Baird & Emory’s Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey – Volume with 25 Originally Hand-colored Lithographs


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Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey…

This volume with 25 hand-colored lithographs is from Spencer Fullerton Baird & William H. Emory’s Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey. Made Under the Direction of the Secretary of the Interior. The work was completed by Spencer Fullerton Baird, John Cassin, & George New bold Lawrence. It was published in in Washington by GPO in 1859. Baird and Cassin were considered to of the foremost American ornithologists of the 19th century. The lithographs were completed by Bowen & Co.

The chief virtue of this spectacular contribution to the literature of American ornithology is that it completes the work started by the first octavo edition of John James Audubon’s Birds of America (1840-1844) and continued by John Cassin’s IIlustrations of the Birds of California, Texas [etc.] (([1853]-56). As Baird notes in the preface: “the first series [of Cassin’s work], containing fifty species not given by Audubon, was completed in 1855, and has not been extended, having been superceded by the present work” (Preface, p.I, Atlas vol.).

“The present work is part of the General Report on North American birds … published in October, 1858, as one of the series of “Reports of Explorations and Surveys of a Railroad Route to the Pacific Ocean.” In this volume, however, will be found many important additions and corrections, including detailed lists of plates, … descriptions of newly-discovered species, &c, not in the original edition. The Atlas contains one hundred plates, representing one hundred and forty-eight new or unfigured species of North American birds. Of these plates about fifty appear for the first time, having been prepared expressly for this work. The remainder form the ornithological illustrations of the Reports of the Pacific Railroad Survey [1858], and of the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey [1859] under Major Emory … All have, however, been carefully retouched and lettered for this edition, and quite a number redrawn entirely from better and more characteristic specimens. In fact, the plates of the Atlas have been prepared for the present edition with the utmost care and attention” (Advertisement, vol.I).
Bennet p.7; Meisel III, p.484; Sabin 2809.

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