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1863 Public Survey Map of Oregon


A Diagram of Public Surveys in Oregon.
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Title:    A Diagram of Public Surveys in Oregon.

Description:    This is a fine 1863 public survey map of Oregon. It covers the region from the Pacific Ocean to Boise and from the Columbia River to the California state boundary. The map was prepared to illustrate the progress of the land survey work in Oregon, noted via a series of blocks representing the survey grid. An explanation along the top border describes the various markings in the blocks. The map notes several important towns, cities, mountain ranges, including the Cascades and the Blue Mountains, with relief shown by hachures. It also identifies Indian reservations and villages, as well as several trails, including the Applegate Trail, the Proposed Emigrant Trail, Trail to Powder River and Fremont's Trail, among others. Forts, lakes, rivers and other topographical features are noted throughout. The cartographer also identifies gold discoveries in the Blue Mountains near Auburn, Canyon City, and Round Lake. Wheat has this to say:
eastern Oregon is much enlivened by gold discoveries. 'Gold Mines' appears near the heads of the John Days River (east of the new Canyon City); 'Gold Prospects' near the southern headwaters of the Crooked River, 'Gold Mining' down the Owyhee River; 'Gold Mining' at the head of the Malheur River; and 'Gold Mines' adjacent to the Burnt River and the upper Power - where Auburn has now appeared. The term 'Mormon Basin' has been given to a broad area north of the Malheur. In th Grande Ronde Valley 'Gold Mines' appears again. On the Umatilla River is shown, without a name, 'County Seat of Baker County'. Curiously although this map was signed as late as August 24, 1863, no Idaho is recognized'. 'Washington Territory lies east as well as North of the State Boundaries.
This map was engraved by J. Bien and prepared by B. J. Pengra, Surveyor General of Oregon and issued 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 1077.007. Wheat, Carl Irving, Mapping of the Transmississippi West, 1540-1861, 1088.

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 24.5 x 18.5 inches (62.23 x 46.99 centimeters)

Scale:    1 : 1140480

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

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

Tags:    U.S. Government Map , Oregon , Gold Rush , Westward Migration

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