Notes of a Military Reconnaissance, from Fort Leavenworth, in Missouri, to San Diego, in California, including parts of the Arkansas, Del Norte, and Gila Rivers, in California, – including parts of the Arkansas, Del Norte, and Gila Rivers

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Author: Emory, William Hemsley (1811-1887); Philip St. George Cooke; Joseph Eggleston Johnston and James William Abert

Year: 1848

Publisher: Wendell and Van Benthuysen, Printers

Place: Washington, DC


416 pages illustrated with 43 lithographed plates, including 14 botanical plates; 3 battle-plans; includes, in rear pocket, the large folding map titled "Military Reconnaissance of the Arkansas Rio Del Norte and Rio Gila." Octavo(8 ¾ x 5 ¼") bound in original publisher's brown cloth and paper spine label. Thirtieth Congress - Senate Executive No. 7, 30th Congress First Session.. (Cowan page 195; (Cowan p.195; Graff 1249; Howes E145; Wagner-Camp 148:2; Zamorano Eighty 33) First edition.

This is the second Senate issue of the book, with Emory's rank given as Brevet Major, and with slight changes in the spelling of the captions.

In 1844, Emory served in an expedition that produced a new map of Texan claims westward to the Rio Grande. He came to public attention as the author of the Notes of a Military Reconnaissance from Fort Leavenworth in Missouri to San Diego, California, published by the Thirtieth United States Congress in 1848. This report described terrain and rivers, cities and forts and made observations about Indians, Mexicans, primarily in New Mexico Territory, Arizona Territory and Southern California. It was and is considered one of the important chronicles and descriptions of the historic Southwest, particularly noted for its maps. Emory was a reliable and conscientious cartographer. There is a story of testament as to Emory’s dedication to accuracy that says John Bartlett his supervisor in the Corps of Topographical Engineers made him sign off on a misplaced boundary marker, creating a sweet revenge for Emory who replaced him as Head of the International Boundary Commission in 1855. So accurate were his maps that when topographical engineers were surveying possible routes for the transcontinental railroad the most Southern route did not need to be surveyed thanks to the outstanding work by William H. Emory. But William H. Emory did more than just map the terrain; he also made notes about the plant life as well as the people who inhabited the sparsely populated southwest. Notating the social relations of some of the Native American people, he wrote: “Women, when captured, are taken as wives by those who capture them, but they are treated by the Indian wives of the capturers as slaves, and made to carry wood and water; if they chance to be pretty, or receive too much attention from their lords and masters, they are, in the absence of the latter, unmercifully beaten and otherwise maltreated. The most unfortunate thing which can befall a captive woman is to be claimed by two persons. In this case, she is either shot or delivered up for indiscriminate violence.


Spine label worn and illegible, case repaired with Japanese tissue and cloth; a few damp-stains, some toning; map mended with Japanese tissue else about very good overall.

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