1878 Hayden Geological Map of Central Wyoming

Part of Central Wyoming F.V. Hayden, U.S. Geologist in charge. - Main View

1878 Hayden Geological Map of Central Wyoming


Early geological map of the American frontier.


Part of Central Wyoming F.V. Hayden, U.S. Geologist in charge.
  1878 (undated)     24 x 33.5 in (60.96 x 85.09 cm)     1 : 253440


An impressive, large-scale 1878 map of Wyoming produced by Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden and the U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories (USGGST), the forerunner to the U.S. Geological Survey. It is among the earliest geological maps of Wyoming. Though some earlier geological maps of the territory had been undertaken by the military and by Hayden himself, the surveys by USGGST were significantly more comprehensive.
A Closer Look
Brilliant color overlays the map, taking in portions of the Wind River Range and Great Divide Basin. Terrain varies from mountains and plateaus in the north to sandy hills and desert to the south. The Sweet Water River cuts across the top half of the sheet. The southern portion of the Wind River Indian Reservation sits at top, while a nearby road leads to the recently established Yellowstone National Park, which Hayden had a hand in creating.

Aside from geological features, roads and settlements are indicated. Notable among these are the 'Old Wagon Road' and 'Old Emigrants Road' near center and a portion of the Union Pacific Railroad at the bottom-right corner. A group of mines appear at center-left, leftover from the 1867 gold rush in the region, with miners' towns (South Pass City, Atlantic City) that soon became ghost towns or only sparsely inhabited.
The U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories
The U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories (also known as the Hayden Survey) was created under the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1870, with Hayden as its director. It operated through 1879. The first year the Survey operated in Wyoming on a budget of $25,000 with twelve assistants and eight teamsters and cooks. The following year (1871), the Survey received $40,000 and employed thirty-two individuals, including artist Thomas Moran and photographer W. H. Jackson. That year they launched from Ogden, Utah (which the Union Pacific Railroad had reached) and spent the summer in what is now Yellowstone National Park. The work conducted by the survey that year played a critical role in convincing the U.S. Senate to create Yellowstone, the first U.S. National Park. The Survey worked in Colorado from 1873 through 1876 because of hostilities between white settlers and Native Americans in Wyoming. The team returned to the Yellowstone area in 1877 and 1878. Then, in 1879, the Hayden Survey, along with surveys led by John Wesley Powell (the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon) and Clarence King (Fortieth Parallel Survey), were merged to create the U.S. Geological Survey.
Publication History and Census
This map was produced by the USGGST, led by Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden, and notes Frederick Miller Endlich as a geological assistant and George B. Chittenden as a topographical assistant. Though surveyed in 1877, the map is usually dated to 1878 as it appeared in the Twelfth Annual Report of the USGGST for the year 1878 (the map is also sometimes dated to 1883 as the 1878 report was not published by the Government Printing Office until 1883). Due to these discrepancies over publication date, as well as cataloging variations in the title and attribution of authorship, and the co-mingling of digital and physical copies, the map appears in eleven listings in the OCLC. There are two printings of this map, one uncolored (Rumsey 5941.000) and one colored (Rumsey 5942.000). All told, it is cataloged among the holdings of some forty institutions worldwide, while the entire 1878 Annual Report is somewhat more widely distributed.


Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden (September 7, 1829 - December 22, 1887) was an American geologist remembered for leading late 19th century pioneering surveying expedition in the Rocky Mountains and served as a doctor in the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War. Born in Westfield, Massachusetts, and discovered a fascination with nature and wildlife in his youth. He studied at Oberlin College and graduated in 1850, then attended the Albany Medical College and earned his degree in 1853. While at Albany, Hayden garnered the attention of Professor James Hall, then the state geologist of New York. Professor Hall convinced Hayden to join an expedition to the Nebraska Territory, where he collected fossils and studied geology. He accompanied expeditions led by Gouverneur K. Warren in 1856 and 1857 and the Raynolds Expedition of 1860 led by Captain William F. Raynolds. He served as an army surgeon during the U.S. Civil War and rose to become the chief medical officer of the Army of the Shenandoah. After the war, Hayden resumed working on geologic and geographic surveys in the Nebraska and Western Territories and was appointed geologist-in-chief of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories in 1867. Hayden led the first federally funded geological survey into the Yellowstone Region in northwestern Wyoming in 1871 under orders from Secretary of the Interior Columbus Delano. The expedition included fifty men, including painter Thomas Moran and Civil War photographer William Henry Jackson. Hayden's report on the expedition, Preliminary Report of the United State Geological Survey of Montana and Portions of Adjacent Territories; Being a Fifth Annual Report of Progress played an instrumental role in persuading Congress to establish Yellowstone as the first U.S. National Park. More by this mapmaker...

George B. Chittenden (December 25, 1849 - February 24, 1939) was a topographer and surveyor who worked for the U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, precursor to the U.S. Geological Survey. Born and raised in Connecticut, Chittenden attended Yale University and trained as a civil engineer. Upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories and from 1873 to 1876 surveyed the Colorado Territory. In 1877, he surveyed portions of the Wyoming and Idaho Territories. Soon afterwards, he was diagnosed with rheumatism, precluding further fieldwork in the American West. Instead, he and his brother established an engineering firm in Washington, D.C. Learn More...

Frederick Miller Endlich (June 14, 1851 - July 17, 1899) was a mineralogist, chemist, and mining engineer. Born in Germany, he received a doctorate from the Universität Tübingen and emigrated to the United States of America. From 1872 to 1880, he worked at the Smithsonian Institution and participated in the U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories. Afterwards, he served as a mining engineer consultant throughout the American West. Learn More...


Hayden, F. V., Twelfth Annual Report of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories: A report of progress of the exploration in Wyoming and Idaho for the year 1878, (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office) 1883.    


Good. Verso repairs at fold lines and intersections. Minor wear and toning at fold lines. A few small areas of infill at intersections.


Rumsey 5942.000. OCLC 1060562795.