History of the Topographic Branh – Richard T. Evans, Helen M. Frye – 1st Edition

Description

This is the result of many hours of research and personal recollections of Richard T. Evans and Helen M. Frye and was compiled and organized during the mid-1950s. Included are a number of documents that were considered worthy of preservation, as well as several diary excerpts from the early days.

From a very early period of the world’s existence, man has endeavored to represent the earth’s surface in a graphic form for the information of his fellow men, realizing that no oral or written description is capable of setting forth facts so vividly and so clearly as a map. Mapping of the areas of the United States began with the charting of portions of its coast line by early explorers, the need for maps was first recognized during the war of the Colonies for independence from Great Britain.

On July 22, 1777, Congress authorized General Washington to appoint: ‘Mr. Robert Erskine, or any other person that he may think proper, geographer and surveyor of the roads, to take sketches of the country and the seat of war.’ By several acts during the Revolutionary War, Congress provided ‘geographers’ for the armies of the United States, some of them with the pay of a colonel, amounting to $60 a month and allowances.

At the end of the War, a resolution of May 27, 1785, continued in service the ‘geographer of the United States’ for a period of 3 years. The War Department recognized the necessity of ‘geographical ’ and requested Congress to authorize their appointment, but it was not until the next war that Congress authorized on March 3, 1813, the appointment of eight topographic and eight assistant topographic under the direction of the General Staff of the Army. These officers formed the nucleus of the first Corps of Topographic in the Army, and that Corps continued to function as an independent unit until it was absorbed by the Corps of in 1863, during the Civil War between the States.

Table of Contents

- Preface
- Predecessor Surveys
- Introduction
- Early Mapping Methods
- Inception and Early Years of the Geological Survey
- Sale of Topographic Maps
- Investigation by Congress
- Area Surveyed
- The General Systems of Maps Needed
- The Best Method of Constructing Topographic Maps
- Washington Clubs and Societies
- Powell Irrigation Survey
- Tenth Anniversary
- State Cooperation
- Mapping in Idaho
- Mapping Accomplished (1889–90)
- Mapping in North and South Dakota
- Appropriations and Reorganization
- The Cuvier Prize
- Primary Traverse
- First Map Revision
- Manual of Topographic Methods
- Walcott Becomes Director
- Index
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