Map from the U. S. Pacific Railroad Survey
the 38th and 39th parallels
3: Kansas and Colorado
approximately what is now Deerfield, Kansas ~ and ~ Moffat, Colorado
Including Rivers and Towns between
101 and 106 degrees west longitude
and 36.5 and 41.5 degrees north
latitude. The routes of the Survey Party are
indicated, including their campsites,
which are indicated by date.
On the left/western side of the
map, in the area of the Sangre de Cristo Pass, details are provided of
the mountains surveyed.
23 x 31 inches
click here to see detail scans.
Historical notes below
and Surveys for a Rail Road Route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific
Ocean. War Department. Route near the 38th & 39th Parallels.
Map No. 3 From the Sante Fe
Crossing to the Coo-che-to-pa Pass;
from Explorations and Surveys made under the direction of the Hon. Jefferson
Davis Secretary of War by Captain J. W. Gunnison, Topographical Engineers
assisted by Captain E. G. Beckwith, 3rd Artillery. R. H. Kern Topographer
in the field.
Map made under the supervision
Capt. E. G. Beckwith 3rd Artillery by F. W. Egloffstein Topographer for
the Route 1855
Scale of 12 Miles to one inch
Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to Ascertain the Most Practicable
and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific
Ocean. Made under the Direction of the Secretary of War, in 1853-56.
According to Acts of Congress of March 3, 1853, May 31, 1854, and August
5, 1854. Volume XI. Washington: George W. Bowman, Printer,
Size: Unfolded: 23 x 31 inches (excluding margins).
In 1853, the U.S. Congress authorized the Corps of Topographic Engineers
undertake a survey of potential
rail routes between the Mississippi River and the Pacific
Ocean. This map is
from the report of the survey at the 38th and 39th parallels under the
leadership of Captain John W. Gunnison, assisted by Lt. Edward G. Beckwith,
who surveyed routes in Kansas, Colorado and Utah. Gunnison, Richard
H. Kern, topographer and artist to the expedition, and seven others were
killed by Ute Indians along the Sevier River in Utah. Beckwith assumed
leadership and the survey explored routes at the 41st parallel which Beckwith
(and Gunnison before him) recommended as an economical and practicable
route. Although this suggestion had little influence at the
time of the survey, the first transcontinental railroad completed
in 1869, when the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads
were joined at Promontory Point, Utah, basically followed Beckwith's route.
~~~ Map 3, in this series
of four maps associated with the survey at the 38th nd 39th parallels,
takes up the trail at Elk Island on the Arkansas River in Kansas.
They follow the Arkansas River west to the Apishpa River, and then head
south. They they shift west, crossing the Cuchara River to the Huerfano
River, and on through the Sangre de Cristo Pass. They then head north
along the Sierra Blanca to Homans and Sahwatch Creeks (heading toward Cochetopa
Pass). This part of the route was traveled between July 21-22, 1853
and August 30-31, 1853.
click here to see detail scans.
The Library of Congress in conjunction with the
University of Michigan has put the entire Pacific Railroad Survey on the
Internet. If you would like to read the narrative of the survey near
the 38th and 39th parallels that corresponds to the Maps and Lithographs,
click on the link below and then read the first report in Volume II.