U.S. Coast Survey 1882 Chart of the Gulf Coast Key West to Rio Grande


“Gulf Coast of the United States Key West to Rio Grande.” Washington: U.S. Coastal Survey, 1863, corrected to 1882. Separately issued U.S. coastal chart. 27 1/2 x 50 1/2. Lithograph. Hand highlighting for lighthouses and beacons. Some light stains and manuscript navigational marks. Repaired tear at right and some vertical creases. Very good condition.

SKU: 1-2793 Categories: , ,


A highly detailed chart of the U.S. coast along the Gulf of Mexico, a fine example of the output of the U.S. Coast Survey.  The single-minded purpose of Ferdinand Hassler, a Swiss immigrant, is what first brought the Coast Survey into existence.  As the first Superintendent of the Coast Survey, 1816-1818 and 1832-1843, he imbued the organization with love of “truth” and unswerving compromise with the twin principles of accuracy and precision. His motto was: “It is the duty of every man to be honest and to do good.”  Following his death in 1843, Alexander Dallas Bache, a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, took over the helm of the Coast Survey.  Bache, with his friend Joseph Henry, was dedicated to elevating American science to the front ranks of the world community. As opposed to Hassler who was politically naive, Bache moved smoothly through the American political scene for the benefit of the Coast Survey and American science.  The Coast Survey prospered during his tenure as Superintendent and became the first great science organization of the United States Federal Government.  Professionally, he became a guiding light of the American Association for the Advancement of Science [presided over three of the first six meetings of the AAAS] and was a founder of the National Academy of Sciences.  This chart reflects Hassler and Bache’s dedication and care, and that of all the other superb scientists and craftsmen who worked for the U.S. Coast Survey.

This chart extends from Key West, up the western side of Florida and all the way across to the mouth of the Rio Grande.  It was first issued in 1863 and corrected to 1882.  This separately issued chart was intended for use for navigation and it contains all navigational information necessary for a ship’s captain.  Soundings and other navigational details are precisely depicted on the map and text on the tides, soundings, and lighthouses is included.  Besides waterways extending inland from the coast and lighthouses, the only interior information is indications of various towns and cities.