Santa Fe Trail Association

Sibley Expedition

Supplemental Information

 

 

Supplement Prepared by: Steve Schmidt
February 2012

 

Brown’s map of the survey at a scale of 1” = 12 miles is preserved in the Cartographic Section of the National Archives, RG 77: RDS 25-3.  With funding from the Santa Fe Trail Association and the invaluable assistance of Susan Calafante Boyle of the National Park Service, I was able to obtain a digital scan of the map.  It is presented in two sections: (1) from the beginning near Ft. Osage to the South Bend of the Arkansas River 300 miles west of Ft. Osage and (2) from the South Bend of the Arkansas River to Taos including Taos to Santa Fe.    Unfortunately, portions of the first 70 miles of the survey have been lost due to deterioration of the map. On the second section of the map, Brown wrote:

“This map is on a scale of 12 miles to an inch & these checks being
10/12 of an inch are all 10 miles square.  The marginal numbers will
show the miles of Southing & of Westing of any particular point.
The Latitudes of places were determined by very careful observations
with a good Sextant.  The Longitudes are deduced from the
Meridian of the Mouth of the Ohio River as determined by Mr.
Ellicot to be in Longitude 88°50’42” West from Greenwich –
at Ft. Osage the Magnetic Variation is 11¼° E & perhaps a
few minutes more, at Santa Fe or rather at Taos it
was found to be about 12° East.

October 27, 1827                                                  Joseph C. Brown”


Also on the second section of the map the following was written:

“Bureau Corps Topographical Engineers
Washington February 20th, 1844
This is to certify that this paper is an
original plot of the Survey from Fort Osage
to  Santa Fe.

                            John J. Abert
                            Col. Corps T. Engrs”

Information on Col. John J. Abert may be found at HERE.

 

There is additional faint and partially illegible writing on the second section of the map.  One entry reads:

“______ Long of the mouth of the

Ohio is   89.6
             88.50.42
Diff             15.18

This would put Santa Fe
15’18” farther west than ____ Brown places it.
Whereas ________  puts the
Long of Santa Fe 104°52’45” west
of Greenwich & the Lat 36°12’ N

                                          WHE”

 WHE is most likely William Hemsley Emory.  See: https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fem03

 

Another entry reads:

“Latitude of Santa Fe according to Rivera  36°28
        “     “      “     “        “        “  Lafora  36 40
Longitude by approximation according
to   _________       __________   5°48’ west of  _____
of Mexico.  He derives this not
from his own observations but
from the journals of  routes
by Spanish officers, or in other
words by dead reckoning.
This is in fact   _________   are
______.        WHE” 

Again, WHE is likely William Hemsley Emory. 

These maps are plotted in the conventional manner, north being “up” and west being to the left.

 

Brown’s map of the survey at a scale of 1” = 4 miles is preserved in the Cartographic Section of the National Archives, RG 77: RDS 25-1 and RG77: RDS 25-2.  With funding from the Santa Fe Trail Association and the invaluable assistance of Susan Calafante Boyle of the National Park Service, I was able to obtain a digital scan of the maps.

The first map is presented in two sections: (1) from the beginning near Ft. Osage to the Cottonwood Crossing and (2) from the Cottonwood Crossing to the Mexican Boundary.   The second map is presented in 3 sections: (1) From the Mexican Boundary to Middle Spring on the Cimarron River, (2) from Middle Spring to Point of Rocks, New Mexico, and (3) from Point of Rocks to Taos, including Taos to Santa Fe.

On the first section of the first map, Brown wrote:

                                                        “Map No. 1

This map of the road from Fort Osage on the Frontier of Missouri to the 100th degree of Longitude
West from Greenwich, in the direction to Santa Fe, is laid down by a Scale of 4 miles to an
inch.  For ready reference lines are drawn at 10 miles distance & by reference to the margin the
miles of Southing and Westing of any point on the road may be seen at once.  The Latitudes of
places are determined by careful observations with a good Sextant –& the Longitudes by calcu-
lation based upon the Meridian of the Mouth of the Ohio River as determined by Mr. Ellicot
& the Public Surveys from thence to the Meridian of Fort Osage.  The Magnetic Variation
at Fort Osage is 11¼° E & at 100th degree of Longitude on the Arkansas it is 11½° E & at Taos
it is 12° E.  For continuation of the Road see Map No. 2 on the same scale.

October 27th 1827                                                                                 Joseph C. Brown”

 

The Mr. Ellicot to whom Brown refers is Andrew Ellicott who on his way to determine the Florida Boundary determined the Longitude of the mouth of the Ohio River.  See  https://www.fig.net/resources/proceedings/fig_proceedings/fig_2002/HS2/HS2_spies.pdf

 

On the first section of the second map, Brown wrote:

                                        “Map No. 2

Continuation of the road from Map No. 1, upon which see note.

October 27th 1827                                          Joseph C. Brown”

 

These maps are plotted in the conventional manner, north being “up” and west being to the left.

First Map

 

Second Map

 

 

Supplement Prepared by: Steve Schmidt
April 2012

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The mission of the Santa Fe Trail Association is to protect and preserve the Santa Fe Trail and to promote awareness of the historical legacy associated with it.  The Santa Fe Trail Association’s purposes are exclusively charitable and educational within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.