WILKES, Charles (1798-1877). Map of the Oregon Territory by the U.S. Ex. Ex. Charles Wilkes Esqr. Commander. 1841. N.Y. J.H. Young & Sherman & Smith, 1845
Single sheet (38 x 25 4/8 inches, full margins showing the plate mark; 22 6/8 x 34 6/8 inches to the neat line). A magnificent map with an inset of the "Columbia River Reduced from a Survey Made by the U.S. Ex. Ex. 1841" showing the area of Oregon Territory as claimed by the United States, extending well north of Vancouver, west from the Black Hills, north to just above the fifty-third parallel, and south to Cape Mendocino (washed).
Issue for publication in the Atlas volume of the rare first quarto issue of Wilkes' "Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. During the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842". Philadelphia, 1845, Haskell 16, with the imprint of J.H. Young & Sherman & Smith of New York. One of 100 copies printed of which 25 were destroyed by fire.
This is the "first official [U.S.] chart of any portion of the West Coast and covers the coast from Cape Mendocino to Queen Charlotte Islands.... The inset of the Columbia River includes geography extending as far as Walla Walla. It is a handsome map printed on imported paper from copperplates purchased in France from the Depot de la Marine. The engravers themselves were European craftsmen who not only executed the work, but also trained the American apprentices, including the artist James McNeill Whistler, who served as an engraver on the Coast Survey and learned his craft from those who engraved the Wilkes charts" (Cohen, Mapping the West, pp. 120-122).
Wilke's celebrated circumnavigation explored extensively the coast of South America, the South Seas, Antarctica, California and the Northwest. Departing in August 1838, Wilkes rounded Cape Horn; crossed the Pacific surveying, charting, and exploring the Tuamotus, Tahiti, and Samoa; and reached Sydney, Australia, in November 1839. His ships probed Antarctic waters, cruising 1,500 miles along an unbroken ice shelf; then sailed via New Zealand and Tonga, reaching Fiji in May 1840. In September 1840 Wilkes reached Hawaii, and arrived off the Oregon coast in April 1841, "Wilkes found the mouth of the Columbia a difficult and dangerous harbor. He recommended emphatically in his reports that Puget Sound and the Straits of Juan de Fuca be retained in the ongoing border negotiations between the United States and Britain. In California, describing the potential for a large commercial harbor in San Francisco Bay, he emphasized the lack of Mexican government control of the area. The expedition left San Francisco on 1 November 1841, crossing the Pacific again via Hawaii, Manila, and Singapore to Cape Town. Charting, surveying, and scientific studies were conducted along the route. The voyage ended in New York in June 1842" (Roberta A. Sprague for ANB). For the entire work, see: Cowan I, pp. 248-249n. Cowan II, p. 683. Dorothy Sloan High Spots of Texas, the West, Mexico & the Borderlands-Badu House, Llano, Texas-10/26/2007 lot 8. Ferguson, Australia 4209. Forbes, Hawaiian National Bibliography 1573. Hill (II) #1866. Howes W414. Rosove, Antarctica 353. Streeter Sale 3324.