Hayden Preliminary Report on Geological Survey of Montana


F.V. Hayden. Preliminary Report of the United States Geological Survey of Montana and Portions of Adjacent Territories. Washington: GPO, 1872. Octavo. Brown cloth binding. Complete with numerous wood engraved illustrations and five folding maps (the latter with some minor repaired tears). Very good condition.

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When the geological and topographical wonders of the area around the upper reaches of the Yellowstone River reached those in the East in the late 1860s, private and government forces called for this wilderness’s protection. Geologist Ferdinand V. Hayden was appointed by the government to explore the region, setting off in 1871. Hayden had since the 1850s been involved in the geological surveys of Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming, and in 1870, he presented a plan to Congress for a comprehensive series of surveys of all the territories of the United States, leading to a planned series of maps of each territory on a uniform scale; this led to the creation of the Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories under the Department of the Interior.

Hayden’s survey was instrumental in the establishment in 1872 of Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in the country. Not only did his surveys help to define the borders of the park, but his report and the illustrations provided, by Thomas Moran and William H. Jackson, help to convince those in Congress of the importance of preserving this natural wonderland. This is Hayden’s report on his survey and it contains a wealth of information of Yellowstone when it was first becoming known. Included are numerous illustrations and five folding maps, among which is the first map of Yellowstone Park, which accompanied the chapter on the park Hayden added as the bill establishing the park had just been passed by Congress.