Map of an Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842, Oregon and North California in the Years 1843-44


The geographical knowledge of the mountain man Jedediah Smith (1799–1831) is recorded by George Gibbs on this map. Smith’s explorations played a significant role in the settlement of the American West. Smith was the first white man to cross the future states of Nevada and Utah, the first American to enter California by the overland route, and the first American to explore the Pacific coast from California to the banks of the Columbia River. Gibbs’s annotations, based on a manuscript map by Smith, detail such matters as the numbers of Native American warriors in certain places in 1830, the limits of the buffalo range, how far salmon could ascend the Salmon River, and where the mountains had perpetual snow cover. Gibbs was an American geologist and ethnologist who became known for his contribution to the study of the languages of indigenous peoples in the Washington Territory. From a distinguished New York family, he gained a law degree from Harvard University and worked for the American Ethnological Society in New York before moving west, where he hoped to profit from the California Gold Rush. He eventually settled in Astoria, Oregon, where he took up a position as a customs official.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

United States. Army. Corps of Topographical Engineers


Title in Original Language

Map of an Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842, Oregon & North California in the Years 1843-44

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 map on 2 sheets : annotated ; 77 x 129, sheets 82 x 68 centimeters


  • Scale 1:3,000,000. 1 inch = 47.35 miles. Relief shown by hachures.

Last updated: March 21, 2016