Report of a Reconnaissance of the Missouri River in 1872

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Author: Roberts, Thomas Paschall (1843-1927)

Year: 1875

Publisher: Government Printing Office

Place: Washington, DC


56 pages. with 1 plate. 3 tables, 2 folding charts, 2 folding diagrams, 2 folding maps and 3 very large folding maps: Map 1: 46 1/4" in height x 21 1/2" wide. Map 2: 45 1/2" x 21 1/4" Map 3: 48 1/4" x 21 3/4". Royal octavo (9 1/4" x 6") bound in original publisher's brown cloth with gilt lettering to spine and blind-stamped ruled edges. (Sabin 71925) First edition limited to 250 copies.

Thomas Paschall Roberts, the third son of William Milnor Roberts, worked with his father as a civil engineer and enjoyed a lengthy career on his own in the same profession. He grew up in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and attended Dickinson and State colleges, leaving the latter as an undergraduate in 1863 to join his father in Brazil. Following his return to the States in the fall of 1865 he took charge of surveys in Northwestern Pennsylvania for a projected railroad. In 1866 Roberts became principalassistant to his father in charge of the open-channel improvement of the entire Ohio River. From 1870 until 1884 he was engaged on or in charge of numerous railroad and waterway surveys, including the Montana Division of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Also in the early seventies he made a reconnaissance of the upper Missouri River from Fort Benton to the Three Forks, his report and map of which were published by the War Department in 1874. He surveyed the upper Monongahela River in 1875 and the Allegheny River in 1878-9. The latter half of his life was devoted almost entirely towaterway improvements and matters relating to navigation, in which he developed an unusual interest. Roberts was a founding member of the Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania and maintained a wide interest in scientific, social, and historical topics. He wasparticularly interested in the causes of the Ice Age in North America and wrote scientific studies on the topic.

Part I of this report is comprised of the following: Journal of Trip Up Missouri River From Sioux City to Fort Benton, Montana; General and Comparative Description of Missouri River; The Present and Future Necessity for the Improvement of the Missouri River; Suggestions Concerning Plans for the Improvement of the Navigation of the Upper Portion of the Missouri River; and the Radical Improvement of the Lower or Sandy Portion of the Missouri river. Part II is a supplementary report "Concerning the Exploration of the Upper Missouri River, viz. between Gallatin City, Mont., or the Three Forks of the Missouri, and Fort Benton, including a partial survey and reconnaissance of the Great Falls, which were examined, in case the upper river proved practicable for steamboats, with reference to a route around them for a narrow-gauge railroad."


Corners and edges bumped else a very nice copy.

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