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2007 Catalog > 16. Frémont, Map of Oregon and Upper California.

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The Large Version of Frémont’s Map of California and Oregon

“Frémont has particularly touched my imagination.
What a wild life, and what a fresh kind of existence!
But, ah,the discomforts!”

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

16. Charles Frémont / Charles Preuss. “Map of Oregon and Upper California from the Surveys of John Charles Frémont and Other Authorities. Drawn by Charles Preuss under the Order of the Senate of the United States 1848” (Baltimore: E. Weber & Co., Printers, 1848). Published with Geographical Memoir Upon Upper California in Illustration of his Map of Oregon and California, by John Charles Frémont: Addressed to the Senate of the United States (Washington: Wendell and Van Benthuysen, Printers, 1848). Lithograph with original green outline hand color showing boundaries for Oregon and Upper California. 32 3/4 x 26 3/8" at neat line with original margins. 35 1/2 x 29 1/2" full sheet. At top of map, “Profile of the traveling route from the South Pass of the Rocky Mountains to the Bay of San Francisco,” showing the elevations of Frémont’s route. Very slightly toned. Overall, fine, strong example of this increasingly rare map.

Price: SOLD.

The large version of John Charles Frémont’s famous map covers all territories from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. A seminal map in the history of California exploration and settlement, it is the last of four major cartographic works documenting Frémont’s two pioneering transmississippi expeditions to Oregon, the Great Basin, and northern California. As a synthesis of the data from Frémont’s third expedition west and from earlier explorers’ surveys, the map is by far the most accurate representation of California and Oregon up to the time of its publication. Frémont filled in many of the areas that he had left blank on his 1845 map of the same region. The most notable addition was the unexplored territory between the Great Salt Lake and the Pacific Ocean, which he had called “The Great Basin.” Also of great interest are the legends appearing in California. “Chrysopylae or Golden Gate” is shown for the first time on any map, and the region of the gold trade appears on the first general circulation map of California. A fine example of Preuss’ beautifully drawn and increasingly scarce map, the most influential nineteenth-century map of the West.

Refs.: Cohen, Mapping the West, pp. 152–153 (illus.); Wheat, Books of the Gold Rush, 78; Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region, no. 40; Wheat; Mapping the Transmississippi West, vol. III, pp. 55–62, no. 559.

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