Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum


1855 Tinted Lithograph from the Pacific Railroad Survey

Roan or Book Mountains
At the Spanish Trail Ford of the Green River
October 1st, 1853  ~  UTAH

(larger scan and history below)

Print Type:...Tinted Lithograph - a lithograph printed from 2 or 3 stones, one producing the details of the image in black ink, and 1 or 2 others providing some wash-like coloring (typically fawn, blue, green or gray).
Print Date:...1855.
Print Title:   View of the Roan or Book Mountains, at the Spanish Trail Ford of the Green River, October 1.
Artist:...Richard H. Kern (1821-1853).
Richard Kern was actually the artist of the Pacific Railroad Survey at the 38th and 39th parallels; he was the one who made the original drawings and paintings. Because he was killed in October, 1853 by Ute Indians in Utah, John Mix Stanley prepared the images for lithography.  
Lithographer:  Sarony, Major & Knapp, New York.
Image Size:    8 3/4  x  5 7/8  inches.
Total Size including margins:   11 1/4  x  8 1/2  inches.   Please see larger scan with margins below.

History:...In 1853, the U.S. Congress authorized the Corps of Topographic Engineers to undertake a survey of potential rail routes between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean.  This print is an illustration 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.
To view a "thumbnail gallery" of other
tinted lithographs from the
Pacific Rail Road Survey

Courtesy of William Husson.

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