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Ensign's & Thayer: Map of the Gold Regions of California Showing the Routes via Chagres and Panama, Cape Horn, &c.

Map: USA9003
 
Cartographer: Ensign's & Thayer
Title: Map of the Gold Regions of California Showing the Routes via Chagres and Panama, Cape Horn, &c.
Date: 1849
Published: New York
Width: 21 inches / 54 cm
Height: 29 inches / 74 cm
Map ref: USA9003
Description:
Rare broadsheet map of California published in 1849 at the start of the California Gold Rush to show the various routes to the West.

The map itself is divided in half: on the left is a detailed map of the California region with the gold mining area coloured in yellow; on the right is a map of the Americas tracing the three main routes to California with black lines. One route crosses Central America through Panama, another crosses Mexico from Veracruz to Acapulco, while the third and longest route goes around South America, through the Magellan Straits and up the Pacific Coast.

These routes are described in detail underneath the map with their various merits weighed. The author warns that no "isolated individual ought to think of engaging in this enterprise, for there will be many circumstances where a friend will be found of essential benefit." For those traveling by the Panama route, the author has some oddly specific advice:
"Avoid the sun, keep within doors during the day, refrain from eating fruits, even when ripe, with the exception of oranges, which may be eaten moderately. Do not touch the oysters, wear flannel next the skin by day and night, avoid spiritous liquors, and it is needless to say, be off at the first opportunity."

The Cape Horn route, which is about 18,000 miles was recommended as the surest route, though it would also cost $100-300. The "cheapest, quickest, and safest" route is the Mexican route, though the author stresses that travelers should go in parties of 40 to 50 to avoid being taken by robbers.

Original hand-colour. Framed. [USA9003]