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Auction 12: The Zamorano 80 Collection of Daniel G. Volkmann Jr.

Lots 33 & 33A

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Item 33. Emory’s Notes of a Military Reconnoissance.


33. EMORY, W[illiam] H[emsley] (1811-1887). Notes of a Military Reconnoissance, from Fort Leavenworth, in Missouri, to San Diego, in California, Including Parts of the Arkansas, Del Norte, and Gila Rivers...Made in 1846-7, with the Advanced Guard of the “Army of the West.” Washington: Senate Executive Document No. 7 [30th Congress, 1st Session] Wendell and Van Benthuysen, Printers, 1848. 416 pp., 40 lithographic plates (26 views, Native Americans, and natural history by E. Weber + 12 botanicals by Endicott + 2 anonymous botanicals), text illustrations, 4 maps [see list of maps below]. 8vo, original brown cloth, printed paper spine label. Mild to moderate binding wear, corners bumped, lower edges of binding worn (with some board exposed), library numbers neatly removed from spine, label with marginal chipping and rubbing (only slight loss of border and portions of a letter or two), map pocket split at lower edge, text and plates with mild to moderate intermittent foxing. A very good to fine copy, complete, and with the important large map in remarkable condition (no splits or tears and only mild browning at folds). Bookplate of Monsignor Joseph M. Gleason (see Talbot, Historic California in Book Plates, p. 99 [illustrated] & p. 213). With Warren R. Howell’s pencil notes in back indicating that this copy belonged to the Library of the San Francisco College for Women, Lone Mountain, San Francisco.

Maps:

[1] Sketch of the Actions Fought at San Pasqual in Upper California between the Americans and Mexicans Dec. 6th. & 7th. 1846 (22.2 x 38 cm; 8-3/4 x 15-1/8 inches).

[2] Sketch of the Passage of the Rio San Gabriel Upper California by the Americans,—Discomfiting the Opposing Mexican Forces January 8th. 1847 (12.7 x 22.2 cm; 5 x 8-3/4 inches).

[3] Sketch of the Battle of Los Angeles Upper California. Fought between the Americans and Mexicans Jany. 9th. 1847 (13 x 22.2 cm; 5-1/8 x 8-3/4 inches).

[4] Military Reconnaissance of the Arkansas, Rio del Norte and Rio Gila by W. H. Emory, Lieut. Top. Engrs. Assisted from Fort Leavenworth to Santa Fe by Lieuts. J. W. Abert and W. G. Peck, and from Santa Fe to San Diego on the Pacific by Lieut. W. H. Warner and Mr. Norman Bestor, Made in 1846-7, with the Advance Guard of the “Army of the West”. Under Command of Brig. Gen. Stephn. W. Kearny Constructed under the Orders of Col. J. J. Abert Ch. Corps Top. Engrs. 1847 Drawn by Joseph Welch (76.8 x 183.5 cm; 30-1/4 x 72-1/4 inches). California 49: Forty-Nine Maps of California from the Sixteenth Century to the Present 26. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 544.

First edition, the Senate issue, later printing with Emory’s rank given as “Lieut. Col.” rather than “Brevet Major” and the plates in the preferred state (executed by Edward Weber, many after drawings by John Mix Stanley, as in the present copy). Although The Zamorano 80 bibliography gives priority to the House issue, Becker lists the Senate issue first (Plains & Rockies IV:148:2). Barrett, Baja California 2751n. California 49: Forty-Nine Maps of California from the Sixteenth Century to the Present 26 (Norman J. W. Thrower): “Emory’s map accurately tied the southwest from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Southern California together for the first time.” Cowan I, pp. 77-78n, 267-268n. Cowan II, p. 195. Edwards, Enduring Desert, p. 77: “Upon the discovery of gold, [Emory’s] Report became immediately popular, as it afforded the first and only description of the Southern route west to Santa Fe, supplying detailed information relative to watering places, roads, deserts, Indians, plant and animal life.... Some indication of how highly this book of Emory’s was prized by the gold seekers is unintentionally supplied by one of these self-same emigrants (John E. Durivage). While struggling across the treacherous desert, according to Durivage: ‘...not-withstanding we left every article we thought we could possibly dispense with at the Colorado, we deemed it necessary to make still further sacrifices. Away went a bag of beans; out tumbled a suit of clothes; Major Emory’s Report and a canister of powder followed suit; a case of surgical instruments followed; and a jar containing five pounds of quick-silver with a small bag of bullets brought up the rear.’”
Garrett, The Mexican-American War, pp. 157, 297-298, 424-25. Holliday 344. Howell 50, California 76. Howes E145. Huntington Library, Zamorano 80...Exhibition of Famous and Notorious California Classics 33. Rittenhouse 188n. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 544: “In many respects, Emory’s map was the most important milestone in the cartographic development and accurate delineation of the Southwest. In its period only the similarly scientifically based reconnaissance maps of Frémont were its equals”; & III, pp. 6-8: “His map was epoch-making.” Zamorano 80 #33 (J. Gregg Layne): “Emory’s report...is source material for the Southwest and the Mexican border. A library of Western Americana is incomplete without it.”
McKelvey (Botanical Exploration of the Trans-Mississippi West) records an intricate array of more than twenty issues and variants of the Emory report that constitutes a cataloguer’s nightmare or joy, depending on one’s point of view. More important than the myriad trivial issue points and the oft-discussed question of priority, here are the two important factors regarding the Emory report: (1) completeness, since frequently plates and maps are missing from the Emory report; (2) the state of the important plates—the preferred state of the plates of the Emory report should bear attribution to Weber. The matter of collecting preference is complicated by the fact that the House issue (see next entry herein) of the Emory report is augmented by the valuable reports of Abert and others, making both versions desirable—the Senate issue for the superior plates in Emory’s report, and the House issue for the added reports. Nothing is ever simple on the Emory report, because the augmented House issues vary as to execution of the New Mexico plates (see next entry).
The iconography and cartography in the Emory report are marvelous. Many of the excellent plates were based on the work of noted Western artist John Mix Stanley (1814-1872), who also served as artist for the northern route on the Pacific Railroad Survey. “[Stanley] is represented by more plates than any other artist employed in any of the surveys, and no early Western artist had more intimate knowledge by personal experience of the American West than did Stanley” (Taft, Artists and Illustrators of the Old West, p. 8). Tyler, Prints of the American West, pp. 77-80 (illustrating two prints from the Emory report): “Immediately following the [Mexican-American] War, pictures of the newly annexed territories appeared in dozens of different publications, and the government reports were among the most informative and beautifully printed. One of the first to appear was William H. Emory’s Notes of a Military Reconnoissance...which resulted from Col. Stephen Watts Kearny’s invasion of the Southwest.... Artist John Mix Stanley accompanied Kearny.... Emory’s report...contained not only his map of the largely unknown Southwest but also John Mix Stanley’s views.... [Edward] Weber [printed the lithographs] for the Senate version.” See also Schwartz & Ehrenberg (The Mapping of America, pp. 276, 278, discussing the iconography and cartography in the Emory report and illustrating one of the lithographs after Stanley’s drawings): “[Contains the] first view of the Southwest.” ($500-1,000)




Item 33A. House issue of Emory’s Notes of a Military Reconnoissance, augmented with additional reports by Abert et al. (one of the earliest U.S. publications on New Mexico, first printed map of New Mexico made public by the War Department, first printed view of Santa Fe).

33A. EMORY, W[illiam] H[emsley], [James William] Abert, [Philip St. George] Cooke & [A. R. Johnston]. Notes of a Military Reconnoissance, from Fort Leavenworth, in Missouri, to San Diego, in California, Including Part of the Arkansas, Del Norte, and Gila Rivers...Made in 1846-7, with the Advanced Guard of the “Army of the West.” February 9, 1848.—Ordered to be Printed...February 17, 1848—Ordered That 10,000 Extra Copies of Each of the Reports of Lieutenant Emory, Captain Cooke, and Lieutenant Abert, Be Printed for the Use of the House.... Washington: House Executive Document No. 41 [30th Congress, 1st Session] Wendell and Van Benthuysen, Printers, 1848. 614 pp., 64 lithographic plates, text illustrations, 6 maps. Emory report: 40 lithographic plates (26 views, Native Americans, and natural history + 12 botanicals by Endicott + 2 anonymous botanicals), 4 maps [see list of maps below]. Abert, Cooke & Johnston report: 24 unattributed plates (views, Native Americans, fossils), 2 folding maps [see list of maps below]. 8vo, modern three-quarter dark green morocco over marbled boards, red gilt-lettered labels, spine with raised bands, large Emory map preserved in dark green cloth chemise and slipcase. Short tear at lower edge of one leaf neatly repaired (no loss of text), one stain on title at upper right (approximately 3.5 cm in diameter), otherwise very fine, clean, and complete, the plates very fresh and the maps especially fine. The large folding map from the Emory report has been professionally stabilized (deacidified, mounted on acid-free paper, and with one tear neatly repaired). Ex-library (title with old ink call number and ink markings above imprint, old ink stamp of U.S. Treasury Department at upper right).

Emory report maps:

[1] Sketch of the Actions Fought at San Pasqual in Upper California between the Americans and Mexicans Dec. 6th & 7th. 1846 (22.2 x 38 cm; 8-3/4 x 15-1/8 inches)

[2] Sketch of the Passage of the Rio San Gabriel Upper California by the Americans, Discomfiting the Opposing Mexican Forces January 8th. 1847 (12.7 x 22.2 cm; 5 x 8-3/4 inches)

[3] Sketch of the Battle of Los Angeles Upper California Fought between the Americans and Mexicans Jany. 9th. 1847 (13 x 22.2 cm; 5-1/8 x 8-3/4 inches)

[4] Military Reconnaissance of the Arkansas, Rio del Norte and Rio Gila, by W. H. Emory, Lieut. Top. Engrs. Assisted from Fort Leavenworth to Santa Fe, by Lieuts. J. W. Abert and W. G. Peck. And from Santa Fe to San Diego on the Pacific, by Lieut W. H. Warner and Mr. Norman Bestor, Made in 1846-7, with the Advance Guard of the Army of the West, Under Command of Brig. Gen. Stephn. W. Kearny. Constructed under the Orders of Col. J. J. Abert. Ch. Corps Top. Engrs. 1847. Drawn by Joseph Welch—C. B. Graham. Lithr. Washn. D.C. (76.8 x 183.5 cm; 30-1/4 x 72-1/4 inches). California 49: Forty-Nine Maps of California from the Sixteenth Century to the Present 26. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 544.

Abert, Cooke, and Johnston report maps:

[1] Data. Topographical Sketches by Lieut. W. G. Peck, T. E. This Map Is Connected with the Map of Senate Document No. 438, 2nd. Session, 29th. Congress. Published by Order of the War Department. Map of the Territory of New Mexico, Made by Order of Brig. Gen. S. W. Kearny, under Instructions from Lieut. W. H. Emory, U.S.T.E. by Lieut’s J. W. Abert and W. G. Peck, U.S.T.E. 1846-7 (66.6 x 50.8 cm; 24-3/4 x 19-3/4 inches). Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 532.

[2] Sketch of Part of the March & Wagon Road of Lt. Colonel Cooke, from Santa Fe to the Pacific Ocean, 1846-7. [From a Point on the Grande River, (Near Which the Road Should Cross,) to the Pimo Village, Where He Fell Into & Followed the Route of Gen. Kearny, down the Gila River.] Lithy. of P. S. Duval, Phila., (29.5 x 57.5 cm; 11-1/2 x 22-3/4 inches). Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 505.

First edition, House issue, containing the full Emory report with all maps and plates, and augmented with additional reports by Abert, Cooke, and Johnston (Abert’s report is one of the earliest U.S. publications relating to New Mexico); with the first printed map of New Mexico made public by the War Department; the first printed view of Santa Fe; and the 24 plates in the Abert report unattributed and in superior style. Running heads consistently labeled 41 throughout (indicating a slightly later, corrected issue). Barrett, Baja California 2751n. California 49: Forty-Nine Maps of California from the Sixteenth Century to the Present 26. Cowan I, pp. 77-78, 267-68. Cowan II, p. 195. Edwards, Enduring Desert, p. 77. Garrett, The Mexican-American War, pp. 157-58, 297-298, 419-20, 424-25. Graff 1249, 5n. Howell 50, California 76A. Howes A11n, E145: “The plates of scenery in the Senate edition were lithographed by Weber & Co.; in the House edition these are usually all done by C. B. Graham, though in some copies the 24 plates in Abert’s report were executed, in a superior manner, anonymously.” Plains & Rockies IV:143n (with note by Becker that Robert Taft believed that Abert, one-time art instructor at West Point, made the unattributed sketches for the New Mexico report) & 148:6 (or possibly 7). Rittenhouse 188, 2n: “A basic document on the Santa Fe Trail.... This edition includes reports of Emory and Lt. J. W. Abert on their trip over the Trail with the Army of the West in 1846; the Abert section is his Report...of the Examination of New Mexico, which was also issued separately. Also included is P. S. G. Cooke’s report on his march from Santa Fe to California and Capt. A. R. Johnston’s journal when he accompanied Cooke.... Variations in the plates, dates, military ranks, etc., still cause disputes over which is definitely the first edition, but the House edition is usually preferred.” Raines, p. 1n: “Canadian Valley of Texas was part of region traversed and described.” Streeter Sale 168n. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 505, 532, 544 & III, pp. 4-8 (commenting on Emory’s large map): “His map was epoch-making...it tied the country together on a route at its extreme south, and was to become of great value when the boundary of the United States and Mexico was traced a few years later.”
The Emory and Abert reports are outstanding monuments in the history, ethnography, and cartography of the Southwest and California. They initiated a scientific awareness of the region’s geography, and they contain some of the very first views of the area. Tyler comments on the New Mexico lithographs in Abert’s report (Prints of the American West, pp. 79-80, illustrating the panorama of Santa Fe from Abert’s report): “Abert and Peck’s report on New Mexico...contained the first printed image of Santa Fe as well as various landscapes, portraits of the Pueblos, and Acoma, one of the largest pueblos.” The importance of the large Emory map is discussed above. Wheat (III, pp. 5-6) remarks on the maps in the added reports of Cooke and Abert. Of Cooke’s march and map (Sketch of Part of the March & Wagon Road...from Santa Fe to the Pacific Ocean, 1846-7), Wheat states: “[Cooke’s]...march with the Battalion of the Infantry, together with a train of wagons, was from start to finish a magnificent achievement, and brought to public attention a stretch of country thereafter deemed essential for a wagon and railroad route. In the end, the area was included in the ‘Gadsden Purchase’ of 1853.” Wheat comments on Abert and Peck’s map of New Mexico (III, pp. 5-6): “The two lieutenants put in their time profitably by reconnoitering various quarters of New Mexico. There resulted a map of the territory which was published separately and also used by Emory on his large map.” ($600-1,200)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

William H. Emory’s Congressional publication with its narrative text of the journey, scientific descriptions, maps, and plates is one of the monuments of Southwestern history. J. Gregg Layne, in the Zamorano 80 bibliography quite rightly proclaimed that “A library of Western Americana is incomplete without it.” Emory’s report, the earliest competent scientific study of the region, opened this virtual terra incognita not only to the consciousness of the federal government but also to the educated American public. In format, it anticipated the monumental Pacific Railroad Survey Reports of the 1850s and reports generated by the great exploring expeditions in the Far West. With this document, Emory had set a glorious standard.
Notes of a Military Reconnoissance is valuable for a multitude of reasons. It contains the earliest published journal of the Mexican-American War as it unfolded in the Southwest and California. As the leader of a fourteen-man contingent of topographical engineers, Emory accompanied General Stephen Watts Kearny and his Army of the West as it subdued New Mexico and marched on to secure California for the United States. His daily record documented not only the work of scientists but also the military actions of Kearny. The scientist-soldier served with distinction at the famous battle of San Pasqual near San Diego and at the final skirmishes of San Gabriel and Mesa that effectively ended the conflict in California.
As a journal of travel, his book is a delight. Reflecting his aristocratic upbringing and West Point education, Emory provided illuminating, precise descriptions of the people, settlements, and natural scenery along the way. He wrote on occasion with self-deprecating humor and sometimes with depression-inducing drama. For example, his entry for September 4 told of his first encounter with New Mexican chili, noting that “the first mouthful brought the tears trickling down my cheeks.” In contrast, on December 1, as Kearny’s thirsty, hungry army trudged through the angry Colorado Desert, he wrote in despair, “We are still to look for the glowing pictures drawn of California. As yet, barrenness and desolation hold their reign.”
William Goetzmann, in his majestic Exploration and Empire, notes that Emory saw himself as a savant, in the same mold as Louis Agassiz, Asa Gray, and Spencer Baird. He combined erudition with military discipline. In a sense, he was another Frémont except with more control and less self-aggrandizement. Emory’s report includes a wealth of geological, botanical, zoological, and ethnological data. Demonstrating his mathematical acumen, Emory for the first time accurately fixed the position of the junction of the Colorado and Gila Rivers. If this were not enough, as Goetzmann points out, “almost single-handedly, he began the study of Southwestern archaeology with his careful examination of the Pecos ruins, and the Casas Grandes along the Gila River.” Of utmost importance, he determined that because of its arid climate, the Southwest would be unsuitable for slavery.
One of the principal jewels of this publication is Emory’s outstanding map of the entire route from Santa Fe to San Diego. Carl I. Wheat, that unsurpassed carto-bibliographer, praised it, writing: “In many respects, Emory’s map was the most important milestone in the cartographic development and accurate delineation of the Southwest.” In vol. 3, pp. 6-8, Wheat went on to say, “The map of Lieutenant Emory is a document of towering significance in the cartographic history of West. Essentially it is a map of Kearny’s Route.” This detailed map would soon provide vital information for anxious gold seekers taking the southern route to the diggings. His battle maps of Kearny’s campaign in southern California provide an important adjunct to his narrative text. In addition to the maps, the volume is illustrated by a series of lithographic plates of scenery and botanical subjects. These represent the earliest graphic delineations of the Southwest. Edwin Bryant (q.v.) in his What I Saw in California (1848) commented on the report and their future plates: “Mr. [John Mix] Stanley, the artist of the expedition, completed his sketches in oil, at San Francisco; and a more truthful, interesting, and valuable series of paintings...have never been, and probably never will be exhibited.”

——Gary F. Kurutz

Additional sources consulted: Ross Calvin, Introduction to Lieutenant Emory Reports: A Reprint of Lieutenant W. H. Emory’s Notes of a Military Reconnoissance (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 1951); Patricia Etter, To California on the Southern Route 1849: A History and Annotated Bibliography (Spokane: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1998), entry #114; William H. Goetzmann, Exploration & Empire (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966).


Item 33. Emory’s Notes of a Military Reconnoissance, with the huge map that Wheat calls “epoch-making”—“Source material for the Southwest and the Mexican border. A library of Western Americana is incomplete without it” (Layne).


Item 33A. A rather sparse Los Angeles, at the time of the Battle of Los Angeles (January 9, 1847) culminating in the Cahuenga Capitulation Treaty signed near the present intersection of the Ventura and Hollywood Freeways, ending the Mexican-American War in California.


Item 33A. View of San Diego from Emory’s Notes of a Military Reconnoissance (1848).


Item 33. Junction of the Gila & Colorado Rivers—One of the many lithograph views of the Southwest in Emory’s Notes of a Military Reconnoissance.


Item 33A. U.S. sabers vs. Californiano lances, and lances prevail—Map of the hard-fought battle of San Pasqual (December 6, 1846, east of present-day Escondido in San Diego County), the last victory for the Californianos.

Item 33A. Sketch of the Passage of the Rio San Gabriel (present Montebello), January 8, 1847—Californianos’ last stand against the U.S. Invasion of California, opening the way to U.S. occupation of Los Angeles.



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