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1851 U. S. Coast Survey Map of the South Carolina Coast from Bulls Bay to St. Helena Island

Sketch E Showing the progress of the Survey in Section No. V. - Main View

1851 U. S. Coast Survey Map of the South Carolina Coast from Bulls Bay to St. Helena Island



Sketch E Showing the progress of the Survey in Section No. V.
  1851 (dated)     12 x 11 in (30.48 x 27.94 cm)     1 : 600000


This is a beautiful hand colored U. S. Coast Survey triangulation chart or map of the South Carolina coastline from Bulls Bay to St. Helena Bay and includes the North Edisto River and South Edisto River. Focuses on the inlets and waterways, indicates, lighthouses and important channels and shows the progress of the survey work in this area by date annotated sections. Two of these sections have been enlarged and details in insets.

The inset in the upper left quadrant details the survey work in Charleston Harbor. Depicts the city of Charleston and notes navigation marks such as Sullivan's Island, Castle Pinekney, Mt. Pleasant, Ft. Johnson and Ft. Sumpter. The second inset in the lower left quadrant focuses on Savannah, Georgia and the Savannah River. Savannah city is noted and the navigation marks such as Fort Jackson, Braddock and Tybee Lighthouse.

This map was compiled under the direction of A. D. Bache, Superintendent of the Survey of the Coast of the United States and one of the most influential American cartographers of the 19th century, and issued in the 1851 edition of the 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...


Bache, A. D., Report of the Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey, (Washington) 1851.    


Very good. Some wear and toning on original fold lines. Backed on archival tissue for stability.