849, Ringgold returned to San Francisco as commander of an official survey team surveying the harbor, shortly after the announcement of the discovery of gold in California.
Ringgold's next expedition, the North Pacific Exploring and Surveying Expedition, ended prematurely for Ringgold when he contracted Malaria. The expedition was met in China by a separate expedition under the command of Commodore Perry, who convened an official panel, which determined that Ringgold was "insane" and relieved him of his command.
Ringgold's charts from his San Francisco Bay Surveys were published in A Series of charts, with sailing directions, embracing surveys of the Farallones, entrance to the Bay of San Francisco ... State of California, beginning with the 3rd edition in 1852. The work has the distinction of being the first set of published charts focusing on California and is an essential work for California collectors.