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2007 Catalog > 35. Beale, Route from Fort Smith, Ark., to Albuquerque, N.M. 1858–59.


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35. Edward F. Beale. “Map Showing the Route of E. F. Beale from Fort Smith, Ark., to Albuquerque, N.M. 1858–59” (New York: Lith. of J. Bien, 1859). Published in Wagon Road—Fort Smith to Colorado River. Letter of the Secretary of War, Transmitting the Report of Mr. Beale Relating to the Construction of a Wagon Road from Fort Smith to the Colorado River (Washington, D.C.: House Ex. Doc. No. 42, 36th Cong., 1st sess., 1860). Lithographed folding map in black and white as issued. 6 3/4 x 48 7/8" at neat line. Sheet size: 8 1/2 x 51". Faint toning along top of map; upper margin unevenly trimmed. Excellent condition.

Price: SOLD.

Lieutenant Edward Beale of the U.S. Navy had a long and rather eccentric career in the West, including positions as an Indian agent, surveyor, camel driver, and wagon road superintendent. His most lasting contribution was in the latter category, and the present map represents one of the building projects he supervised.

In 1858, the War Department allocated $50,000 to improve the wagon road that followed the 35th parallel across present-day Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. The project was part of a Congressional initiative to construct and maintain wagon roads to the Pacific Coast. Beale was directed to survey a route from Fort Smith westward along the Canadian River for a wagon road that would continue to the Colorado River. He was engaged in this expedition for nearly a year, and from his experiences prepared a report to the secretary of war containing the present map. Beale’s map shows his route along the Canadian River and marks his progress at 62 daily campsites. Lieutenant Whipple’s earlier route is also shown, as is the topography of the region.

A fascinating, long, horizontal map of the routes plotted from western Arkansas to central New Mexico.

Refs.: “American Survey Parties in El Malpais,” El Malpais: In the Land of the Frozen Fires at www.nps.gov/archive; Graff, 214; Howes B272; Wagner-Camp, 350.

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