One of the earliest maps of San Francisco published in the city itself.
Finely detailed map of the populated areas of San Francisco, oriented to the west. The map extends west to Divisadero; south to Alta.
Since there are no folds in this copy, it was undoubtedly a separate issued. It has a neatly printed number 55 on a small piece of paper affixed in the lower margin. One interesting feature is the tracing of the original shoreline of San Francisco, showing just how much of the city is built on landfill.
The map documents a momentous time for both the city in particular and the United States in general — what Barbara Berglund calls “the emergence of a new urban society on the western frontier of the country’s landed empire.” In the years prior to the publication of this map, San Francisco was a true boom-town, having grown from a sleepy village into a sizable city in about one year. In the summer and fall of 1848, after the discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada foothills, the town of about 1,000 was nearly depopulated as its residents literally ran for the hills in search of gold. Two years later, after the 1849 Gold Rush brought gold seekers from all over the world, it had grown to a city of over 25,000—the largest on the Pacific coast of the Americas.
Britton & Rey were located at the corner of Montgomery St. and Commercial St. between 1854 and 1858.