Report Upon the Colorado River of the West, Explored in 1857 and 1858 by Lieutenant Joseph C. Ives, Corps of Topographical Engineers, Under the Direction of the Office of Explorations and Surveys, A.A. Humphreys.

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Author: Joseph Christmas Ives (1828 1868)

Year: 1861

Publisher: Government Printing Office

Place: Washington


5 parts in one volume. Part I "General Report": 131 pages with the 2 large folding lithographed maps, profile of area, 12 engraved plates, including frontispiece, (one, "Interior of Moquise House", being colored), 7 colored chromolithic plates titled "Indian Portraits", 8 folding panoramas, and 41 wood cut illustrations in the text; Part II "Hydrographic Report: 14 pages; Part III "Geological Report": 154 pages with 3 plates, 3 lithographic plates, 27 wood cut illustrations in text, tables, 2 panoramic view; Part IV "Botany": 30 pages; Part V "Zoology": 6 pages; and Appendices 32 pages. Quarto (ll 3/4" x 9") 36th Congress, 1st Session, Senate EX Document. Original gilt pictorial blind stamped cloth with gilt lettering to spine. (Howes 194) First edition.

Ives was born in New York City in 1828 and was a graduate of the United States Military Academy in 1852. As a Lieutenant from 1853 to 1854 he was appointed by the U.S. Army to the Topographical Engineers as assistant to Lt. A.W. Whipple in the Pacific Railroad survey along the 35th parallel. From 1857 to 1858 Ives commanded an expedition to explore up the Colorado River from its mouth. At Robinson's Landing he built then used the 54 foot paddlewheel steamboat Explorer to map and survey the river. His party included Smithsonian associate John Strong Newberry as geologist. He led his party up the Colorado to the lower end of the Grand Canyon, then struck out across the desert to Fort Defiance in Colorado. Ives Reported his findings in his 1861 Report upon the Colorado river of the West. The Ives expedition produced one of the important early maps of the Grand Canyon drawn by F. W. v. Egloffstein, topographer to the expedition. Ives next served as engineer and architect for the Washington National Monument from 1859 to 1860. During the American Civil War he joined the Confederate Army and served in several engineering capacities, and was finally appointed aide-de-camp to President Jefferson Davis from 1863 to 1865. After the war he settled in New York City where he died November 12, 1868

In the 1850s, the Colorado River had great potential to become an important shipping route and several companies were exploring the area. Furthermore, the Federal government needed a route for the transportation of troops and supplies to Utah, where the Mormon War was intensifying. The 1857 Army Appropriation Act provided governmental funds for the Colorado Exploring Expedition, also known as the Ives Expedition, in order to determine the navigability of the river. This topographical corps survey lasted from 1857 to 1858 and was led by Lieutenant Joseph Christmas Ives. The expedition's primary objectives were to chart the river's course and conduct a hydrographic survey that included accurately mapping the Colorado and her tributaries in the region. As a secondary and purely scientific objective, Ives was instructed to "acquire knowledge of the surrounding country." This entailed making a geological survey and collecting natural history and ethnological specimens. Departing December 31, 1857 from Robinson's Landing at the mouth of the Colorado River, and aboard the steamer Explorer, the expedition traveled north to Fort Yuma. By March they had reached the mouth of Black Canyon. After that, the ship and its crew began to sail back down the Colorado, eventually reaching Beale's Crossing from where they began an overland journey to Fort Defiance via Grand Canyon. In total, 27 men made up the expeditionary force led by Ives. Other major members of the excursion were naturalist and geologist John S. Newberry, Prussian artist and the trip's collector, Balduin Mllhausen, and topographer Baron von Egloffstein. The group was also accompanied by Indian guides, including the Mohave chief Irataba who helped lead the land portion of the expedition.


New spine and paste downs, large frontispiece maps with tears from gutter to first fold about six inches with tape repair else a very good copy.

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