Archives West Finding Aid
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Gerald W. Williams Prints Collection, 1845-1874
- Williams, Gerald W.
- Gerald W. Williams Prints Collection
- 1845-1874 (inclusive)18451874
- 0.20 cubic feet, including 62 prints, (1 oversize box)
- Collection Number
- MSS WilliamsPrints
- The Gerald W. Williams Prints Collection is an artificial collection consisting of 62 tinted lithographs, steel engravings, and other types of prints and illustrations from a variety of sources. The majority of the illustrations are taken from the United States Pacific Railroad Surveys series, and depict Oregon landscapes and other scenes in the Western United States. These items were collected by Gerald W. Williams.
Oregon State University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives Research Center
Special Collections and Archives Research Center
121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
- Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research.
Historical NoteReturn to Top
The purpose of the United States Pacific Railroad Surveys was to find the best route for a transcontinental railroad after the Louisiana Purchase was completed in 1848. Officers from the Army's Topographical Bureau led six expeditions in the West, surveying the landscape for the most practical route, but also observing the botany, geology, climate, natural resources, and Native American inhabitants of the regions. The Northern Pacific Survey explored along the 47th parallel between St. Paul, Minnesota and the Puget Sound. Images of important scenes were captured by the expedition's two artists, John Mix Stanley and Gustavus Sohon.
The California and Oregon Survey searched for a north-south route between the Sacramento Valley and the Columbia River. The California Survey explored a north-south route between the 32nd and 35th parallels. Both of these surveys employed Charles Koppel as the primary artist.
John Mix Stanley began his artistic career in 1842, when he visited the American Southwest to paint landscapes and native inhabitants of the region. He was a member of the military expedition in the Mexica-American war, led by Stephen Watts Kearny in 1847-1848. He is best known for his panorama exhibition of Western scenes, displayed in Washington, D. C. in 1852.
Born in Germany, Gustavus Sohon came to the United States in 1842. He enlisted in the U. S. Army in 1852, and was stationed in various Western locations. He became conversant in several Native American languages, and made his name producing portraits of several tribal leaders. After leaving the Army in 1857, he lived in San Francisco operating a photographic studio. He died in Washington, D. C. in 1903.
Charles Koppel was born in Germany and joined the California surveys as an artist in 1853. His life after this experience is not documented.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
The majority of prints in this collection are tinted lithographs taken from the 12 volumes of the United States Pacific Railroad Survey series, also known as Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to Ascertain the...Route for a Railroad From the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, published between 1855 and 1861. As some of the earliest published images of locations in the Northwest, these prints were important tools in later explorations, settlement, and industry in the region. Many represent notable landmarks in the West, such as Mount Hood and Fort Walla Walla. Numerous Native American tribes are depicted, including the Mojave and Umatilla.
Series 1 is comprised of lithographs from Northern Pacific Survey (47th and 49th parallels), which took place from 1853-1855 and was published in 1860. Series 2 is comprised of lithographs from the California and Oregon survey, which took place from 1854-1855 and was published in 1857. Series 3 is comprised of lithographs from the California survey, which took place in 1853-1854 and was published in 1856.
Series 4 is comprised of a number of prints from other sources. For most of these, the original source is unknown. Several are clipped from volumes of Picturesque America, published in 1872-1874. Others have been clipped from Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition, published in 1845. Of particular note in this series is the print titled "Shasty Peak," which is the first known image of Mount Shasta.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
The collection has been arranged into four series: Series 1: Northern Pacific Survey (47th and 49th parallels), 1860; Series 2: California and Oregon Survey, 1857; Series 3: California Survey (32nd and 35th parallels), 1857; and Series 4: Other Prints, 1845-1874.
These materials were part of multiple accessions of the Gerald W. Williams Collection, and were acquired between 2007 and 2014.
These items were separated from the Gerald W. Williams Papers to form this collection in 2016.
The Special Collections and Archives Research Center holds two copies of the full set of Reports of Explorations and Surveys...available at F593. U5 in the History of the Pacific Northwest Collection and the McDonald Rare Book Collection.
Some prints have been protected in clear mylar. Others have been attached to matboard frames.
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
Series 1: Northern Pacific Survey (47th and 49th Parallels), 1860Return to Top
Series 1 is comprised of lithographs from Northern Pacific Survey (47th and 49th parallels), which took place from 1853-1855 and was published in 1860.
Reduced Section of a Sketch of the Western Part of the Continent of North America
Plate XIV: Distribution of Goods to the Assiniboines
Plate XXIV: Fort Benton
Plate XXX: Fort Owen - Flathead Village
Plate XXXVII: Fort Okinakane
Plate XXXVIII: Hudson Bay Mill
Plate XXXIX: Chemakane Mission
Plate XL: Mouth of Peluse River
Plate XLII: Old Fort Walla Walla
Plate XLIV: Fort Vancouver, W. T.
Plate XLV: Cascades of the Columbia
Plate XLVI: Cape Horn - Columbia River
Plate XLVIII: Grand Coulee
Plate XLIX: Big Hole Prarie, From the North
Plate LIII: Kamas Prarie of the Pend d'Oreilles Indians, in the Rocky Mountains, Looking Southward
Plate LV: Flathead Lake, Looking Southward
Plate LIV: View of the Clark's Fork and the Ridge of Mountains, South of the Flathead Lake, Looking Eastward
Plate LVII: Entrance to the Bitter Root Mountains, by the Lou Lou Fork
Plate LVIII: Hot Springs at Source of Lou Lou Fork, Bitter Root Mountains, Looking West
Plate LXII: Big Blackfoot Valley
Plate LXIII: Rocky Mountains, Looking Westward
Plate LXIV: Hell Gate - Entrance to Cadotte's Pass from the West
Series 2: California and Oregon Survey, 1857Return to Top
Series 2 is comprised of lithographs from the California and Oregon survey, which took place from 1854-1855 and was published in 1857.
Portion of the Main Mountain Passage of the Upper Sacramento or Pitt River
Plate I: Western Slope of Main Ridge of Cascade Mountains from Near Camp M.
Plate III: Upper Klamath Lake from Camp 28
Plate IV: Mount Pitt, Klamath River & Upper Klamath Lake from Camp 30
Plate V: Cascade Range with Mount Jefferson, Mount Hood and Mount Adams, from Pass West of Camp 40
Plate VI: Three Sisters and Canon of McKenzies Fork of Willamette River from Camp P
Plate VII: Diamond Peak and Ravine of Middle Fork of Willamette River from Camp 48W
Plate IX: Mount Hood from Tysch Prarie
Plate X: Mount Jefferson and Black Butte from Camp S
Plate XII: Shasta Butte and Shasta Valley from a Point Near Camp 70 A
General Report Plate I: Lassens Butte from Vicinity of Camp 18
Botany Plate IX: Abies Menziesii
Botany Plate X: Juniperus Occidentalis
Botany Plate VII: Abies Williamsonii
Series 3: California Survey (32nd and 35th Parallels), 1856Return to Top
Series 3 is comprised of lithographs from the California survey, which took place in 1853-1854 and was published in 1856.
Plate I: Vicinity of Fort Miller
Plate XIII: Mammoth Tree "Beauty of the Forest"
Geology Plate II: U.S. Military Post Benicia
Heinrich Balduin Möllhausen, artist; T. Sinclair, lithographer
Series 4: Other Prints, 1845-1874Return to Top
Series 4 is comprised of a number of prints from other sources. For most of these, the original source is unknown. Several are clipped from volumes of Picturesque America, published in 1872-1874. Others have been clipped from Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition, published in 1845.
Emigrants Crossing the Plains
Steel engraving. F. O. C. Darley, artist; H. B. Hall, engraver
Astoria, Columbia River, from Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition
Steel engraving. A. T. Agate, artist; Rawdon, Wright and Hatch, engravers
Shasty Peak, from Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition
Steel engraving. A. T. Agate, artist; G. B. Ellis, engraver
Pine Forest, Oregon, from Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition
Steel engraving. J. Drayton, artist; W. E. Tucker, engraver
View of the City of Oregon, Oregon Territory
Middle Block-house, Cascades
Plate 105: [Ducks], from Birds of New York
Hand-colored lithograph. J. W Hill, artist; Endicott, lithographer
Plate 106: [Ducks], from Birds of New York
Hand-colored lithograph. J. W. Hill, artist; Endicott, lithographer
Plate 107: [Ducks], from Birds of New York
Hand-colored lithograph. J. W. Hill, artist; Endicott, lithographer
Castle Rock, from Picturesque America
Cape Horn, from Picturesque America
Falls of the Willamette, from Picturesque America
The Three Sisters, from Picturesque America
Pilot Knob, from Picturesque America
Umpqua Canyon, from Picturesque America
Mount Hood from the Columbia, from Picturesque America
H. B Gifford, artist; F. Hinselwood, engraver
A Herd of Bisons Crossing a River Bottom on the Upper Missouri, from The Illustrated London News
Hand-colored steel engraving
|December 6th, 1862|
The Modoc War in America, Lake Tule with the Lava Beds and Headquarters Camp, from The Illustrated London News
Hand-colored steel engraving
|May 24, 1873|
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Natural history--West (U.S.)
- Pacific railroads--Explorations and surveys.
- United States--Discovery and exploration.
- West (U.S.)--Discovery and exploration.
- West (U.S.)--Surveys.
Form or Genre Terms