“Goddard’s remarkable and beautifully designed production can properly be deemed the capstone of the gold region cartography” (Wheat)

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303. [MAP]. GODDARD, George H[enry]. Britton & Rey’s Map of the State of California. Compiled from the U.S. Land & Coast Surveys, the several Military, Scientific & Rail Road Explorations, the State & County Boundary Surveys made under the Order of the Surveyor General of California, & from Private Surveys. By George H. Goddard, C.E. Completed with Additions & Corrections up to the day of publication from the U.S. Land Office & other reliable sources [above lower border at center] Lithy. of Britton & Rey, Montgomery St. Cor. Commercial, S.F. [below neat line] Engraved by H. Steinegger | Entered according to Act of Congress the Year 1857 by Britton & Rey in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the Northern District of the State of California. San Francisco: Britton & Rey, 1857. Lithograph map of California and what would eventually become Nevada, original outline color by county with original color wash for each county, mounted on contemporary loose-weave cartographic cloth, relief shown by hachures and spot heights, shows drainage, canals, emigrant trails, wagon roads, ranchos, “Bars & other Mining Places,” etc., piano-key border; neat line to neat line: 76.4 x 63.2 cm; overall sheet size: 79 x 65.8 cm, previously folded into original brown cloth covers (14.8 x 9.6 cm), with printed paper label on upper cover (Britton & Rey’s Map of the State of California....). The map has been unfolded (folds not flattened) and loosely affixed to acid-free brown mat board. Minor splits and small holes at a few folds and margin (minimal losses). Moderate staining along blank margins, possibly where contemporary cloth selvages were removed. A few remains of newer tape along blank margins, one larger piece of tape in title between “Britton & Rey’s” and “Map” securing paper label with manuscript notation “1857.” Paper label on pocket covers very rubbed, stained, and with some loss of text. Under glass and in handsome gilt frame. Overall this is a very good copy of an exceptionally rare map, and the pocket folder is an amazing survival. We have not deframed the map and examined the verso.

     First edition. The map came out in wall map and pocket map format (the latter is more common). A second edition, reduced in size, was published in 1858, and a third edition was published in 1860. California 49: Forty-Nine Maps of California from the Sixteenth Century to the Present 36: “The first reasonably accurate and complete map of the state.... Lake shown at its correct location.... Yosemite Valley (spelled Yohamite Valley on the map) is correctly located.” Howell, California 50:492. Peters, California on Stone, p. 124. Phillips (America), p. 185. Rumsey 2901. Streeter Sale 2819. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 921 & Vol. IV, pp. 59-63; illustrated following p. 60. Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region 302; illustrated following p. 140; pp. xxxix-xlii: “This map, a beautiful example of the cartographer’s art, is unfortunately rare and was by far the most accurate and complete map of California and of its gold regions which had as yet been published.” Wheat, Twenty-Five California Maps 22:

With this magnificent map, the basic topography of California may be said reasonably to have been developed by the cartographer.... Goddard’s remarkable and beautifully designed production can properly be deemed the capstone of the gold region cartography. It is not frequently met with.... The Goddard map is a fitting monument to the frenzied activity and achievements of the gold seekers, and with it the purely Gold Rush phase of California cartography comes to an end.

Arriving in California from England in 1850, George Henry Goddard (1817-1906) had a long and varied career as an architect, surveyor, and artist. He failed in his early attempts at mining the California goldfields, but did sketch scences of several mining camps and towns. Some of these watercolor sketches appeared as lithographs in 1852 and remain exemplars of handsome California pictorial letter sheets (see [BIRD’S EYE VIEW] herein). See also: Baird, California’s Pictorial Letter Sheets 41, 257, 258, 259, 260, 285). Reps (Views and Viewmakers of Urban America, pp. 180-181) reports that Goddard found his early work of viewmaking unprofitable, but later secured more profitable work as a surveyor. He served as an assistant engineer in October, 1853, on an auxiliary expedition under mountain man “Major” John Ebbetts and Lieutenant Tredwell Moore, in the search for a railroad route across the Sierra Nevada mountains (see Stewart Mitchell, “A Forgotten Exploration: In Search of a Route across the Sierra Nevada for the Pacific Railroad” in California Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 3, September, 1955, pp. 209-228). In 1856, as a surveyor for the state of California, Goddard wrote an important report on immigrant passes (Plains and Rockies IV: 274b) and, subsequently, he created the 1857 map of California, his cartographic masterpiece. By 1866 Goddard had moved to San Francisco and, in 1868, created a stunning and popular view of the San Francisco Bay Area, updated and reproduced through 1880. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed Goddard’s entire collection of sketches and paintings, and Goddard himself passed away in December of the same year at the age of eighty-nine. For more details on Goddard’s life and career, see Albert Shumate, The Life of George Henry Goddard: Artist, Architect, Surveyor, and Map Maker, The Friends of the Bancroft Library, University of California, 1969.


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