Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition, — Titian Peale, who had been on the Long expedition, was also a member of the Wilkes-led Exploring Expedition. As on the Long expedition, Peale kept a journal in addition to his duties as artist-naturalist. Sutter, a Swiss gentleman, for the purpose of Settling this portion of California. He commenced about two years since, and is now building extensive corrals and houses of adobes, by Indian labor for which he pays in goods.
Titian Peale — Manuscript journal, October 19, Sutter's Fort , October 19, William Dunlop Brackenridge served as horticulturist and Titian Peale as artist-naturalist for the U.
Exploring Expedition. The two naturalists, along with mineralogist James Dana, formed an expedition party sent inland to investigate the interior geography and resources of Oregon and California. Wilkes's expedition returned to Washington, D. The bulk of the scientific specimens collected on the four-year voyage became the foundation for the collections of the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History. Herbarium of the U. Exploring Expedition under the Command of Capt. Balsamorhiza deltoidea, Oregon, Nasqually [Nisqually] Northwest balsamroot.
Herbarium sheet. Asclepias speciosa, Torr. Calycodemia fremontii and Scutellaria antirrhinoides , on display above, were both obtained in California. Calycodemia fremontii , Gray Fremont's western rosinweed.
Scutellaria antirrhinoides var. In and again in —, John C. Charles Preuss, the expedition's cartographer, prepared this map, depicting only geographic information collected during the expedition.
Kootenai Indians, Idaho
Originally published with Fremont's report, the map was the first reliable depiction of the emigrants' route through the West since it was based on scientific measurements of latitude and longitude. Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains. Washington: He drew this profile of Mt. Hood and Mt. Charles Preuss — The popularity of his Report is due in large part to the literary skill of his wife Jesse — , the daughter of expansionist Senator Thomas Hart Benton.
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Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the year , and to Oregon and north California in the years Senate Doc. Washington: Gales and Seaton, Page 1. Lithographic illustration. John C. Theodore Talbot, a civilian and the son of former U.
Senator Isham Talbot of Kentucky, made note of this occurrence in his journal. Theodore Talbot — Journal entry, August 5, In , capitalizing on his popularity, John C. New York: Wood engraving. Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress The boundaries of the Louisiana Purchase had been only vaguely defined, but as Americans acquired the remaining trans-Mississippi territories and learned of the region's natural resources, it became increasingly important to establish precise boundaries between the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
The treaty that ended the Mexican War in stipulated that a boundary commission survey and mark that contentious national border. This commission worked from to , eventually producing a massive, three-volume report that included extensive geological, botanical, and zoological data, as well as a series of detailed topographic maps of the boundary region.
The northern boundary with British possessions in Canada was marked along the 49 th parallel as the result of two separate surveys. The first boundary commission was established in to survey and map the border with British North America from the Pacific eastward to the Continental Divide. That survey, completed in , produced important journals, landscape drawings, photographs, and maps but no published report. The survey of the remainder of the northern boundary from the Continental Divide eastward to the Lake of the Woods in Minnesota was not begun until , after the Act of Dominion that created Canada as a separate country.
With the establishment of the southwestern and northwestern boundaries, the outer limits of the new American western empire were finally established, producing today's familiar outline of the contiguous forty-eight states. The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, ending the Mexican War , defined but did not actually demarcate the 2,mile boundary between the United States and Mexico. However, a joint commission was formed in to carry out this task. A series of four maps, which were issued separately, depict the boundary and the adjacent topography. Shown here is the western portion of the boundary running along the southern extent of present-day California and Arizona.
William H. Emory — Map No. Lithograph map.
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The actual surveying of the southwestern boundary line and the preparation of the resulting reports and maps were assigned to members of the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, primarily under the direction of William H. The United States and Mexican Boundary Survey was completed in , but the published reports were not issued until The three-volumes included numerous landscape and ethnographic illustrations, as well as accounts of the geology, botany, and zoology along the surveyed line.
House Executive Documents. Washington, D. Law Library , Library of Congress. The boundary of the western United States with the British possessions in Canada was defined by two treaties, with the 49th parallel designated in as the boundary from the Great Lakes to the Continental Divide and in , the remaining segment from the Rocky Mountains to the Puget Sound, also utilizing the 49th parallel. The survey of the latter segment was not begun until Shown here is a photo-lithographed copy of the first sheet of that series, depicting the rugged terrain traversed by the survey party in present-day southeastern British Columbia and northwestern Montana.
Archibald Campbell d. Photo-lithograph maps.
James Alden accompanied the U. As these three views illustrate, this series of dramatic drawings depicts the region's rugged topography, the survey camps, and the actual marking of the boundary with stone monuments and the cutting of a swath of trees along the surveyed line. These images were never converted to lithographic plates because the results of the survey were not published. James Madison Alden — Camp Mooyie. Mooyie River Valley from Monument W.
Side River Looking E. View from Monument at Summit Looking W. The British team used photographers to document the progress of the boundary line, geographic features, native life, and U. In hindsight their commander, Lieutenant Colonel John Hawkins, thought the photographic equipment hindered the team's progress, and the attachment of a sketch artist would have been more useful.
By the next decade the inclusion of photographers on scientific and government-sponsored surveys would be seen as critical to the mission. The images from this survey are among the earliest surviving photographs of the West and the first photographic documentation of the Pacific Northwest. British Northwest Commission Boundary Survey. Albumen print. Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress a. Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress b.
Prints and Photographs Division , Library of Congress d. The study of North American botany during the mid-nineteenth century was done primarily under the aegis of U. In this period the survey teams, like the one that accompanied the Mexican Boundary Survey, became more complex and included multiple specialists in the fields of geology, mineralogy, zoology, and botany. Oenothera primiveris , A. Gray subsc. Parry, MD; J. Bigelow, MD; Mr. Charles Wright, and Mr. Quercus oblongifolia , Torr. The high watermark in mapping the newly defined American empire before the Civil War was the Pacific Railroad Surveys.
During the s and s, modes of transportation changed from rivers and canals to roads, turnpikes, and railroads in the eastern half of the nation.
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Business and political leaders envisioned the construction of a transcontinental railway linking eastern urban and industrial centers with newly acquired western lands. With the end of the Mexican War and the beginning of the California Gold Rush the need to connect the new American West with the East seemed even more imperative. After a long series of debates, in Congress authorized the War Department and the Corps of Topographical Engineers to conduct a comprehensive survey to determine the most practical and economical route.
Between and army engineers surveyed and mapped large portions of the West and explored four transcontinental routes. The official recommendation of a 32 nd parallel route was met with considerable opposition in Congress. The enduring legacy of the Railroad Surveys came in 13 volumes of detailed, lavishly illustrated reports.
Perhaps most important, the comprehensive map drafted by topographic engineer Lieutenant G. Warren completed the process of cartographic definition begun half a century earlier by William Clark. The first transcontinental railroad, completed after the Civil War, followed the 41st parallel, a route that army engineers had not surveyed. In many ways the Pacific Railroad Surveys marked the end of an era—the age in which explorers sought a water route across the continent.