This is an attractive example of the 1855 public survey map of New Mexico. Centered over Santa Fe, this map covers the area from William's Fishery to the borders of Texas and Mexico in the south, including modern day Arizona. Pelham prepared this map to illustrate the progress of the public survey in New Mexico - in this case it is limited to minimal work along the upper Rio Grande. Map is nonetheless informative detailing major rivers, passes, copper mines, and the locations of various Indian territories and tribes, including Cheyenne, Apache, Kiowa, Moqui, Navajoe, and Taos, among others. Relief is shown by hachure. Bent's Fort, a Mohave village, William's Pass, and other important sites are noted. The map was created by William Pelham, Surveyor General of New Mexico.
The General Land Office (1812 - 1946) 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 hands 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.
Maps and Views to Accompany Message and Documents 1855-56, (Washington: Nicholson) 1856.
Very good. Original fold lines visible. Minor discoloration over fold lines. Blank on verso.