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2007 Catalog > 66. Derby, Route Through the Mining Districts.


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66. George Horatio Derby. “Sketch of General Riley’s Route Through the Mining Districts July and Aug. 1849” (New York: Ackermann’s Lithogr., 1850). Published in Message From the President of the United States, Transmitting Information in Answer to a Resolution of the House of the 31st of December, 1849, on the subject of California and New Mexico (H.R. Ex. Doc. No. 17, 31st Cong., 1st sess., 1850). Lithographed folding map in black and white as issued. 20 1/2 x 19 1/4" at neat line. Sheet size: 22 3/4 x 20". Fine.

Price: SOLD

One of the three highly important maps that George Horatio Derby prepared of California, the map offered here is significant not only for recording the tour of the gold fields by General Riley upon his appointment as California’s first "civilian" governor, but also for the new information it presents.

In the summer of 1849, Wheat writes, “Derby accompanied General Bennet Riley on his trip through the gold diggings . . . , and although his map shows only a portion of the ‘Mining Districts,’ it is important since on it appear for the first time several names of certain actual mining camps in the middle of the Sierra foothills. Among these are Mormon Island (misspelled ‘Mormont’ by the eastern lithographer who copied Derby’s sketch), Coloma (mislabeled ‘Colluma’), Curtis, Sullivan’s, Corons, Jamestown, Woods, Sonora, and Angel’s,—and one doubtless accurately labeled only ‘Tent.’ Some of these names have not survived, but Derby’s map graphically shows how the miners were beginning to swarm up the Sierra streams into the general area which he designated as ‘Diggings.’ The entire route of the Riley party is noted, with the dates of their visits to the various points.”

Another fine document for fans of the California Gold Rush.

Refs.: Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region, no. 79 (illus.), pp. xxviii–xxvix; Wheat, 25 Maps of California, no. 6.

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