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"Robert E. Stewart [log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 3 Jan 2015 15:43:14 -0500
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And a Happy New Year to all the Forum. 
The short answer to Hal's question is: Sorry, there were no  accurate maps 
of any part of Nevada Territory before mid-1862. And no  distribution of the 
GLO township plats and/or County Surveyor private land claim  plats which 
were created then. 
Throughout his stay, Sam Clemens was for all practical purposes, on the  
unmapped frontier in "the Territory". 
The "maps" that were for sale and in public use in 1861-62 were based on  
helping the traveler get from one point to another, and not on actual  
surveys. "Mileage" on most of them is better described as "guesstimate."  
Certainty and accuracy are absent.
The U.S. General Land Office (GLO) began land surveys in Nevada  Territory 
in July, 1861, shortly before Sam arrived in August. The first  finished 
plats of those original township surveys, which would have  been available for 
the public to study only in the Land Office, are  dated in 1862. These were 
created from the surveyors' field notes by  GLO draughtsman Julius Garrett. 
They were never printed or otherwise  published/reproduced for use outside 
the Land Office, although a few years  later, after Sam had relocated in 
California, there were maps created  from the information on the plats. 
When Sam was in Aurora, no one there was sure whether they were in  
California or Nevada.
The GLO plats of survey, and the more important surveys  themselves (the 
dated daily field notes), are now online at   The field notes often contain information which is not on the plats.  
For reference, Carson City is in township 15N, 20 E. 
There is a remarkable digital collection of early Nevada "maps" at . 
The "true copies" of GLO plats which are part of the University  library 
site collection were marked up by the State Land  office to keep track of 
state land grant sales. But the  all-important daily field notes are not on that 
site, only the blm  site. (No brag, just fact: When I was on loan from BLM 
to the Nevada  Division of State Lands,  I was responsible for getting  
these plats digitized.) 
And for the record, Sam's "Toll Road" map in Roughing It is unrelated to  
Hal, I hope this helps clarify why there is confusion. 
Bob Stewart
Carson City
In a message dated 1/3/2015 9:43:26 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

Happy  New Year to all;  and I have one metaphor to ask everyone  to

I've been struck with the (somewhat obscure to me,  anyway) conversation
about the mapping of Twain's adventures in  Nevada.  Mapping, of course, is
rather concerned with certainty, and  with accuracy, etc.

What if I mention Twain's use of, and relationship  to, Maps in his writing?
My question is more along the lines of a  global/metacognitive use, by
Twain, of maps and mapping throughout his  works, as symbol or metaphor.  I
wonder what kinds of ideas this might  suggest to others on this LIST??
Especially with regard to Twain's  metaphysics (or lack thereof).

Put it this way:  in the AB, he  mentions his theory of dictation as being
"systemless system."  So  which is it, with his use of maps??

thanks, I'm just wondering here  if anyone has a knee jerk response  .... 

Prof.  Harold K. Bush
Professor of English
3800 Lindell
Saint Louis  University
St. Louis, MO  63108
314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795  (h)