1850 Ringgold - River charts and anchorages [including SF and Sacramento]

1850 Ringgold - River charts and anchorages [including SF and Sacramento]

Important 1850 series of river charts and anchorages, including San Francisco and Sacramento


Straits of Carquines and Vallejo Bay / Anchorage off Sacramento City / Depot of the Pacific Mail Steam Company, Benicia / Vallejo and Mare Island Strait from the U.S. Coast Survey / Anchorage off San Francisco / Anchorage off New York of the Pacific

Map maker:

Cadwalader Ringgold; Jno. T. Towers

Place and Year:

Washington, D. C., 1850


76 x 51 cm (30 x 20 in)





Condition Rating:


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Gold Rush era chart of harbors and anchorages in Northern California, including the state capital of Vallejo, the expanding city of San Francisco, and Sacramento. Benicia, Martinez, and Pittsburgh, CA are also shown.

Cadwalader Ringgold (August 20, 1802 – April 29, 1867) was an officer in the United States Navy who served in the United States Exploring Expedition, later headed an expedition to the Northwest and, after initially retiring, returned to service during the Civil War. During 1838–42, he was third in command of the United States Exploring Expedition in the Pacific, commanding Porpoise from 1840 at the invitation of the head of the project, Charles Wilkes. He carried out surveys of Antarctica, the South American coast, the Tuamotu Islands, Tonga, New Zealand and the Northwest Pacific coast of North America.

Ringgold was promoted to commander on July 16, 1849 and began the definitive survey of the San Francisco Bay region, suddenly important because of the discovery of gold in the area. Ring gold both built on previous surveys, most notably Frederick Beechey’s 1833 chart, and undertook a new series of triangulation and azimuth efforts, beginning at modern-day Pittsburgh, CA (then known as ‘New York of the Pacific’). After the California surveys, Ringgold helped Navy officials choose a location for a dockyard for the Navy's Pacific station. It later became the Mare Island Navy Yard.

In 1851, Ringgold published A Series of Charts, with Sailing Directions embracing Surveys of the Farralones, Entrance to the Bay of San Francisco, Bays of San Francisco and San Pablo, Straits of Carquines and Suisun Bay, Confluence and Deltic Branches of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, and the Sacramento River (with the Middle Fork) to the American River, Including the Cities of Sacramento and Boston, State of California. This series of charts, views, and sailing directions for the entrance to San Francisco Bay and the inland waterways of gold rush California paints an important picture of the region during a time of tremendous change.


Expertly laid on Japanese tissue paper; left margin completed.




Woodbridge, p. 42-4; Cowan p.533; Howes R303; Kurutz 536e; Streeter 2679 (1st ed).