Description

    Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles Copy, with His Signature

    [Gideon Welles copy]. William H. Emory. Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey, Made Under the Direction of the Secretary of the Interior. Washington: A. O. P. Nicholson, 1857-1859. First edition, Senate issue. Two quarto volumes. xvi, 258, viii, 174; 270, 78, 62, 32, 35, 85 pages. Two folding maps (one hand-colored). One full-page map. A folding cross-sectional map of the entire border, showing the rises in elevation. A folding meteorological chart. A total of 346 engravings, thirty-six which are colored (some are chromolithographs, some are hand-colored). Publisher's full black cloth with decorative blind stamping to boards and rubbed and dulled gilt titles to spines. Volume I with front hinge shaken and rear broken, though held by paper. Part I with area of dampstaining to bottom margin of some plates, not extending into images. Rear plates and endpapers in Part II with foxing and staining that does affect some images. Volume II recased with original backstrip laid down. Hinges strengthened. Once owned by Gideon Welles, 24th Secretary of the Navy, and with his signature on front free endpaper. Occasional foxing throughout both volumes. The large color folding map is clean and crisp. The set is in very good condition.

    William Emory took over the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey when his predecessor John Bartlett had been removed. It was hoped that Emory, a military man, would be more conscientious -- Bartlett was let go because his placement of the southern boundary of New Mexico eventually necessitated the Gadsden Purchase. Emory proved an excellent choice. His report is an exhaustive compendium of those new regions recently wrested from Mexico, mostly unsettled and unexplored. He and his team returned with field notes concerning the plant and animal life, the weather, geology, archeological sites, studies of the native people, recommendations for travel routes, and so on. J. Frank Dobie, in Life and Literature of the Southwest, writes that "Emory's great two-volume Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey, Washington 1857 and 1859, is, aside from descriptions of borderlands and their inhabitants, a veritable encyclopedia, wonderfully illustrated, on western flora and fauna." He considers this to be the "meatiest of a number of meaty government publications."

    Basic Texas Books 57. Dobie, p. 86. Howes E146. Raines, p. 76. Wagner-Camp 291.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    11th-12th Wednesday-Thursday
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