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1886 U.S. Coast Survey Chart or Map of the Savannah River, Georgia

Tybee Roads Savannah River and Wassaw Sound Georgia. - Main View

1886 U.S. Coast Survey Chart or Map of the Savannah River, Georgia




Tybee Roads Savannah River and Wassaw Sound Georgia.
  1886 (dated)     20.5 x 26.5 in (52.07 x 67.31 cm)     1 : 50800


This is a rarely seen nautical chart of Savanna Georgia, the Savanna River, and environs. Depicts from Savannah eastward to Hilton Head Island and southward as far as the entrance to the Vernon River. Shows Wassaw Sound, Skiddaway Island, Wassaw Island, Wilmington Island, Tybee Island, Turtle Island and Jones Islands. Offers superb detail both inland and offshore. Has a detailed city plan of the city of Savannah showing the grid structure, outlying buildings, and surrounding farmlands. Offshore, this chart offers countless depth soundings throughout as well as showing shoals and depth zones through shading. Notes on Tides, Soundings, and weather in the upper left quadrant. Notes on lighthouses in the lower right quadrant. Title area in the upper right quadrant. Based upon a similar though less detailed chart of this region first issued by the Coast Survey in 1867. Prepared under the supervision of F. M. Thorn, Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey in 1886.


The Office of the Coast Survey (1807 - present) 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 devised a labor intensive triangulation system whereby the entire coast was divided into a series of enormous triangles. These were in turn 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 losing congressional funding for the Coast Survey. Nonetheless, Hassler led 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 to 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) to accommodate topographic as well as nautical surveys. Today the Coast Survey is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA as the National Geodetic Survey. Learn More...


Thorn, F. M., Report of the Navy Yard Site Comission, Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Coasts, Appendix H., 1886.    


Very good condition. Minor verso reinforcement and toning on some of the original fold lines.