An early promotional booklet on Vallejo with two very rare folding maps.

The Resources of Vallejo: A series of articles, reprinted from the Solano County Advertiser, 1868-69


In stock

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist
SKU: NL-01681 Category: Tag:
Cartographer(s): John Shertzer Hittel
Date: 1869
Place: Vallejo
Dimensions: 14 x 21 cm (5.5 x 8 in)
Condition Rating: VG


This rare and wonderful booklet was produced to promote the new town of Vallejo in the northeast of San Pablo Bay. It consists of a series of reports on the resources and suitability of the Vallejo tract and was meant to solicit immigration and investment. The articles were originally published in a local newspaper, the Solano County Advertiser (1868-69), and then later reprinted and bound into this small promotional booklet published in San Francisco in 1869.

The texts relay information on the Vallejo area before its modern development, and the booklet is an essential documentation of the region’s early history. The volume is particularly desirable because of two folding maps in the front and rear of the volume: San Francisco and San Pablo Bays from chart No. 22 in Coast Survey Report of 1865 & Map of California Pacific Railroad showing its relative position to other railroads.


The first map, San Francisco and San Pablo Bays from chart No. 22 in Coast Survey Report of 1865, shows the area surrounding Vallejo, providing an accessible overview of the immediate context and the town’s accessibility and connectivity. Even for the untrained eye, Vallejo’s excellent position is immediately apparent. Located at the mouth of the Napa River, it was a natural node on the route between San Francisco and the new state capital in Sacramento, but also for those headed north via the river valley.

As stated in the title, the map was adopted from the Coastal Survey Report of 1865, which is why soundings are included along the waterlines. By delineating the navigable portions of the northern Bay – seen both in the clear demarcation of marshes and tidelands through hatching and in the differentiation between high and low tide lines – the mapmaker is striving to underpin Vallejo’s accessibility further.

On land, we also note the quality of the documentation, both in the rendition of topography and in the inclusion of early towns and settlements. Among the important landmarks and locations shown, we note an impressive Mount Tamalpais and towns such as Oakland, Saucelito, and Alameda.

Map Census: Adapted from Chart no. 22 in the Coastal Survey Report of 1865, this map was created by Theodore Henry Hittell and published by Britton & Rey of San Francisco. It is very rare on the market; we have identified no sales or listings. Institutionally, the OCLC only identifies a single holding at UC Berkeley (no. 215206293).


The second chart, Map of California Pacific Railroad showing its relative position to other railroads, is the third and seemingly last state of this map, characterized in part by the inclusion of a railroad between Sonoma and Petaluma. The map provided an overview of California’s railroad infrastructure as an alternative means of accessing Vallejo. At the top is a small table providing travelers with the estimated time and distance from San Francisco by water and rail.

The focus is on the California Pacific Railroad and its connectivity to other railway systems. The California Pacific Railroad changed its name and ownership several times in the late 1860s, but by the end of the decade, it had become the California Pacific Railroad. The railroad was originally built by D.C. Haskin and completed just months before the Central Pacific/Union Pacific Transcontinental Railway. Neatline’s example appears to have been published after Haskin sold his railroad to an investor group led by former California Governor and Senator Milton Slocum Latham in early 1870. 

Map Census: All three states of this map are extremely rare. A first state is held by Boston Public Library (LLC call no. G4361.P3 1870 .C3). The OCLC notes another five institutional holdings (no. 25893772): one at each of the Connecticut and California State libraries and three editions at various institutions under UC Berkeley (including one that appears to be even later than ours and is tentatively dated 1875).


Provenance and rarity

This is the first appearance of the pamphlet on the market since this same example was purchased by Warren Heckrotte at the Sothebys sale in 1982. Prior to 1982, the only example offered in the past 60 years was the Streeter copy (sold for $90.00), lacking the San Francisco and San Pablo Bay Map.

Provenance: Warren Heckrotte (purchased at Heckrotte Sale II, December 2015). Purchased by Heckrotte at Sothebys, April 28, 1982 ($192.00).


Condition Description

72 pages. With 2 folding lithographed maps. modern morocco-backed cloth, spine lettered in gilt. First map with light foxing, a few short repaired tear; second map with short stub tear; very good or better.