Scarce, Almost Unobtainable Work on Early Silver Mining in New MexicoJ.T. Sprague. Fort Fillmore Silver Mining Company, New Mexico. Capital Stock $1,000,000; or 50,000 Shares at $20 Each. A Memoir Upon Stephenson's Silver Mine, Near Fort Fillmore, N.M., in the Organ Range of Mountains, N.M. Albany: C. Van Benthuysen, 1858. First edition. Octavo. [1-9]-40 pages. Appendix. Folding map (23" x 17") bound in front titled "Sketch of the Location of Stephenson's Silver Mine in the Organ Range of Mountains, N.M. compiled from the U.S. and Mexico Boundary Survey by Brevt. Major and Captain J.T. Sprague U.S. Army". Plate titled "Ground Plan of Stephenson's Smelting House" and one colored plan "A Section of the Organ Range of Mountains Showing the Direction of the Veins of Silver Ore". Printed wrappers. This scarce work remains in remarkable condition with only moderate chipping and a few closed tears to the typically vulnerable wrappers. The contents are bright, clean and in fine condition.
Silver was discovered in 1849 on the west bank of the Organ Mountains by a Mexican in partnership with an American named Hugh Stephenson. In a few years, Stephenson became sole owner of the mine and ultimately sold to an army officer named Bennett at Fort Fillmore for $12,500. "Major Sprague's map is extremely fine and interesting for the date, and depicts many routes between the Mississippi and the Pacific, particularly those through New Mexico and 'Arizonia.' Among these are the Pacific Railroad Route, the Great Overland Mail Route [with distances from station to station], the 'Road to San Francisco' from Santa Fe [crossing the Colorado at the Needles]; a route northward to Fort Bridger; and many others including the Platte Routes." Sabin 89685.
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