Map of the Comstock Lode


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Item#: 116686 price:$4,800.00

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LASALLE, E.B. Map of Virginia City and the Comstock Lode, State of Nevada… compile and drawn by Edw.B. Lasalle, Topog. Engineer. San Francisco: F. Korbel & Bros., 1875. Original folding map measuring 17-1/2 by 29-1/2 inches. Framed with the original green cloth binding for the folding map and facsimile of the List of Washoe stocks from the front pastedown; entire piece measures 42-1/2 by 23-1/2 inches. $4800.

Pocket-sized folding map of the famous Comstock Lode in Nevada, identifying existing claims by name and location, published around the time of the “Big Bonanza” discoveries.

The discovery of gold and silver in the western Utah Territory (now Nevada) in the 1850s proved to be one of the most significant sources of precious metals in American history. In 1850, gold was discovered by a company of Mormon emigrants, in what is known as Gold Canyon. In 1857, more gold was found in Six-Mile Canyon, which is about five miles north of Gold Canyon. Both of these canyons are on what is now known as the Comstock Lode. "The biggest problem in this grubstake paradise was the sticky blue-gray mud that clung to picks and shovels. When the mud was assayed, it proved to be silver ore worth over $2,000 a ton— in 1859 dollars!" (Don Bush). "The discovery of silver," wrote contemporary journalist Dan De Quille, "undoubtedly deserves to rank in merit above the discovery of the gold mines of California, as it gives value to a much greater area of territory and furnishes employment to a much larger number of people." The Comstock Lode was yielding enough gold and high quality silver to draw the attention of President Lincoln, who needed cash to keep the Union solvent during the Civil War. On October 31, 1864 Lincoln made Nevada a state. After 1874, the mines are said to have declined. Yet the most profitable venture occurred at this time— the "Big Bonanza," an enormous gold and silver ore body discovered beneath Virginia City. From the mid 1870s to 1882, two of the Bonanza Group's adjacent mines produced $105 million worth of ore, over a third of the total $306 million taken out of the Comstock from 1859 to 1882. This wonderful lithographic map of the Comstock Lode identifies each claim by the holder's name. The front pastedown is a "List of Washoe Stocks Called in the San Francisco and California Stock and Exchange Boards," listing the number of shares and number of feet of each claim. The map has handwritten notes across the section closest to Virginia City, noting the numbers from the list near the respective claims. Contemporary owner signature to front pastedown.

Light expert cleaning and restoration to map, the lightest soiling to fold lines still present. Beautifully framed.

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