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    Jack Hays Hand-Drawn Survey Map

    John Coffee "Jack" Hays Hand-Drawn Survey Map Twice Signed. Single oversized sheet, 26.25" x 21", San Francisco, September 26, 1854. Legendary Texas Ranger Jack Hays (1817-1883) began surveying land as a surveyor's assistant in Mississippi prior to his move to Texas. After joining the Texas Rangers, he continued to survey part-time, serving as county surveyor for Bexar County in 1841. Following his service in the Mexican War, Hays headed a survey crew out of San Antonio before setting out for California. In 1853, he resigned as the first sheriff of San Francisco to accept his appointment from President Franklin Pierce as the United States surveyor-general for California. The following year, while working in this capacity and with the help of Deputy Surveyor John Lacroze, he produced this map.

    Depicted is the path of the Estero Americano (American Estuary) and several of its tributaries, located some twenty miles north of San Francisco. The "Road to San Rafel" is clearly marked, as are several farms and townships. "Table of Courses & Distances" at the upper right corner. The survey contains a holographic annotation by Hays, in full: "This plot, delineated from the field notes of a preliminary Survey of the land called 'CaƱada de Pogolomi containing Two Square leagues, & claimed by Antonia Casares, is hereby approved the said survey having been executed agreeably to the decree of confirmation of the U.S. Board of Land Commissioners; but this approval is not here meant as an expression against any conflicting claims which may hereafter be confirmed by said Board of Commissioner. / U.S. Surveyor General's Office / San Francisco, Cal September 26th 1854." Below the annotation is a second inscription by Hays, written in pencil he following day, in full: "I certify that this plot is a true copy of the original now on file in this office." The entire map has been laid on silk, as it is extremely fragile. The edges are heavily chipped and the map is wrinkled overall. A large 11" stain is found at the lower edge stretching up to the middle of the map with several other small stains scattered throughout. Folds show some separation, especially at the left edge. Small 3" tear just above the main horizontal fold near the right edge with an additional tear (approx. 1") just to the left. Several other small tears found throughout, but have only caused minor loss of paper and do not deter from the overall presentation. The signatures are bold and bright.

    Early in the history of the Texas Rangers, men like Hays would supplement their income by working as part-time land surveyors. Surveyors were in great demand as land was often rewarded to veterans for their service during the Texas Revolution. The work was extremely dangerous, but, being heavily armed and able to fend for themselves, the Rangers were well-suited to the task and were often seen in unexplored areas inhabited by hostile Indians, seeking out land ideal for future settlement or recording property boundaries for new land owners.

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2013
    21st Saturday
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