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2006 Catalog > John Charles Frémont, Oregon and Upper California

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The Preferred Frémont Map for California

"Apparently it has not been noted that the reduced map of 1850 more fully renders Fremont routes of 1846 in the Central Valley than do the original issues of 1848 and 1849 in their larger scale."
—Carl Wheat, Mapping the Trans-Mississippi West

"This important and beautifully drawn map became the model for many of the later gold region maps."
—Carl Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region

43. John Charles Frémont [Charles Preuss]. “Map of Oregon and Upper California” (Baltimore: E. Weber & Co., 1850 [1848]). From California Messages and Correspondence (Ex. Doc., No. 17, House of Representatives, 31st Congress, 1st session, 1850). Lithograph, black & white as issued. 19 1/2 x 16 1/2" at neat line. 24 x 19". Folds evident as usual; some minor scattered spotting; faint transference. Overall excellent condition for this map.

Price: SOLD.

This important and beautifully drawn map of 1850 is the smaller version of Frémont’s famous map of California, originally issued in 1848. It is the California and the Great Basin portion of the larger map, issued separately. “Apparently,” Wheat writes, “a portion of the larger plate was run off in order to supply the demand for maps after the announcement of the gold discovery in California.” Copies of the map were tipped into a Congressional document titled “California Messages and Correspondence. Message from the President of the United States, transmitting information . . . on the subject of California and New Mexico.” The Golden Gate appears (it was noted for the first time on the 1848 edition), and Frémont's 1846 routes through the Central Valley are more detailed than in the earlier map. The importance of Frémont's mother map of the West—in either version—can hardly be overstated. A product of a colorful adventure involving arduous travels, ground-breaking exploration, international intrigue, military insubordination, and powerful political connections, the map is a compilation of all that was new and known about the western regions. The present is an excellent example of this foundation piece of Western Americana.

Refs.: Graff, 1429; Howes, F366; Sabin, 25837; Wagner-Camp 150:3 (note); Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region, Fremont (2), no. 40; Wheat, Mapping of the Transmississippi West, vol. III, , pp. 56 n. 7, 79; no. 613.

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