This gathering includes ten lithographic views and five engraved maps, housed in plain paper wraps sans title page, as issued. “These fifteen views and maps… were originally issued as illustrations for New York State Assembly Document no. 200 in 1838. The document contains the reports of the State Natural History Survey, and eleven of the views relate to the “Report of E. Emmons, Geologist of the 2d Geological District of the State of New-York,” dated 15 February 1838. The four other views, pertaining to the Genesee River region, illustrate the report of James Hall, state geologist for the Fourth District.” (Deak, p. 321)
It was Emmons’ 1838 report that introduced the name “Adirondacks” for the mountain region of northeastern New York (It was an odd choice, being an anglicized rendering of a derogatory Mohawk term for their Algonquin neighbors, meaning “bark eaters.”)
“During the month of August last , I visited the mountains of Essex with a view of determining the position and height of some of the most conspicuous elevations at the source of the Hudson. . . . The cluster of mountains in the neighborhood of the Upper Hudson and Ausable rivers, I proposed to call the Adirondack Group…” (“Report of E. Emmons,” cited by Deak, p. 322)
The Adirondacks material includes images of the lead vein at Rossie, St. Lawrence County; Indian Pass (two views); a profile view of Mts. Marcy and McIntyre; Trap Dyke at Avalanche Lake; Lake Colden; another view of Mt. Marcy; a view of Mt. McMartin; a view of Dial Mountain; a geological map of the area to the west of Lake Champlain and a map of the mining district around Rossie. Per Deak, the lithograph of Mts. Marcy and McIntyre “is the first published illustration to contain the name “Adirondack Mountains” in its title.” (Deak, p. 322)
The four images of the Genesee region include a lithograph of the Falls of the Genesee River, a large and interesting map of the geology of the Genesee, and two geological sections.
J.H. Bufford (1810-1870) founded one of the longest-lived and most prolific of the early American lithographic firms. After apprenticing from 1829-34 at Pendleton’s Lithography in Boston, he established his own business in New York City, but in 1840 marriage and opportunity brought him back to Boston. By 1845 he was once again running a firm under his own name, acting as lithographer, printer and/or publisher on everything from job printing to portraits to city views and maps, and continued to do so until his death in 1870. His sons continued in the lithographic business until the 1890s.
Deak, Picturing America, #477. As of April 2019, OCLC gives at least 10 institutional holdings under five different accession numbers(American Antiquarian Society, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Clements Library, Fordham, Saint Lawrence University, SUNY-Adirondack, Syracuse University, Wagner Free Institute of Science, Winterthur and Yale).