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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lieutenant Amiel Weeks Whipple’s Proof Copy of “Report of Explorations for a Railway Route, near the Thirty-Fifth Parallel of North Latitude, from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean”


 WHIPPLE, Lieutenant Amiel Weeks (1818 – 1863) – IVES Lieutenant J.C.
THE AUTHOR’S PROOF COPY OF “Report of Explorations for a Railway Route, near the Thirty-Fifth Parallel of North Latitude, from the Mississippi River to the pacific Ocean”. [Washington, D.C.]: War Department, 1853-4 [but 1856].
$75,000


4to., (11 2/8 9 inches). General title-page, 3 sectional title-pages (old vertical fold marks to text leaves). FOUR FINE FOLDING MAPS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PUBLISHED VOLUME: “Map of Routes for a Pacific Railroad Compiled to accompany the Report of the Hon. Jefferson Davis... 1855”, “Profiles of Rail Roads Constructed across the Alleghany Mountains”, Jules Marcou’s chromolithographed “Carte Geologique des Etas-Unis et des Provinces Anglaises de l’Amerique du Nord” THE FIRST GEOLOGICAL MAP OF AMERICA here affectionately inscribed “Cap. A.W. Whipple U.S. C. Engs. De la part de son ami Jules Marcou, and “Geologische Karte der Vereinicten Staaten und Britischen Provinzen von Nord-Amerika”. Illustrated throughout with an ORIGINAL GRAPHITE AND WATERCOLOUR DRAWING BY MOLLHAUSEN, EXCEPTIONALLY FINE PROOF CHROMOLITHOGRAPHS BEFORE LETTERS signed by the lithographer J. Sinclair, uncoloured proof lithographs after letters, some of plates in their final state, and all wood-engravings in the text. Contemporary half green morocco, blue cloth, gilt (just a bit rubbed).

Provenance: The author of the Report Amiel Weeks Whipple, by descent to the most recent owner.


THE AUTHOR’S OWN PROOF COPY OF HIS REPORT OF HIS EXPLORATION OF THE 35TH PARALLEL, published as volume III of the monumental 12 volume “Reports of Explorations and Surveys to Ascertain the Most Practical and Economic Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. 1853-1854.” Washington: [Printed by Beverley Tucker], 1855 -1860.

Including proof text leaves for Part I: “Itinerary” illustrated with AN ORIGINAL APPARENTLY UNPUBLISHED GRAPHITE AND WATERCOLOUR DRAWING BY MOLLHAUSEN OF BILL WILLIAMS MOUNTAIN ARIZONA, signed by Mollhausen lower right and tipped in to heavier stock. Mollhausen was a Prussian artist, who visited the United States three times in the 1850s, which provided him with the material and experiences he used to produce illustrations, diaries, and fiction for nearly fifty years. “His works made him enormously popular with Germans of all ages and classes, and he has become known as "the German Cooper". After arriving in the United States in 1849 and working in the Midwest, in 1851 Möllhausen traveled through the Plains toFort Laramie with Prince Paul of Württemberg. He returned to Germany in 1852 with a shipment of wild animals for the Berlin zoo and met Alexander von Humboldt. He soon became a favorite of the old explorer and, bearing a recommendation from Humboldt, returned to the United States, where he joined Lt. Amiel Weeks Whipple's Pacific Railroad survey of the Thirty-fifth parallel as "topographer or draughtsman." The party traveled from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Pueblo de los Angeles in 1853-54. Möllhausen made several illustrations in the Texas Panhandle that appear in Whipple's report" (Kathleen Doherty for Texas State Historical Association).

Mollhausen recorded his delight on seeing Bill Williams’ Mountain in his own diary, published in English as the “Diary of a Journey from the Mississippi to the Coasts of the Pacific with a United States Government Expedition... with an Introduction by Alexander von Humboldt ... translated by Mrs. Percy Sinnett” London: Longman (and others), 1858: “after we had gone a short distance through the forest, we passed to the south of a high mountain, which we called Mount Sitgreaves, after the captain of that name. Some smaller hills that immediately surrounded us hid for a time the San Francisco Mountains lying to the north-east; but, by way of compensation, we had towards the south-west a clear prospect of the Bill Williams’ group, covered with pines and cedars and obviously distinct volcanoes” (page 111 English edition).

In addition the “Itinerary” includes 6 PROOF chromolithographs, before letters, signed by the lithographer J. Sinclair lower right, many published in this section of the original account but also containing two that were published with the account of the “India Tribes” later in the book; and 7 further tinted or uncoloured lithographs after letters.

This proof copy of Whipple’s report also includes Parts II “Topographical Features”, and III “Indian Tribes”, the latter with two PROOF lithographs before letters and signed by Sinclair, a further proof in which the caption has been corrected, and 2 colour plates of artifacts. However it does not include the report on the Geological findings published in the third volume, nor the Zoological report later found in the tenth volume of the eventual 12 volume edition.

Instead copies of Jules Marcou’s original reports in French and German are included at the end. Accompanied by his updated versions of his “Carte Geologique des Etas-Unis et des Provinces Anglaises de l’Amerique du Nord” from “Annales des Mines” second series, volume VII, page 329 (Marcou 49) here inscribed “Cap. A.W. Whipple U.S. C. Engs. De la part de son ami Jules Marcou”.

 “The first geological map comprising the whole country from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, the author being the first geologist to cross the continent with a Government expedition - the Pacific Railroad exploration" (Marcou 48). Both the French and the German editions of this map are attractive and colourful, focusing on the United States, but also including a good portion of Canada and the Baja. Each identifies by color twelve different geological structures, extends the geological coverage to the Pacific, and on the French edition includes a fine geological profile across the top.

In this proof copy Marcou’s reports appear as their entire offprint issues: “Rapport Sur un Memoire de M. Jules Marcou, relatif a la classification des chaines de montagnes d’une partie de l’Amerique du Nord” from “Comptes rendus des seances de l’Academie des Sciences” Institut Imperial de France. Academie des Sciences. Volume 40, 2nd April 1855. And  “Uber die Geologie der Vereinigten Staaten und der Englischen Provinzen von Nord-Amerika”. [Salins (Jura), July 1855].  Accompanied by the fine folding chromolithographed map “Geologische Karte der Vereinicten Staaten und Britischen Provinzen von Nord-Amerika” dated July 1855. In the final published edition they are included as a ‘resume’. Marcou (1824 – 1898) published his extensive geology of theUnited States in 1858.

Not included in the final published version of volume III, but present here are  “Appendices to Report” – including Astronomical, Magnetic, Climatalogical, and Barometric reports, as well as Horary Corrections, and Distances and Grades.

In 1849, after completing work with the Northeastern Boundary Survey, Lt. Whipple was assigned to the Mexican Boundary Survey team.  “The peace treaty with Mexico was recently signed, and the group was exploring great lengths of land unknown to Americans and Europeans.  Whipple’s leather-bound [diaries] provide observations of temperature and barometric pressure, descriptions of peaceful encounters with various tribes of American Indians, and detailed drawings of botanical specimens and topographic sites. With the northern and southern borders established and the discovery of gold in California, the United States Congress saw the need for exploration of the interior lands.  There was much discussion of a super highway for travelers to safely navigate from theMississippi River to the pacific coastline.  By an act of Congress, Secretary of War Jefferson Davis was charged to conduct surveys for the first transcontinental railroad route to the Pacific Ocean, near the 35th parallel.  Five teams were sent, the Northern, Central, and coastal Pacific surveys were commissioned along with two Southern Pacific survey teams, one of which was led by Lt. Whipple.  The journals of this expedition are very thorough and contain details regarding supplies, the hiring of cooks and assistants, as well as environmental, topographical, and cultural observations.  Whipple kept records with meticulous detail, often writing while on horseback or aboard a train, evident through his varied penmanship.

“The survey party reached Oklahoma Territory on Friday July 15, 1853.  After a lengthy crossing of the Poteau River, the wooden cart which carried men, supplies and surveying equipment, ran into a tree stump and was broken.  A summer storm crept up on the team and Lt. Whipple soon found himself walking through knee deep puddles on the prairie.  Sunday provided a day of rest for the men and the animals, and by Tuesday July 19, the team had arrived at the Choctaw Agency.  Surveying the land and observing the inhabitants gave Lt. Whipple many things to write about, and his journal entries for the month of August are extensive and illustrate his view of the prairie (Jennifer Silvers Oklahoma Historical Society).




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