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1862 U.S. Coast Survey Map of Oregon Inlet, North Carolina


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Title:    Oregon Inlet, N. Carolina.

Description:    A fine example of the U.S. Coast survey map of Oregon Inlet, N. Carolina. The map covers the inlet as well as parts of Bodie Island, Pea Island, and Duck Island. This inlet, located on North Carolina's Outer Banks, provides access to the Pamlico Sound from the Atlantic Ocean. Apparently a hurricane in 1846 separated the islands. A ship name the Oregon rode out the storm on Pamlico Sound and was the first to report the new inlet, thus immortalizing itself in the region's geography. When this map was made, the southern island, today's Pea Island, was as yet unnamed and so both islands are here identified as 'Bodie Island'. Studying this pass on Google earth will reveal a remarkable change in the regional topography as over 100 years of storm has moved the inlet southwards over 2 miles since its original formation. Today Oregon Inlet is spanned by the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge and North Carolina Route 12. This map offers numerous depth soundings as well as notes on soundings and tides. The triangulation for this chart was completed by W. M Boyce. The topography is the work of John Mechan. The hydrography was accomplished by Henry Mitchell. Issued under the supervision of A. D. Bache for the 1862 edition of e U.S. Coast Survey Superintendent's Report.

Date:    1862 (dated)

Source:    Bache, A. D., Report of the Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey, (Washington) 1862.

Cartographer:    The Office of the Coast Survey, founded in 1807 by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of Commerce Albert Gallatin, is the oldest scientific organization in the U.S. Federal Government. Jefferson created the "Survey of the Coast," as it was then called, in response to a need for accurate navigational charts of the new nation's coasts and harbors. The spirit of the Coast Survey was defined by its first two superintendents. The first superintendent of the Coast Survey was Swiss immigrant and West Point mathematics professor Ferdinand Hassler. Under the direction of Hassler, from 1816 to 1843, the ideological and scientific foundations for the Coast Survey were established. These included using the most advanced techniques and most sophisticated equipment as well as an unstinting attention to detail. Hassler's devised a labor intensive triangulation system whereby the entire coast was divided into a series of enormous triangles. These were intern subdivided into smaller triangulation units that were then individually surveyed. Employing this exacting technique on such a massive scale had never before been attempted. Consequently Hassler and the Coast Survey under him developed a reputation for uncompromising dedication to the principles of accuracy and excellence. Unfortunately, despite being a masterful surveyor, Hassler was abrasive and politically unpopular, twice loosing congressional funding for the Coast Survey. Nonethelss, Hassler lead the Coast Survey until his death in 1843, at which time Alexander Dallas Bache, a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, took the helm. Bache was fully dedicated to the principles established by Hassler, but proved more politically astute and successfully lobbied Congress liberally fund the endeavor. Under the leadership of A. D. Bache, the Coast Survey completed its most important work. Moreover, during his long tenure with the Coast Survey, from 1843 to 1865, Bache was a steadfast advocate of American science and navigation and in fact founded the American Academy of Sciences. Bache was succeeded by Benjamin Pierce who ran the Survey from 1867 to 1874. Pierce was in turn succeeded by Carlile Pollock Patterson who was Superintendent from 1874 to 1881. In 1878, under Patterson's superintendence, the U.S. Coast Survey was reorganized as the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (C & GS or USGS) to accommodate topographic as well as nautical surveys. Today the Coast Survey is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA. Click here for a list of rare maps from the U. S. Coast Survey.

Size:   Printed area measures 15.5 in height x 17.5 inches in width (39.37 x 44.45 centimeters)

Condition:    Very good. Some wear and discoloration on original fold lines. Backed on archival tissue for stability.

Code:   OregonInletNorthCarolina-uscs-1862 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)

© Geographicus Rare Antique Maps, Kevin Brown, 24/4/2014



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