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John Mullan, 
Report on the Construction of a Military Road

Victory over Mexico and the discovery of gold in California pushed the West toward statehood. In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state to enter the Union.


Frederick Hawkins Piercy, 1830-1891.
Route from Liverpool to Great Salt Lake Valley. Liverpool: F.D. Richards, 1855.

One of the most important works devoted to the Mormon emigration, Route from Liverpool was produced as a means of attracting more European converts to Utah. The author made a trip to America in 1853 to make sketches for the plates which were reproduced as steel engravings and wood cuts. He traveled from New Orleans, visited St. Louis and Nauvoo, Illinois, and journeyed through the southern Rockies to Salt Lake City. The highly detailed views are among the earliest representations of the southern route to Utah.

George Wilkins Kendall, 
Narrative of the Texan Sante Fe Expedition


Geo. Wilkins (George Wilkins) Kendall, 1809-1867.
Narrative of the Texan Sante Fe Expedition: comprising a description of a tour through Texas, and across the great southwestern prairies, the Camanche and Caygua hunting-grounds, with an account of the sufferings from want of food, losses from hostile indians, and final capture of the Texans, and their march, as prisoners, to the city of Mexico; with illustrations and a map. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1844.

The Expedition was an attempt to open a trade route from Texas to Santa Fe and to improve relations between the Republic of Texas and the people in the area of New Mexico claimed by both Texas and Mexico. The group was captured by the Mexican government and forcibly marched to Mexico City. Kendall, the editor of the New Orleans newspaper Picayune, accompanied the expedition as an observer and, with other survivors, was released after six months captivity in Mexico.

Frederick Law Olmsted, 
A Journey Through Texas


Frederick Law Olmsted, 1822-1903.
A Journey Through Texas; or, A Saddle-trip on the Southwestern Frontier. With a statistical appendix. New York: Dix, Edwards Co., 1857.

Olmstead, one of America's greatest landscape architects and the designer of New York's Central Park, had an early career as a writer of travel books. A Journey Through Texas was one of three books he wrote about his travels in the antebellum South. The books are considered to be the most accurate picture of conditions in the region just before the Civil War, because of Olmstead's calm and thoughtful descriptions of a politically and socially tumultuous time.


John Charles Frémont, 1813-1890.
Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the year 1842, and to Oregon and North California in the years 1843-'44. By Brevet Capt. J. C. Frémont ... under the orders of Col. J. J. Abert, chief of the Topographical bureau ... Washington: Blair and Rives, printers, 1845.

During the 1840s, Frémont mapped much of the territory between the Mississippi valley and the Pacific Ocean. In 1842 the War Department sent him to survey the route west to Wyoming, and in 1843, accompanied by the colorful guide Kit Carson, he completed a survey to the mouth of the Columbia River. After thoroughly exploring much of the Northwest, he made a winter crossing of the Sierra Nevadas to California. He was deeply involved in the politics of the conquest and development of California and became one of its first two senators.


United States. Dept. of the Interior.
... Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey, Made under the Direction of the Secretary of the Interior. Washington: C. Wendell, printer, 1857-59.

The purpose of the report was to establish the Mexican-American boundary after the Gadsden Purchase (1853). The Boundary Commission undertook one of the first systematic studies of the topography and natural features of what is now southern Arizona and New Mexico. The Report includes excellent lithographed maps, views, and images of Native Americans, as well a beautiful set of colored plates of native birds.


Joseph Wasson.
Bodie and Esmeralda: being an account of the revival of affairs in two singularly interesting and important mining districts, including something of their past history, and the gist of the reports of Profs. Benj. Silliman and Wm. P. Blake ...: also general resources of Mono and Esmeralda Counties ... San Francisco: Spaulding, Barto & Co., 1878.

Aimed at potential investors in the gold and silver mines of the Nevada-California border area, Bodie and Esmeralda presents a detailed history and description of the area's past and glowing vision of its future. By 1878, the early gold rush had led to riches for some, but great disappointment for many. Scams had made Eastern investors wary of putting their money in unseen mines. Wasson emphasizes the new "scientific" mining and the developing social order in the region.

Southern Pacific Company,
Uncle Sam's Nine Million Dollar Nevada Farm


Southern Pacific Company.
Uncle Sam's Nine Million Dollar Nevada Farm. [San Francisco]: Published by the Passenger Department, Southern Pacific Company, 1907.

The building of the Truckee-Carson Dam in western Nevada in 1905 made farming possible on land that had previously been desert. The U. S. Government charged $8.00 for the land and $2.60 per acre for water to citizens who were willing to farm this barren land.

Melva B. Guthrie Bequest

Henry I. Simpson, 
Three Weeks in the Gold Mines


Henry I. Simpson.
Three Weeks in the Gold Mines, or, Adventures with the gold diggers of California in August, 1848: together with advice to emigrants, with full instructions upon the best method of getting there, living, expenses, etc., etc., and a complete description of the country. New York: Joyce and Co., 1848.

One of the rarest of the miners guides, Three Weeks in the Gold Mines was published within months of the gold strikes.


J. M. (John M.) Letts. California Illustrated: including a Description of the Panama and Nicaragua Routes. New York: William Holdredge, 1852.

California Illustrated is a vivid narrative of California mining life written at the height of the gold rush. It is particularly important for the attractive, accurate illustrations of the life of the miners and the boomtowns of San Francisco and Sacramento. The tinted lithographic plates were done by Cameron, who also worked for the Currier and Ives printing company.

What Uncle Sam and Aunt Columbia Think of their no. 42 State of Washington


What Uncle Sam and Aunt Columbia Think of their no. 42 State of Washington. Seattle, Wash.: Eshelman Llewellyn & Co. [1891].

Written as a dialog between Uncle Sam and Aunt Columbia, the brochure is filled with information about the State's natural resources and the developing city of Seattle.

Report of an Expedition to the Copper, Tanana, and Koyukuk Rivers


United States Army Dept. of the Columbia.
Report of an Expedition to the Copper, Tanana, and Koyukuk Rivers: in the Territory of Alaska, in the Year 1885: "for the purpose of obtaining all information which will be valuable and important, especially to the military branch of the government." Washington: Govt. Print. Off., 1887.

Although Alaska had been identified by the Russians in the 1740s and sold to the United States in 1867, by the 1880s only the coastal areas had been explored. This expedition aimed to explore the vast interior of the region. Led by native Inuit guides, the explorers recorded the natural history, geology, geography, and tribal life in the central Alaskan regions.


Clarence E. (Clarence Edward) Dutton, 1841-1912.
Tertiary History of the Grand Cańon District, with atlas. Washington: Government Print. Off., 1882.

The Atlas, which accompanies the Report of one of the great scientific expeditions to the West after the Civil War, is a beautiful example of lithographic printing. The double-folio panoramas were printed by Julius Bien after the drawings of Thomas Moran and William Henry Holmes. The images combine accurate depictions of the geology of the canyons and plateaus with an artistic appreciation of the grand vistas.


John Mullan, 1830-1909.
Report on the Construction of a Military Road from Fort Walla-Walla to Fort Benton. Washington: Govt. Print. Off., 1863.

Mullan's explorations to find a route from Fort Benton, Montana to Fort Walla Walla in the Washington Territory took him through most of what is now northern Idaho. He was guided by a Native American of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe.

Gift in Memory of Albert N. Raub,
President of Delaware College 1888-1896


William Ellis, d. 1785.
An Authentic Narrative of a Voyage performed by Captain Cook and Captain Clerke, in His Majesty's ships Resolution and Discovery, during years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780; in search of a Northwest Passage between the Continents of Asia and America, including a Faithful Account of all their Discoveries, and the Unfortunate Death of Captain Cook. London: Printed for G. Robinson, J. Sewell and J. Debrett, 1783.

An Authentic Narrative is one of the first published accounts of Captain Cook's third voyage, during which he discovered the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii) and explored the coastlines of North America as far north as Alaska. Ellis was the Assistant Surgeon on the voyage and his illustrations are among the earliest published on these areas.

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