Fine example of Cadwalader Ringgold's sea chart of the North Part of San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay, extending from South San Francisco to Sonoma Creek, just south of the towns of Napa and Sonoma.
Ringgold's charts are the earliest American Surveys of the region following the discovery of Gold in California. It is a work of the highest importance at the outset of the Gold Rush, charting parts of the Bay which had been virtually uncharted only 2 years earlier, and providing the necessity to aid the flood of ship traffic in the region as a result of the discovery of gold.
The map provides a detailed treatment of the region, both nautical and topographical. In the north, Petaluma Creek, Sonoma Creek and Vallejo are shown, along with Pacheco Ranch and Simmons on the northwest side of the chart. Further south the Mission of San Rafael and the Murphy Adobe are shown, just below a profile / recognition view of Invincible Buoy. Near San Francisco, the Presidio is shown well west of the town, with early roads reaching to the Mission San Francisco and southward.
In the East Bay, the primary features are the names of early settlers, including:
- Ramon Briones
- Widow Welsh
- Elain Brown
- Castron Family
- William M. Smith
- Rancho de Castro
- Salvio Pacheco
- Fedenando Pacheco
- Vincente Peralta
- Domingo Peralta
- Antonio Maria Peralta
- Joaquin Estadillo
- Ignacio Peralta
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 schoone Weazel against West Indian pirates in the late 1820s. From 1838 to 1842, he participated in the Wilkes Expedition. In August 1841, Ringgold let a 60-man 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 exepdition, 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.