Map from the U. S. Pacific Railroad Survey
the 38th and 39th parallels
4: Colorado and Utah
Including Rivers and Towns between
106.5 and 111 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.
Map 4 has topographical details
along what is now called the Gunnison River, named after the original leader
of the survey at the 38th-39th parallels. There are also details
of Cochetopa Pass and westward continuation of the route into Utah.
The current location of Grand Junction, Colorado is in the center of the
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. 4: From the
Coo-che-to-pa Pass to the Wahsatch Mountains; 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 Including Margins: Unfolded: 23 x 31 inches
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.
Please Note: On this map
the Gunnison River is called the Grand. The norther part of the Colorado
River is called the Blue River. And the Price River is called the
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.