Lithograph from the Pacific Railroad Survey
from near the Cuchara River, north of the peaks, August 6, 1853
(larger scan and history
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).
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 ten 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
This lithograph is 146 years old; it is not a modern reproduction.
Title: Wa-ha-ta-gas or Spanish Peaks. From
near the Cuchara, August 6, 1853.
Mix Stanley (1814-1872) from a sketch by 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. Stanley, a noted artist himself, was
artist to the northern route of the USPRR Survey under Gov. Isaac Stevens,
that explored the area between St. Paul and Puget Sound.
A. Hoen & Co., Baltimore.
Size: 8 7/8 x 5 7/8 inches.
Size including margins: 11 1/4 x 8 1/2
inches. (Scan below includes margins)