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1863 Public Survey Map of New Mexico


Sketch of Public Surveys in New Mexico to Accompany the Annual Report of the Surveyor General for 1863.
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Title:    Sketch of Public Surveys in New Mexico to Accompany the Annual Report of the Surveyor General for 1863.

Description:    This is a beautiful 1863 public survey map of New Mexico. Centered on the Rio Grande, it covers the region entire state of New Mexico from Emory's Spring, north as far as Raton Mountains and from Washington Pass to the state boundary of Texas. This map was prepared to illustrate the progress of the public survey work in New Mexico, noted via a series of blocks representing the survey grid. An explanation in the bottom right quadrant explains the various markings in the blocks. Several important cities, towns, rivers, creeks, roads, and other important topographic features are noted throughout. The reservation for the Gila Apaches is also identified. Fort Bliss, Fort Summer, Fort Union, and the location for several other forts are also noted. This map was prepared by John A. Clark, Surveyor General of New Mexico, for issue in the 1864 congressional report, Message of the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress at the Commencement of the First Session of the Thirty-Eighth Congress.

Date:    1863 (dated)

Source:    Government Printing Office, Message of the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress at the Commencement of the First Session of the Thirty-Eighth Congress, (Washington) 1864.    

References:    Rumsey 1076.005. Wheat, Carl Irving, Mapping of the Transmississippi West, 1540-1861, 1087.

Cartographer:    The General Land Office, created in 1812, was an independent agency charged with the administration and sale of public lands of the western territories of the United States under the Preemption Act of 1841 and the Homestead Act of 1862. During a time of frenetic energy and rapid westward expansion, the Land Office oversaw the surveying, platting, mapping and eventually the sale of much of the Western United States and Florida. The structural layout of the western United States that we see today, and many of their district and county divisions, are direct result of the early surveying work of the General Land Office. More importantly, as a branch of the Federal Government in Washington D.C. and the only agency able to legally sell and administer public lands in the western territories of the United States, the General Land Office played a pivotal role in consolidating power away from the original states and into the hand of the centralized federal government. The General Land Office was absorbed into the Department of Interior in 1849 and in 1946 merged with the United States Grazing Service to become the Bureau of Land Management. Today the Bureau of Land Management administers the roughly 246 million acres of public land remaining under federal ownership. Click here for a list of rare maps from The General Land Office.

Cartographer:    Joseph R. Bien was a topographer and an engineer working the later part of the 19th century. His name appears a number of state and regional atlases, including the important 1895 Atlas of New York. Most of Joseph Bien's work was published in conjunction with the New York Lithographing, Engraving & Printing Company, which was founded by Julius Bien. Joseph was almost certainly related to Julien, though whether he was a son, cousin, or brother, remains unknown. Click here for a list of rare maps from Joseph R. Bien.

Size:   Printed area measures 18 x 19 inches (45.72 x 48.26 centimeters)

Scale:    1 : 152000

Condition:    Very good. Some wear and toning along original fold lines. Professionally flattened and backed with archival tissue.

Code:   NewMexico-publicsurvey-1863 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)

Tags:    U.S. Government Map , New Mexico

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