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Mapping the Outside Lands - foundational map for the history of San Francisco.

Place/Date: San Francisco / 1868
$3,200.
Title: Map of the Outside Lands of the City and County of San Francisco Showing Reservations Selected for Public Purposes, under the Provisions of Order No. 800
Technique
Lithograph
Dimensions
75 x 57 cm (29.5 x 22.5 in)
Identifier
NL-00129
Coloring
Hand color
Condition Rating
VG+

Description

Interesting map created just after the lands outside the 1851 Charter line were turned over to the city of San Francisco following years of legal disputes.

Today we think of the “Outside Lands” as the part of the city west of the dividing line at Divisadero St. (hence the name); namely, what is now the Richmond and Sunset, Golden Gate Park, and smaller adjacent neighborhoods. But it is interesting to note an area on the southeast of the map comprising part of Potrero Hill that is also designated as “outside.”

For its part, from 1852 to 1866, the west side was the focus of intense legal battles, fought in parallel. There was at the same time a fight over whether the land belonged to the U.S. government or the City of San Francisco, as well as a fight over individual ownership of land plots at the private level. The undercurrent of these battles was the fact that this land was ceded as part of the conclusion of the Mexican-American War by Mexico not to California (which wasn’t yet a state), but to the U.S. federal government.

The Outside Lands Act of 1866 ruled in favor of the city, confirming that this land was part of San Francisco. This ruling set the stage for Order no. 800, mentioned in the title of our map, in which the board of supervisors decided on some of the legal implications of the Outside Lands Act.

The map identifies the following members of Committee — each with a street named after him or her:

Chas. H. Stanyan
A.J. Shrader
Beverly Cole
Chas. Clayton
Monroe Ashbury

Golden Gate Park and Buena Vista Park are located but labeled only Park.  Two unlabeled lines, one dotted and one solid, run irregularly through the Sunset District; the former represents a line of sand drift and the latter traces the Spring Valley Flume that came in from San Mateo County.

Overall, an extremely important map for San Francisco history and urban development.

Cartographer(s)

Britton & Rey

Joseph Britton (1825 – July 18, 1901) was a lithographer, the co-founder of prominent San Francisco lithography studio Britton and Rey, and a civic leader in San Francisco, serving as a member of the Board of Supervisors and helping to draft a new city charter.

In 1852 he became active in lithography and publishing, first under the name Pollard and Britton, and then Britton and Rey, a printing company founded with his friend and eventual brother-in-law Jacques Joseph Rey. Britton and Rey became known as the premier lithographic and engraving studio of the Gold Rush era, producing letter sheets, maps, and artistic prints.

Committee on Outside Lands of Board of Supervisors

Condition Description

Linen-backed.

References

Woods, Arnold. "The Battle for the Outside Lands." Newsletter of Western Neighborhoods Project, Jan-Mar 2016 volume 12 number 1. For a different example that has been georeferenced: http://davidrumsey.georeferencer.com/maps/54459460205/view#339924271972

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