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Reports of explorations and surveys, to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean / made under the direction of the secretary of war, in 1853-[6] ..

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Catalog Data

United States War Department  Search this
Henry, Joseph 1797-1878  Search this
Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887  Search this
Ford, Thomas H. approximately 1837-  Search this
Harris, William A (William Alexander) 1805-1864  Search this
Nicholson, A. O. P (Alfred Osborn Pope) 1808-1876  Search this
Tucker, Nathaniel Beverley 1820-1890  Search this
Campbell, Albert H (Albert Henry) 1826-1899  Search this
Egloffstein, Gottfried Friedrich Ernst Freiherr von und zu 1768-1848  Search this
Koppel, Charles  Search this
Richard, John H. approximately 1807-  Search this
Tidball, John C (John Caldwell) 1825-1906  Search this
Young, J. H (James Hamilton)  Search this
Young, J. J.  Search this
Hinshelwood, Robert 1812-1879  Search this
Hunt, Samuel Valentine 1803-1893  Search this
Metzeroth, R (Robert)  Search this
Pinkney, Samuel J.  Search this
F. Artos & Co.  Search this
Wood engraver:
Orr, Nathaniel  Search this
Bien, Julius 1826-1909  Search this
Siebert, Selmar  Search this
Ackerman Lithr.  Search this
Julius Bien & Co.  Search this
Herline & Hensel  Search this
Hoffman, Knickerbocker & Co.  Search this
Sarony, Major & Knapp Lith,.  Search this
T. Sinclair's Lith.  Search this
Former owner:
Lubrecht, Harry 1908-1997 DSI  Search this
Merrill, George P (George Perkins) 1854-1929 DSI  Search this
Dwight, Jonathan 1858-1929 DSI  Search this
Tucker, Marcia Brady DSI  Search this
Whitman, William 1842-1928 DSI  Search this
Corning, Erastus 1794-1872 DSI  Search this
Berkeley Divinity School DSI  Search this
United States Army Corps of Engineers  Search this
John Howell Books (San Francisco, Calif.) DSI  Search this
Physical description:
12 volumes in 13, leaves of plates : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 30 cm
Electronic resources
West (U.S.)
United States
19th Century
Printer varies between House and Senate issues, and over time. For example, Beverley Tucker is printer of volume 1 in Senate issue.
See Wagner-Camp. Plains & the Rockies (1982, 4th edition) for detailed information on pagination, collation and contents of the individual volumes.
Volumes 1-11 were issued in the Congressional series of U.S. public documents as 33d Congress, 2nd session. House ex. doc. 91, and also as Senate ex. doc. 78. Volume 11 was also issued (1861) as 36th Congress, 2nd session. Senate ex. doc. [no number].
Supplement to volume 1 was issued in at least three forms: Supplement to volume 1, 1859, W.A. Harris, printer, as 35th Congress, 2nd session. Senate ex. doc. 46 [and] Volume 12, part 1-2, 1860: T.H. Ford, printer, as 36th Congress, 1st session. House ex. doc. 56, and Senate ex. doc. [no number].
The reports of the Pacific railroad surveys were prepared under the direct supervision of the Engineer Department. The volumes dealing with the soil, climate, geology, botany and zoology of the regions surveyed were edited and revised by Professors Henry and Baird of the Smithsonian institution. See Ingersoll, History of the War Department, 1879, pages 292-293.
"The quarto edition [of the Pacific Railroad Reports] began to appear in 1855, concluding in 1861 with volume XII. Despite their flaws, these volumes contain a monumental collection of scientific information, geographical, zoological, botanical, geological, of the still mysterious American West. Upon first examination, the volumes seem forbiddingly disorganized; reports clearly were printed as they were received; there is no overall system or arrangement, nor are there general indices to the volumes, and, as Camp has pointed out, there is the usual duplication of printing and lithography by both houses of Congress"--Wagner-Camp.
For further information concerning the publication of the work and a list of serial numbers assigned to the volumes in the Congressional series of documents, see Checklist of United States public documents, 1911, pages 1274-1275.
Various illustrators, engravers, lithographers, cartographers and printing firms contributed to the publication. Some of the illustrators include: A. H. Campbell, F.W. Egloffstein, Chas. Koppel, J.H. Richard, C. Schumann, J.S. Tidball, J. Young, and J.J. Young. Some of the engravers include: F. Artos, R. Hinshelwood, S.V. Hunt, R. Metzeroth, N. Orr, and Pinkney. Lithography and printing firms for the maps and illustrations include: Ackerman lith., J. Bien lith., Herline & Hensel lith., Hoffman, Knickerbocker & Co. lith., Sarony, Major & Knapp lith., Selmar Siebert's engraving & printing establishment, and T. Sinclair's lith.
Wagner-Camp. Plains & the Rockies (4th ed.), 262-267
Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages, 1281
Also available online.
SCNHRB has two copies; copy 2 is incomplete.
SCNHRB copy 1 is bound in 15 volumes, with the addition of the supplement to volume 1 (=v. 1b, barcode 39088020038709) and a variant copy of volume 12, part 2 (=v. 12, pt. 2b, barcode 39088020039905), which lacks the title leaf but includes appendices A, B, and C. Volume 12, part 2a (barcode 39088020039863) lacks the appendices.
SCNHRB copy 1 of the supplement to volume 1 and volume 11 (barcode 39088020040259) are both Senate-issued versions. The SCNHRB copy of the supplement to volume 1, issued as 35th Congress, 2d session, Senate ex. doc. no. 46, has imprint on title-page: Washington: William A. Harris, printer, 1859. The SCNHRB copy of volume 11, issued as 33d Congress, 2d session, Senate ex. doc. no. 78, has imprint on title-page: Washington: Beverley Tucker, printer, 1855.
SCNHRB copy 1 of volume 12, part 1 (barcode 39088020040291) was issued as 36th Congress, 1st Session, House of Representatives ex. doc. no. 56, with imprint on title page: Washington: Thomas A. Ford, printer, 1860.
SCNHRB copy 1 has bookplates: 1. (armorial) William Whitman, with motto "per ardua surgo" (tentatively identified as William Whitman, 1842-1928), with manuscript shelf marks; 2. Erastus Corning; 3. Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Gift of Betty A. and Lloyd G. Schermer. The volumes also have accession numbers from an unidentified collection, ranging from 2008-2022.
SCNHRB copy 1, volume 1 (barcode 39088020039855) has laid in: a single leaf of typescript description from the book dealer John Howell.
SCNHRB copy 1 has all volumes bound in three-quarters calf and red and black marbled boards, with red edges, title in gilt on spine, and marbled endpapers.
SCNHRB copy 2 has has volumes 2-5, 7, 9-10 and 12 only.
SCNHRB copy 2 of volume 5 is imperfect: the title leaf is wanting; the half title has contents obscured by mounted clipping.
SCNHRB copy 2 has mixed provenance: volume 2 (barcode 39088004370383): Berkeley Divinity School; volume 3 (barcode 39088006677314): Tucker Collection (with Jonathan Dwight, Jr. bookplate); volume 4 (barcode 39088006677322) has Harry Lubrecht bookseller notations on front free end paper; volume 5 (barcode 39088006677835) has provenance of George P. Merrill; v. 7 (barcode 39088006676688) has Harry Lubrecht bookseller notations on front free end paper; volume 9 (barcode 39088006681225) has accession number 142014, with Smithsonian library stamp on title page dated Apr 5 1892; volume 10 (barcode 39088006681266) has accession number 142015, with Smithsonian library stamp on title page dated Apr 5 1892; volume 12 part 1 (barcode 39088006681282) has Harry Lubrecht bookseller notations on title page; volume 12 part 2 (barcode 39088006681308) has bookplate: Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Gift of Marcia Brady Tucker, with handwritten Tucker collational notes on title page.
Volume 1. Introduction. Route near the 47th and 49th parallels -- volume 2. Routes near 38th and 39th, 41st, and 32d parallels. Landers's report -- volumes 3-4. Route near the 35th parallel -- volume 5. Routes in California to connect with those near the 35th and 32d parallels -- volume 6. Routes in Oregon and California -- volume 7. Route in California to connect with those near the 35th and 32d parallels. Route between the Rio Grande and Pimas villages -- volume 8. Mammals of the several routes -- volume 9. Birds of the several routes -- volume 10. Reptiles and fishes of the several routes ; Zoological reports on routes near 38th and 39th, 41st 35th and 32d parallels ; On routes in California to connect with those near 35th and 32d parallels ; Reptiles of routes in California and Oregon -- volume 11. Material used and methods employed in compiling the general map ; [Topographical maps, etc.] -- volume 12. Route near the 47th and 49th parallels (concluded)
Pacific railroads--Explorations and surveys  Search this
Discoveries in geography--American  Search this
Natural history  Search this
Description and travel  Search this
Discovery and exploration  Search this
Call number:
F593 .U59
F593 .U59 1855
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries