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Group Photograph of Wheeler Survey c. 1870

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Also known as RU7177_Box13_F1_Merrill01 [SPI_1680]

Pictured is a group of 31 men in front of a house/building. Some are standing on the porch, others are standing in front of the porch, and others are sitting in chairs in front of the porch.

Report upon United States Geographical surveys west of the one hundredth meridian, in charge of First Lieut. Geo. M. Wheeler [...] under the direction of the chief of engineers, U.S. Army. Published by authority of [...] the secretary of war in accordance with acts of Congress of June 23, 1874, and February 15, 1875. In seven volumes and one supplement, accompanied by one topographic and one geologic atlas [...]

Smithsonian Libraries
A.A. Humphreys, chief of engineers until June 1879. Succeeded by H.G. Wright.

In addition to the atlases named, there are "Special maps (not accompanying reports) ... issued from time to time to show the results of some preliminary reconnaissance or of some survey of an area of peculiar interest," and also maps, based on the maps of the Topographical atlas and known as the "Land classification series."

For full contents see National union catalog, pre-1956 imprints, volume 618, pages 531-532.

Also available online.

Elecresource

Wheeler Survey Members

National Portrait Gallery
Standing in the top row, sixth from the left, with a long beard and thinning hair, is George M. Wheeler, the West Point graduate who in 1871 developed a comprehensive plan for surveying the territory west of the hundredth meridian. For the next eight years Wheeler led a group of soldiers and civilians that surveyed nearly 360,000 square miles, roughly one-third of the mountainous West. The Wheeler Survey accumulated a vast quantity of information regarding the region's geology, botany, and ethnology. Most significantly, they published maps-164 in all-that covered nearly all the land through which the survey party had traveled. The creation of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1879 effectively ended Wheeler's work in the West. This photograph, taken outside Wheeler's Washington, D.C., office, depicts many of the men who served with him. The photographer Timothy O'Sullivan-who accompanied Wheeler for three seasons-stands in the bottom row at the left.

Report upon United States Geographical surveys west of the one hundredth meridian / in charge of Capt. Geo. M. Wheeler ; under the direction of the Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army ; published by authority of the Honorable the Secretary of War, in accordance with acts of Congress of June 23, 1874, and February 15, 1875 ; in seven volumes and one supplement, accompanied by one topographic and one geologic atlas

Smithsonian Libraries
Statement of responsibility varies slightly: volumes 2-3: ... First Lieut. Geo. M. Wheeler.

A.A. Humphreys, Chief of Engineers until June 1879; succeeded by H.G. Wright.

For full contents see National union catalog, pre-1956 imprints, volume 618, pages 531-532, and the atlas collation by GIlbert Thompson in P.L. Phillips, A list of geographical atlases in the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C. : G.P.O., 1909), pages 705-713.

In addition to the 2 atlases named, maps based on the maps of the Topographical atlas were issued as Land classification series, and special maps (not accompanying reports) showing the results of some preliminary reconnaissance or of some survey of an area of peculiar interest were issued irregularly.

Volume 7 includes 40 vocabularies of Western Indian languages.

Volume 5, Chapter 3 also issued separately as: Report upon the ornithological collections made in portions of Nevada, Utah, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, during the years 1871, 1872, 1873, and 1874 / by H.W Henshaw.

"Published by authority of ... the Secretary of War in accordance with acts of Congress of June 23, 1874, and February 15, 1875."

Errata slip tipped-in following title page to volume 3.

Some volumes published out of numerical order.

"12 photolithographs (heavily retouched), 3 chromolithographs. The photographs are by T.H. O'Sullivan and William Bell. These views, typical of the toned photolithographs published in Government reports, are striking scenes of the Western landscape, translated to this medium with a great deal of graphic richness. This title is also of prime importance because it lists every photographer for every one of the Government's surveys"--Hanson Collection catalog, page 100.

Atlas includes plates lithographed by J. Bien; illustrations by Weyss, Herman & Mahlo; Weyss, Herman & Aguirre; and Weyss, Herman & Lang; and photo-lithography by the Graphic Co. of 39 & 41 Park Place, N.Y.

Also available online.

Elecresource

SCNHRB copy is incomplete, having only: volumes 1-4 (v. 1: 39088002993756, v. 2: 39088002993764, v. 3: 39088002993772), two incomplete copies of volume 5 including copy 1, volume 5, chapters 4-5 only (39088002993798); copy 2, volume 5, chapters 1, 4-5 only (39088007450398); and a portfolio of some of the folio plates from the two atlases (39088007725617).

SCNHRB incomplete copy of the atlas has loose plates housed in an archival paperboard portfolio with linen cloth spine and printed paper cover label. The portfolio houses 31 plates (some color, some encapsulated, some "2nd ed."), including two copies of the title leaf from the Geological atlas, with the vignette of the headlands of Paria Creek, Arizona; one leaf of "Conventional signs;" one leaf of "Conventional signs for triangulation, outline and topographical plots of atlas sheets;" one leaf of the "Progress map of lines and areas of explorations and surveys ...;" two copies of the leaf of "Restored outline of Lake Bonneville;" atlas sheet numbers 49; 50 (2 copies); 58; 59; 65; 66; combined insets from 58 and 66 (2 copies); 67 (3 copies); 70(A) (2 copies); 70 (C) (2 copies); 75 (2 copies); 76 (2 copies); combined insets from 69(B), 69(D), 77(B),and 78(A) (2 copies); 83 (2 copies).

SCNHRB copy volume 1-3 has bookplates of Jonathan Dwight Jr. and Smithsonian Institution Libraries, gift of Marcia Brady Tucker.

SCNHRB copy inscribed in ink on front free endpaper of volume 2: E.O. Matthews 8/30/89

SCNHRB copy 1 of volume 5 has [6] leaves of handwritten notes laid-in. Stamped on title page: S.C. Brown. Copy 2 of volume 5 has typescript title page and is lacking the preliminaries up to page 15.

SCNHRB copy in brown cloth binding, title in gilt on spine; volumes 1-3 housed in a drop-back linen boxes; volume 2 with binder's ticket: A.E. Foote, M.D., Philadelphia, Pa. Volume 5, copy 1 in brown cloth binding, title stamped in gilt on front cover; housed in an archival cardboard portfolio; volume 5, copy 2 is quarter bound in old brown cloth (with title in gilt on spine) and later green marbled boards, marbled edges.

OUTLINE MAP / OF / WASHOE DISTRICT, / NEVADA. / SHOWING COMSTOCK LODE / Locations of Mineral Claims, Shafts, / Mills, Mining Towns, Etc. / 1879

National Museum of American History
This map extends from 39°10'10" to 39°21'15" latitude and from 119°32'30" to 119°43' longitude west of Greenwich. The text at top reads “U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY WEST OF THE 100TH MERIDIAN.” The texts at bottom read “EXPEDITIONS of 1876 & 1877, Under the Command of 1st Lieut. Geo. M. Wheeler, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army” and “Lieut. Thos. W. Symons, and Dr. F. Kampf, Field Astronomy and Triangulation. Anton Karl, Topography, and “BY ORDER OF THE HON. THE SECRETARY OF WAR, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF BRIG. GEN. A. A. HUMPHREYS, CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, U.S. ARMY.” The Comstock Lode of silver ore lies under the eastern slope of Mount Davidson, in the Virginia Range in Nevada. It was the first major silver lode found in the United States. After it was made public in 1859, prospectors rushed to the region. This map was made by the geological survey of the United States west of the 100th meridian authorized by Congress in 1872. Also known as the Wheeler Survey, it was led by George M. Wheeler (1842-1905), a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and member of the Army Corps of Engineers. Thomas William Symons (1849-1920) was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy who, after joining the Corps of Engineers, surveyed and mapped the American Northwest. Dr. F. Kampf was a civilian astronomical assistant on the Wheeler Expedition. Anton Karl (b. 1854) was a Bavarian who, after coming to the United States in 1870, drew maps for the War Department, the General Land Office, the Geological Survey, and the Surveyor’s Office of the District of Columbia. Ref: George M. Wheeler, “Annual Report upon the Geographical Surveys of the Territory of the United States West of the 100th Meridian,” in Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1879 (Washington, D.C., 1879), opp. p. 189.