Wagon Road, Fort Smith to the Colorado River. Letter of the Secretary of War, The Report of Mr. Beale Relating to the Construction of a Wagon Road from Fort Smith to the Colorado River. Edward F. Beale.

Wagon Road, Fort Smith to the Colorado River. Letter of the Secretary of War, The Report of Mr. Beale Relating to the Construction of a Wagon Road from Fort Smith to the Colorado River

[Washington]: 1860.

First Edition. Hardcover. Fine. 36th Congress, 1st Session. House of Representatives Ex. Doc. No. 42. 91 pp, with folding map showing Beale's route from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Albuquerque in 1858-9. A fine copy in modern black buckram stamped in gilt on spine and upper board. In 1857, Beale—an accomplished frontiersman who had traversed the country from coast to coast six times bearing dispatches in the late 1840s—accepted a commission to survey a wagon road and establish a trade route along the 35th parallel from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Los Angeles. The expedition is noted in part for Beale's successful use of camels as pack animals. The wagon road began at Fort Smith and continued through the New Mexico Territory and Arizona Territory to Fort Defiance, before crossing the Colorado River near present-day Needles, California. The Mojave Road continued west from where Beale's Wagon Road met the Colorado River, through the Mojave Desert to Southern California. The part of the survey described in this report (Fort Smith to Albuquerque and back, primarily presented in the form of Beale's diary) was conducted in the winter of 1858-59, and Beale notes that it "affords a striking and gratifying proof of what I have stated heretofore of the route on which I have been employed, that winter offers no obstacle on that parallel to the passage of men and wagons, or travel of any description." Wagner-Camp 350; Graff 21; Howes B-272.

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