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Stock# 87416

Early depiction of the proposed Transcontinental Railroad routes!

Fine treatment of the American West seen through the lens of a Republican newspaperman traveling through the continent after the end of the Civil War.

This 1866 edition of Bowles's work, first published in 1865, includes a marvelous map of the western states showing stage roads and proposed railroads across the continent. An inset in the lower right shows a focus on central California.

The book includes an extremely detailed description of the West, describing many aspects. The subjects covered include polygamy in Utah, winemaking in California, the high coastal cost of living, and much more.

One of the most interesting parts of the book is its interactions with Schuyler Colfax's trip across the continent. Colfax, then Speaker of the House, was visiting the western states. He was one of the first high-ranking elected officials to do so.


  1. From Massachusetts to the Missouri
  2. From the Missouri to the Platte
  3. Through the Plains to the Rocky Mountains
  4. The Rocky Mountains and their Gold Mines
  5. Of Persons, Not Things
  6. Sunday in the Mountains
  7. From Denver to Salt Lake Through the Rocky Mountains
  8. The Way into Utah: Reception by the Mormons
  9. Mormon Materialities
  10. Salt Lake City and Life There
  11. The Polygamy Question
  12. The Mormon Wives: Our Last Day in Salt Lake City
  13. Social Life Among the Mormons
  14. The Ride Through the Sage Brush and the Great Basin
  15. The Silver Mines of Nevada: Austin and Virginia City
  16. The Continent Across
  17. Overland to Oregon
  18. The Columbia River: Its Scenery and Commerce
  19. Through Washington Territory
  20. Puget's Sound and Vancouver's Island
  21. San Francisco: Mr. Colfax, and his Reception in the Pacific States
  22. The Yosemite Valley and the Big Trees
  23. The Chinese on the Pacific Coast: Our Grand Dinner with Them
  24. The Great Theme: The Pacific Railway
  25. Country Excursions
  26. Of San Francisco
  27. Mining in California: It's Varieties, Results, and Prospects
  28. Social Life in San Francisco: The Women, Religion, and Ministers
  29. Climate and Productions: Cost of Living: The Currency Question
  30. The Mining Questions Again: General Review
  31. The Farewell Festivities
  32. The Voyage Home by Steamship and the Isthmus


[Folding engraved map], xx, 452, [Blank]; [2]; [Final blanks]

Condition Description
Octavo. Publisher's brown cloth. Internally bright, lightest damage to cover. Original hand-color to map. Small 1" tear in right of map.