SITGREAVES, Lorenzo (1811-1888). Report of an expedition Down the Zuni and Colorado Rivers. Washington: Robert Armstrong, Public Printer, 1853.

$ 875.00

SITGREAVES, Lorenzo (1811-1888). Report of an expedition Down the Zuni and Colorado Rivers. 32nd Congress, 2nd Session. Senate Executive Document, no. 59. Washington: Robert Armstrong, Public Printer, 1853.

8vo., (8 6/8 x 5 4/8 inches). Large fine folding lithographed map of the Zuni and Colorado Rivers (26 6/8 x 47 3/8 inches) (lightly browned and with occasional separations at folds), 78 lithographs, after R.H. Kern by Ackerman, N.Y., some tinted and one folding (some occasionally heavy browning and spotting). Original brown cloth decorated in blind, lettered in gilt on the spine (a bit rubbed, bumped at the extremities)

Provenance: with a near contemporary presentation inscription to "E. Desor from his friend H.D. Rogers", possibly Edward Desor, assistant to geologist Louis Agassiz (1807- 1873), and Henry Darwin Rogers (1808-1866), geologist, on the recto of the first blank;  from the important cartographical library of Warren Heckrotte, his sale, PBA, Rare Cartography, Exploration and Voyages, Part II, December 3rd, lot 66

First edition, Senate Issue. Including the important map: "Reconnaissance of the Zuñi, Little Colorado, and Colorado Rivers made in 1851 under the direction of Col. J.J. Abert, Chief of Corps of Topographical Engineers by Bvt. Capt. L. Sitgreaves, T.C. ; assisted by Lieut. J.G. Parke, T.E., and Mr. M. H. Kern ; drawn by R.H. Kern"; and 24 plates of people and landscapes [no plate no. 14 issued]; 6 plates of animals; 5 of birds [no plate no. 2 issued]; 21 of reptiles [no plate no. 12 issued, and plates no. 10 and 13 are repeated]; 3 of fish; 21 botanical plates.

The first government exploration of northern Arizona was made by Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves, posted to Zuni, New Mexico, with orders to find a suitable railroad route to California, in September of 1851. the expedition set out along the Little Colorado River. the party was under the guidance of the famous trapper and scout Antoine Leroux. Taking sheep and mules with them, the entire party suffered under the Arizona sun, from lack of water, and Mojave and Yumas Indians. By the time they reached the Colorado River and changed direction towards the Gulf of California, the expedition was close to starvation, only finding relief at Fort Yuma. The expedition took about 10 weeks, and covered nearly 700 miles of unknown territory, although was not particularly successful in its quest to find a suitable railroad route. Farquhar 16; Field 1414; Graff 3809; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 763 and pages 22 and 23. Catalogued by Kate Hunter