Map No.1 From San Francisco Bay to the Northern Boundary of California | Map No.2 From the Northern Boundary of California to the Columbia River
By: R.S. Williamson and H.J. Abbot
Date: 1855 / 1861 (published) Washington D.C.
Dimensions: Each Sheet 27.25 x 23.25 inches (69.25 x 59 cm)
This is an important and attractive pair surveys of Northern California and the Oregon Territory. They were surveyed by Lieutenants R.S. Williamson and H.J. Abbot, (Topographic Engineers for the U.S. Military), with the objective of mapping practical railroad routes between two of the potential terminuses of a transcontinental railroad, San Francisco, CA Fort Vancouver, OR
Map No.1 From San Francisco Bay to the Northern Boundary of California
This map covers much of Northern California, from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Oregon Border and the Pacific Coast to the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, well-known then and now as "Gold Country." Important cities and towns, military forts, and landmarks are noted throughout, some of these include San Francisco, Oakland, Stockton, Sacramento, Napa, Mendocino, Eureka, Fort Reading, Fort, Jones, Mount Diablo, Lassen's Butte and Shasta Butte. Major rivers and their tributaries are delineated with clarity and mountain topography is illustrated with fine hachure work that give depth to the valleys between the peaks and ranges, especially with regards to the mapping of the lower Cascades.
A network of trails traverse the map including that of portions of the the Emigrant Trail that was the terminus of the lower fork of the Oregon Trail, Warner and Williamson's Route of 1849, which was one of the earliest routes to the gold regions from the Oregon Trail, other routes thought the southern Cascades by Williamson, and Major Wessel's Route of 1852 from Sonoma to Humboldt Bay, then up the Klamath River to the head of Scott's River. The route of Williamson and Abbot can be followed from Camp 1 near Benecia, up the Feathered and Sacramento River to Lower Klamath Lake (camp 27), then into Oregon (Map No.2), not returning until camp 79 along the Klamath River then south through Scott's Valley to Fort Reading.
One additional area of interest in the map is the inland region between Humboldt and the California-Oregon border. On large are just south of the Klamath River is described as "Unexplored Instrumentally." The other region to the north of the Klamath reads "Siskiyou Mountains Unexplored.
Map No.2 From the Northern Boundary of California to the Columbia River
This map covers the region from the California-Oregon border with the Siskoyou Range and Klamath Lakes to Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams, just above the Columbia River which separates Oregon from Washington Territory. It impresses with detail and eye appeal while igniting a sense of adventure as it is chock-full or areas still unexplored. Many of the earliest settlements in the Oregon Territory are identified as well as the young would-be cities of Eugene and Portland. Also included are interesting notations pertinent to the construction of a railroad. One example that is repeated in the map reads "Heavily timbered ridges separated by immense ravines."
The map includes several trails, routes of the surveying parties, and expeditions of exploration and military reconnaissance such as that of John C. Fremont and William H. Warner. The middle section of Williamson AND Abbot's surveying expedition (the beginning and end shown in Map No.1) is delineated throughout this map from Camp 28 on the bank of Upper Klamath Lake up to the upper reaches of the Des Chutes River. It is here that the party would split. Abbot would venture north to Fort Dalles on the south bank of the Columbia then backtracking through the Mutton Mountains before heading west through the Cascades to Oregon City. Williamson would go west along the middle fork of the Willamette River then north, traversing the western slopes of the Cascades until he met Abbot in Oregon City. Abbot would complete the journey back south to the California-Oregon border with his last camp (#79) in the Siskiyou Mountains.
Condition: These maps are in A condition, professionally flattened and linen-backed for preservation and presentation purposes. They are both clean with little staining along the fold lines and offered in their original, uncolored state.
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