The Earliest Chart of San Francisco Bay Based Upon American Surveys and Observations
Nice example of Ringgold's chart of the region from Sir Francis Drake's Bay to San Francisco Bay.
The chart includes a profile view of the entrance to San Francisco, as well as general overview of the Bay and the coastline to the north. The chart is part of the first important American Survey of the Harbor.
Cadwalader Ringgold was a US Navy officer who served in the US Exploring Expedition and later headed an expedition 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-man exploring party in San Francisco Bay, exploring the sources of the bay for 20 days. This expedition traveled 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.