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
http://www.nv.blm.gov/LandRecords/. 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.
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
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO 63108
314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)