Inscribed to Benjamin Silliman

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, Captain Topographical Engineers, in Charge [Caption title] 36th Congress 1st Session. Senate. Ex. Doc. [Unnumbered].

Washington [D.C.]: Government Printing Office, 1861.

Price: $2,000.00

About the item

First edition. Frontispiece, 1 profile, 8 fold-out panoramic views, 24 lithographs (some with tinted backgrounds, 8 have been additionally hand-colored), without 4 fold-out maps; 131; 154; 30; 6; 31, [1] pp. 1 vols. 4to (11-1/8 x 8-5/8 inches). Inscribed to Benjamin Silliman. Later quarter cloth and marbled boards and endpapers. Fine copy. Bookplate of the Burndy Library (with withdrawal stamp) on the front pastedown. Howes I-I92; Wagner-Camp 375; Sabin 35308; Wheat, Transmississippi West 4: pp.98-101; Flake 4287; Goetzmann, pp.379-394; Larned 412; Paher, Nevada: An Annotated Bibliography, 952; Arizona 100:47.

Item #230141

William Goetzmann calls Lieutenant Ives's complete report, "The best by far of these individual reports...It is a long, carefully written journal, consciously literary but with a maximum amount of attention to scientific observation. John Strong Newberry's geological report, which accompanied Ives's narrative, is one of the best of the government geological reports." (Goetzmann gives a full account of the expedition in Army Exploration in the American West, pp.379-94). Includes these separately numbered parts: Geological Report. By Dr. J[ohn] S[trong] Newberry; Botany. By Professors [Asa] Gray, [John] Torrey [et al.]; Zoology. By Professor S[pencer] F[ullerton] Baird; and Appendices

Inscribed by John Strong Newberry on the title page: "Prof. B. Silliman, Jr. with the kind regards of J.S. Newberry." John Strong Newberry, who was the naturalist on Ives' expedition up the Colorado River, wrote Part III of this Report, which deals with the Geology and Paleontology of the regions they explored. Ives' party were among the first white men to visit the floor of the Grand Canyon, and upon their return, it was Newberry who realized the canyon's geological significance and encouraged further exploration. It is likely that Newberry inscribed this copy to Benjamin Silliman, Jr., a famous chemist and Yale professor whose analysis of "rock oil" in Pennsylvania in 1855 introduced investors to the potential of petroleum and led to the drilling of Edwin Drake's successful oil well on his property in 1857. Silliman also took on consulting activities in the American West in the 1860's and favorably reported on petroleum deposits in southern California as well as gold and silver properties in California, Nevada, and northern Arizona.