Map of the Territory of the
United States from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.
Drawn in 1858, this work of the Pacific Railroad Surveys reflects both northern and southern proposed western rail routes.
Western railroad expansion was of great concern during the 1850's. Gold had been discovered in California and vast silver reserves were being explored in Nevada. Railroads, which had proven essential in the growth of eastern states, now turned their attention toward connecting the west.
The Pacific Railroad Surveys were conducted between 1853 and 1860 under the direction of the United States War Department. A number of railroad and telegraph routes toward the Pacific Ocean were surveyed to determine the best and most economical paths. The surveyors who mapped the American West mainly followed proven Indian trails or wagon train routes.
The Pacific Railroad Surveys were conducted under the guidance of Secretary of War Jefferson Davis.
This map was published in 1858 by Gouverneur K. Warren for the U.S. War Department. It shows relief, drainage, place names, base lines, military posts, and Indian tribal locations. Proposed Indian reservations and Indian land cessions are noted, along with routes and dates of expeditions and surveys.