Copyright 2000-2015 by Dorothy Sloan-Rare Books Inc. for all materials on this site. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
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.
 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).
 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).
 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).
 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.’”
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:
 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)
 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)
 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)
 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:
 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.
 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.
——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.