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1866 U.S.C.S. Map of Cape Fear and Vicinity, North Carolina

Entrances to Cape Fear River North Carolina. - Main View

1866 U.S.C.S. Map of Cape Fear and Vicinity, North Carolina


The culmination of the U.S. Coast Survey's work around Cape Fear.


Entrances to Cape Fear River North Carolina.
  1866 (dated)     26 x 31 in (66.04 x 78.74 cm)


One of the largest and most striking examples of the U.S Coast Survey's Map of North Carolina's Cape Fear. Extends from Federal Point south to the top of Cape Fear and then west past Smithville and Fort Caswell to Oak Island (roughly 78.04 Longitude). Upper right quadrant features a detailed inset of the Frying Pan Shoals that extend south from the top of Cape Fear. Offers superb coastal detail of the North Carolina mainland as well as Smith's Island and Federal Point. From a nautical perspective the map offers a wealth of depths soundings and sailing instructions, as well as information on shoals, light houses, and tides. Represents the culmination of the Coast Survey's work in this region. The preliminary work for this region was completed in 1857. The triangulation for this chart was calculated by C. P. Bolles. The topography was completed by C. P. Bolles and J. S Bradford. Hydrography was accomplished by T. A. Jenkins, J. N . Maffitt and J. S. Bradford. This chart was prepared under the supervision of A. D. Bache, one of the most influential Superintendents in the history of the Coast Survey. Issued in the 1867 supplement to the 1865 Superintendent's Report.


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. More by this mapmaker...


Report of the Superintendant of the United States Coast Survey, Washington, (1867 Supplement to the 1865 edition).    


Very Good condition. Minor discoloration along original fold lines. Minor wear and loss at a couple of fold intersections. Verso repairs on original folds. Margins wide and clean.


University of North Carolina, North Carolina Collection, Cm912m U58cf1.