14 ½ x 20 ½ inches. Folded in original pressed cloth boards with gilt lettering. Reinforced with rice paper, some areas of wear at folds; very good.
Rare, separately issued, folding map. Superb example of the first useful map of the California gold fields, produced specifically for the use of prospectors and miners. It is also the very first map to actually name Sutter’s Mill. It is readily apparent how this map and others like it that would follow did much to fuel the frenzy of the Gold Rush with its many references to gold: “Gold found on all these streams… Low Clay Hills and Gravel containing gold… Very high rugged hills covered with pine & other timber & containing Gold.” Indeed, this is one of the first maps to apply the name, “The Golden Gate,” to the entry of San Francisco Bay.
This was “the second separately issued map of the gold region, being preceded only by the separately issued Larkin map of 1848, which however showed merely the Sacramento Valley. Large scale maps, such as this, are the only satisfactory ones for the gold region. From 1849 on almost every map showing California at all indicates the ‘gold region’ in color or otherwise, but, with few exceptions, on such a small scale as to be of little value, especially for the use of a miner or prospector” (Streeter). Though based on Ord’s 1848 “Topographical Sketch of the Gold & Quicksilver District of California,” “the first map to make any pretense at cartographical accuracy after the gold discoveries" (Wheat), the Lawson map is far from a rote copy. It added many local place names, ranches and householders as well as several recorded locations of gold-strikes, trails, forts and stores. An inset map shows the sea-routes from the East Coast to San Francisco – both the journey entirely by water rounding Cape Horn and the route involving land journeys across Panama and Mexico.
* Wheat Gold Rush Maps 102; Wheat Transmississippi West 625; Streeter 2541.