John T. Little's Map of San Joaquin Valley.
1871 (undated) 9 x 11.5 in (22.86 x 29.21 cm)
1 : 1200000
This is an 1871 John T. Little promotional real estate map of the San Joaquin Valley, in California east of San Francisco Bay. The map depicts the region from the Pacific Ocean to the Yosemite Valley and from Marin County and San Joaquin, California to Tulare Lake. Created as an advertisement for Little's real estate business, the grid of the Public Land Survey System is overlaid on the map, allowing for interested clients to easily identify the particular township they would like to acquire. The township (one square in the grid) was created as the measure of the Public Land Survey System, which was first widely implemented to survey the Northwest Ordinance. The System set up a method for the systematic surveying and mapping of any territory gained by the United States, which allowed for peaceful and orderly westward expansion. The towns of Merced and Fresno are situated in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley and are illustrated here. Both the San Joaquin Valley Railroad and the Stockton and Visalia Railroad are also illustrated in detail, as a way of enticing potential buyers; close proximity to railroads would greatly reduce potential transport costs of getting any crops to market. Little sales pitch is included in the lower left corner, where he fawns over the superb quality of the land and the likelihood of high yields and profits.
This map was created by John T. Little and lithographed by Britton and Rey of San Francisco in 1871.
John T. Little (fl. c. 1849 - 1860) was an American businessman who found success in California. Little arrived in California in 1849, at the height of the Gold Rush, an settled in Coloma, where he opened on the first general stores on the north side of the American River. On November 8, 1849, the first 'official' post office in El Dorado County, California, was established in his store. Little was appointed postmaster, a position he held until 1851, when the title was given to Stephen S. Brooks. Little proved himself to be an adept businessman. He operated the first ferry service across the American River, creating a connection between the mining camps on the south side and his general store on the north side. In 1850, Little partnered with Ed Raum and built the first wagon bridge across the American and charged a toll for each crossing. The partners recouped their investment within three months. Eventually, Little moved to San Francisco, where he became a real estate broker and moneylender, operating his business from Montgomery Street.
Joseph Britton (1825 - 1901) and Jacques Joseph Rey (1820 -1892) were partners in a lithography firm in San Francisco, California.
Britton was born in Yorkshire, England, and immigrated to the United States in 1835 with his family, living in New York City, becoming a lithographer by 1847. In 1849, he left New York to seek his fortune in California during the California Gold Rush. He made the journey with George Gordon’s ‘Gordon’s California Association’, and chose the voyage which included an overland trek via Nicaragua. The voyage was supposed to last 60 days, but instead lasted an incredible 8 months. After several unsuccessful years in various gold mining camps, Britton relocated to San Francisco and established a lithography firm, probably in 1851, and then entered into a short-lived collaboration with C.J. Pollard in 1852, named Pollard and Britton. By late 1852, Britton had formed a partnership with the lithographer Jacques Joseph Rey.
Jacques Joseph Rey was born in Bouxwiller, Alsace, France, and apparently was trained in art and lithography. Around 1850, he immigrated to California. While working with Britton, Rey served as the principal artist, traveling around making sketches of views and designing prints. Even so, Britton also designed views, and served as the chief lithographer, along with managing the business aspects of the firm. Britton and Rey collaborated with several other artists, such as Thomas Almond Ayres (1816-1858), George Holbrook Baker (1824 - 1916), and others. They also collaborated with other lithography firms.
Rey married Britton’s sister in 1855, but Britton remained a life-long bachelor and lived with the Rey family. Rey and Britton were well integrated into San Francisco. They owned a plumbing and gas-fitting firm, which apparently Rey managed. They also worked with several different lithographers off and on, but their partnership solidified by 1867. Britton was one of the three original investors in Andres Hallidie’s first San Francisco cable-car line on Clay Street and served twice as a San Francisco City and County Supervisor.
Following Rey’s death and Britton’s retirement, Rey’s son, Valentine J. A. Rey, took over the business and ran it at least until the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. The remnants of Britton and Rey’s business was sold to A. Carlisle and Company, another San Francisco lithographer, in 1916.
Very good. Even overall toning. Backed on linen.