Lot 80 of 235:
Wilkes' Western America with maps 1849  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,920
$3,000 - $5,000

Western America, Including California and Oregon with Maps of Those Regions, and of "The Sacramento Valley"

Wilkes, Charles


Lea & Blanchard



[2], v-[x], 13-130 pp. With 3 folding maps. (8vo) 21.5x14 cm (8½x5½"), 20th century half morocco & marbled boards, spine lettered in gilt. First Edition.

Important description of California and Oregon by the commander of the U.S. Exploring Expedition, which grew out of a request to prepare a map of the Valley of the Sacramento. The work is described briefly by Howes as "Written from material gathered from his famous government exploring expedition of 1832-4 [sic, actually 1838-42], but not included in his official Narrative, as this region was not then United States public domain. In a sense it constitutes the first Pacific coast guide; De Smet contributed some geographical information." Of interest is Wilkes comment on San Francisco Bay, p 45: "I know of no place where a natural site for a town can be found throughout the whole bay; and it appears to me extremely difficult to select one where the locality would permit of extensive artificial improvements." The three significant maps are the large "A Correct Map...Embracing a Portion of California Between Monterey and the Prairie Butes in the Valley of the Sacramento Shewing the Placeres 1849" (59.5x42.3 cm, trimmed to or over neat lines at sides); "Map of Upper California by the Best Authorities 1849" (21.2x29 cm, trimmed to neat line at top); and "Map of Oregon Territory from the Best Authorities 1849" with inset of the Columbia River (21x33 cm, a little toned). With the bookplate of Thomas Wayne Norris. The [32] advertisement pages generally inserted  at rear are not present in this copy, but they are considered part of the binding and not the main text.

Provenance: Waverly auction, 3/2/00

References: Cowan p.683; Graff 4657; Norris 4222 (this copy); Howell cat 50 256;
Howes W416; Sabin 103995; Streeter 3326; Wheat Gold Region 134 & 135; Wheat Transmississippi 654 & 655.

Lot Amendments

Occasional very light foxing, bound without the original wrappers, very good or better, much cleaner than generally found.

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