1848 Gold and Quicksilver District of California Map

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Published on July 25, 1848, this map shows the location of key gold and quicksilver (mercury, in the form of cinnabar) deposits in the territory of California. The map details the Sacramento Valley, San Francisco, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.

The first gold strikes occurred at Sutter’s Mill, on the American River in northern California. Soon after the initial find, prospectors began streaming into California in hordes. As such, demand was high for cartographic knowledge of the region.

The map displays the basic topography of California, showing mountains, rivers, bays, and mountain passes in hachures. Its principal purpose was to highlight the latest information on mineral deposits and the exact locations where gold and quicksilver had been discovered. With engraved inscriptions like “Sub soil contains Gold, covered with Live Oak”, “Gold found on this Creek”, or “The hills more or less colored with Cinnabar”.

This map accompanied Col. R.B. Mason's 1848 report on the recent discovery of gold along the Sacramento River, and is one the earliest obtainable map of the California gold regions. The cartographer of this map was Edward Otho Cresap Ord (1818–83), a Union general in the American Civil War, and the map was printed by Peter S. Duval (circa 1805−86), a leading Philadelphia lithographer.

Map is beautifully framed to conservation standards in a custom black and gold frame. 

Framed dimensions: 25" H x 19" W x 1 1/4" D

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