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Exceptional Geological Map of the Yellowstone & Missouri River Basins

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576. [YELLOWSTONE]. [HAYDEN GEOLOGICAL MAP]. UNITED STATES. WAR DEPARTMENT. [Insignia showing a castle on Columbia’s shield with stars and stripes surrounded by a wreath and surmounted by an eagle grasping arrows in its right claw, with the word “Essayons” in a ribbon below] U.S. War Department. Map of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers and Their Tributaries. Explored by Capt. W.F. Raynolds Topl. Engrs. and 1st. Lieut. H.E. Maynadier 10th. Infy. Assistant. 1859-60. To accompany a report to the Bureau of Topographical Engineers. Lt. Col. Hartman Bache in Charge. [scale] Engraved in the Engineer Bureau War Dept. Prepared to Accompany the Geological Report of F.V. Hayden, M.D. Geologist to the Expedition. [untitled key to geological strata, in one column, with eight colors keyed to White River Tertiary, Lignite Tertiary, Cretaceous, Jurassic, Red Beds, Carboniferous, Potsdam Sandstone, and Granite, Metamorphic, & Basaltic]; [lower left below neat line] Printed by Julius Bien, N.Y. N.p., n.d. [but issued with Hayden’s 1869 Geological Report of the Exploration of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers(not present) . Lithograph geological map with original full, vivid hand coloring in yellow, beige, green, grey, lilac, blue, brown, and tan; map folds to panel size of 22.2 x 12 cm. Neat line to neat line: 68.8 x 105.5 cm; overall sheet size: 76.5 x 113.1 cm. Creased where formerly folded, minor splits at folds (no losses), strengthened on verso with old paper tape (including one five-inch tear at center left with no losses), older pencil note at upper left blank margin above neat line “Hayden’s No 4. Published in 1869. Geol. Rept. of the Exploration of the Yellowstone and Mo. Rivers, Wash, 1869.” Overall fine, excellent color. Difficult to find in one piece and complete.

     Second state of preceding map, from the same stone, published as a government document in Hayden’s 1869 Geological Report of the Exploration of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers (see next paragraph for more details on the report). Blevins, Mapping Wyoming #129 & pp. 79-80. Cohen, Mapping of the West, pp. 186-188. Rumsey 2769. See previous two entries herein for historical background. Comparing the present map with the first state of the map (Item 575 preceding), the present map was printed by Bien (no printer given for the 1867 map); “Hartman Bache” and the “Topographical Engineers” have been added to the title of this 1869 version. Further, in the present 1869 map, the final category of geological strata has been altered to “Granite, Metamorphic, & Basaltic.” In this 1869 version “Long Lake Cr.” has been omitted from the map to make room for the one column format for the geological strata. The newer style Topographical Engineers emblem is at head of title block (with Columbia's shield). There are other minor alterations to the lettering, such as “Little Popoagie” and “South Pass Station” (both at lower center).

     The map appeared in Hayden’s Geological Report of the Exploration of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers by Dr. F.V. Hayden, Assistant, under the direction of Captain (now Lieut. Col. and Brevet Brig. Gen.) W.F. Raynolds, Corps of Engineers, 1859-’60 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1869). For report, see Rumsey 2769: “Scarce report on the geology of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers—the map is exceptional... An appendix to the Raynold’s Report published separately, not in the serial set.” Sabin 31004. This map filled a significant hole in our understanding of the geology of the American northwest. It was quickly used by Hitchcock and Blake for preparing their geological map of the United States (1872 and later variants, Marcou 65). Because of the Civil War, publication of Raynolds’ and Hayden’s reports were delayed.

     Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden (1829-1887), was a pioneering nineteenth-century geologist noted for his surveying in the Transmississippi West. Hayden was an accidental geologist. After living with his uncle following his father’s death when Hayden was only twelve, he matriculated at Oberlin College (having walked there, penniless, from Rochester, Ohio, in 1847), graduating in 1850. He became a doctor, but his acquaintance with paleontologist James Hall helped to determine his career after Hall sponsored him and F. B. Meek on an expedition to the South Dakota Bad Lands to collect specimens. After serving as a surgeon in the Civil War, he was appointed to a professorship at the University of Pennsylvania, a position from which he resigned in 1872 to devote his full time to exploring the West under the auspices of the federal government. Unfortunately, after a long series of significant exploring expeditions, Hayden’s deteriorating health forced him to give up both exploring and writing. He resigned in 1886.

     Donna Koepp comments in Cohen’s Mapping the West: America’s Westward Movement 1524-1890, p. 188:

Hayden had great faith in the future of the West and intended to devote his efforts to the development of its scientific and material interest until all the territory was incorporated as states in the Union. Through these efforts, he hoped to save the government many times the cost of his survey by demonstrating to Congress the amount of land that could be redeemed by irrigation and used for timber land, bottom land, etc., so that an appropriate value could be placed on land grants to railroads, and other corporations. Hayden was prolific: during his years of exploration of the West, he compiled eleven substantial annual reports that greatly contributed knowledge of the territory. He was a brilliant geologist, having made major contributions to the earliest fundamental order of Western geology, especially in locating and describing layers of Cretaceous sections. His elaborate descriptions of the hot springs and geysers of the Yellowstone area are both enlightening and imaginative. His writings also indicate that he was concerned about agricultural resources, timber conservation, and the development of water resources for irrigation in the arid lands of the West. He wrote for the layperson and businessman as well as for the politician. He wanted to convey the scenic beauty of the West to the American public and help them recognize its potential as a place to live and enjoy, to be traversed on the way to somewhere else.

On March 1, 1872, the tract of land in the territories of Montana and Wyoming that lay near the headwaters of the Yellowstone River and encompassed Yellowstone Lake became Yellowstone National Park. Although the idea of designating this area as a national park may not have originated with Hayden, his significant contribution to the knowledge of the area made possible this event, which he believed to be a cause for universal joy.

For more on Hayden, see: James G. Cassidy, Ferdinand V. Hayden: Entrepreneur of Science. (Lincoln & London: University Nebraska Press, 2000). Mike Foster, Strange Genius: The Life of Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden. (Niwot, Colorado: Robert Rinehart Publishers, 1994).


Auction 22 Abstracts

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