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Rare map of California and Nevada by Charles Drayton Gibbes, published in San Francisco in 1878.

The map was lithographed by S.B. Linton "Formerly of the U.S. Coast Survey Draughtsman & Lithographer" in Philadelphia.


Charles Gibbes first issued his large format map of California and Nevada in 1869. This map is without question one of the best and most detailed maps of the region, winning high praise from Wheat, Rumsey, and other commentators for its unparalleled detail, accuracy, and compilation of the most recent information. Many details appear on this map that do not appear on other printed maps of the period.

We note that in 1878, Gibbes seems to have updated this map (on a scale of 1 inch to 18 miles). Accordingly, this edition almost certainly reflects the most complete version of the map. While no comprehensive study of Gibbes's maps has been undertaken, this appears to be the third of Gibbes's large format maps, following the 1869 edition (re-issued in 1876, 1879, 1881, 1882) and a reduced size 1873 edition (which was revised in 1875, 1876 and 1878) and this third edition of 1878 (which appears to have been reissued in 1879, 1881 and 1882). This third edition includes the inset profile "Elevation Above The Sea Of Some Of The Principal Mountains In California And Nevada," which appears on large 1869 edition, but not the reduced size 1873 edition.

The full title of the map is:

Map of the States Of California And Nevada. Carefully Compiled from the Latest Authentic Sources. California By By Chas. Drayton Gibbes C.E. Comprising Information obtained from the U.S. Coast And Land Surveys; State Geological Surveys, By Prof. J.D. Whitney; Railroad Surveys And The Results Of Explorations Made By Brevet Lieut. Col. R.S. Williamson, U.S.A., Henry DeGroot, C.D. Gibbes, And Others. Published by Warren Holt. No. 717 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, Cal. 1878.

After a distinguished career as a mapmaker and civil engineer in California, Gibbes (1813-1893) became curator of mineralogy at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, following which he retired on a small pension. As Wheat notes, he left "a record of long-continued and important scientific service in his adopted state."

Condition Description
Original hand-color in outline. Folding map mounted in original green cloth folder gilt-lettered "Holt's Township Map of California and Nevada." Minor paper toning at the edges.