25 results, ordered by Publication Date

California Gold Rush broadside

An informational broadside for would-be emigrants to California during the early months of the Gold Rush. The dramatic subject matter, informative text, satisfying layout, and not least the fresh coloring all combine to make this a most desirable image The broadside features two vividly-colored maps surmounting four columns of descriptive text. The map at right […]

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A classic California Gold Rush map

The Fremont-Preuss map of the region west of the Rocky Mountains, widely regarded as the most important and influential map of the American West published in the middle of the19th Century. The Map of Oregon and Upper California is without question one of the most important 19th century maps of the American West. As noted […]

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Gold Rush-era chart of California by James Imray

A wonderfully detailed chart of the California coastline by James Imray, “probably the best chart of the West Coast available in 1849.” (Heckrotte) The chart depicts the coast from the Mexican harbor of San Blas north to Cape Mendocino. Six insets depict the entrance to and harbor of San Francisco, Monterey Bay, the coast around Guaymas, […]

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A rare Gold Rush-era map promoting a Transcontinental Railroad

A rare map of the world by the great David Burr, repurposed during the California Gold Rush to promote a transcontinental railroad. The map depicts the world on a Mercator projection, with a spider’s web of tracks representing Cook’s three voyages and Wilkes’ U.S. Exploring Expedition sketched in. The American geography reflects the momentous times: […]

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W. M. Eddy, County Surveyor / Lith. by Alex. Zakreski & Co., A TOPOGRAPHICAL & complete Map of SAN FRANCISCO. 1852.

An essential early Map of San Francisco, printed on linen

One of the most important of the great early maps of San Francisco, and one of the first maps of the city published locally. Very rare, and this example unusual for being printed on linen. Unlike some other important early maps of San Francisco, this map was wholly a product of the city itself. The map was […]

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Coast Survey chart of the Pacific Northwest annotated by George Davidson

George Davidson tracks the West Coast voyage of Sebastian Vizcaino

Coast Survey chart of the Northern California and Oregon Coast, heavily annotated by George Davidson in his effort to reconstruct the 1603 voyages of Vizcaino and Aguilar. Born in England, George Davidson (1825-1911) emigrated to the United States in 1832. After graduating from Girard College in Philadelphia, in 1845 he began a five-decade career with […]

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An unrecorded San Francisco wall map

A monumental, unrecorded San Francisco wall map for use of the fire-insurance industry. Published in 1874 by Benjamin Corbett Turnbull (1824-1905), an obscure immigrant surveyor, it depicts the city in an unprecedented degree of detail, and is in fact the most detailed of the city to appear prior to the Sanborn atlase of the mid […]

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Unrecorded whaling broadsides

Unusual California imprints, being two unrecorded broadsides listing respectively the responsibilities of sailors and officers on board a whaler.  These were published during the heyday of California whaling, when San Francisco was the home of a substantial offshore fleet. At the same time “shore whaling” thrived up and down the coast, not least in Sonoma […]

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A unique example of the “Unique Map of California?”

Johnstone’s rare pictorial map of California, which blends layout, color, language, imagery and a certain amount of “spin” to yield a decorative and promotional tour de force. Here in a hitherto unknown format, folded and tipped into an illustrated card stock mailer. This remarkable promotional map depicts each California county, along with its acreage, primary […]

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San Francisco’s Chinatown during the anti-Chinese hysteria of 1885

A scarce and fascinating thematic map of San Francisco’s Chinatown issued in 1885, “at the height of the anti-Chinese hysteria in California.” (Rumsey) The map first appeared in a very large (25”h x 56”w), separately-published, and extraordinarily rare edition lithographed by Bosqui & Co. in San Francisco. This reduced edition appeared the same year in a […]

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