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Zamorano 80

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39. EMORY, W[illiam] H[emsley], [James William] Abert, [Philip St. George] Cooke & [A. R. Johnston]. Notes of a Military Reconnoissance [sic], 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, First 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, original brown cloth, printed paper spine label. Other than mild foxing (much less than usual), an exceptionally fine copy, complete, the binding wonderfully well-preserved, plates fresh and in the preferred state. Preserved in brown cloth slipcase. Other than browning at folds, the large map (frequently wanting or in tatters) is in excellent condition, housed in a matching cloth slipcase. Provenance:  Dudley R. Dobie-Ben Pingenot copy.

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).

[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).

[3] Sketch of the Battle of Los Angeles Upper California Fought between the Americans and Mexicans Jany. 9th. 1847 (13 x 22.2 cm).

[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 Fé by Lieuts. J. W. Abert and W. G. Peck, and from Santa Fé 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 [inside cartouche line] Engraved on Stone by E. Weber & Co., Baltimore (76.3 x 164.7 cm). 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). 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 ShouldCross,) to the Pimo Villages, 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). 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 except for signature 2 where they are labelled [7]. 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.” McKelvey, Botanical Explorations of the Trans-Mississippi West, pp. 990-1018 (describing collection of twenty-one issues of the Notes in the library of the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard, and designating this as the first House issue, her issue “O” or “P”, with minor differences to signatures 9 and 10 in the latter). 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. 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.”  Schwartz & Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America, p. 178 (commenting on the view “Mouth of Night Creek” opposite p. 61 in the Emory report):  “First view of the Southwest, lithographed after drawing by John Mix Stanley.” Cf. Streeter Sale 168. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 505, 532, 544 & III, pp. 4-8. Zamorano 80 #33.

     The Emory and Abert reports are outstanding monuments in the history, ethnography, and cartography of the Southwest, California, and the Borderlands. 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.”

     Gary Kurutz in Volkmann’s Zamorano 80 auction catalogue commented:

  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 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.”


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