First edition. Four volumes: One copy of volume I (parts I&II)Senate version, one copy of volume I (parts I&II) Congress version, Volume II, parts I and II.
The pastedown in volume I (Senate) has two old ink inscriptions; one probably inscribed by an aide to General Sumner "S. Cabot Jr. 17 Winter St. from Hon. Charles Sumner U.S.S." and the other "William H. Burges El Paso, Texas, May 1895" in purple ink.
Burges (1867-1946) was a civic leader and attorney in El Paso, who represented Tillie Howard, famous El Paso Madam, and was a great friend of Mar Ben Chew, a local Chinese leader, and often traveled to the federal court in San Antonio to defend El Paso citizens charged under the Chinese Exclusion Act.
He also handled various Rio Grande boundary suits and legal disputes growing out of the Mexican Revolution. After 1897 he was associated with William W. Turney in the law firm of Turney and Burges, and became a dominant figure in the small group that controlled the politics of El Paso.
Washington D.C.: Cornelius Wendell, 1857, 1859. Illustrated (all plates present as called for).
Quarto, Volume I (Senate) rebacked, original marbled boards, Volume I (Congress) original blindstamped maroon cloth, Volume II, parts I and II rebound in brown library cloth.
Some wear to volume I (Senate), library stamps on edges and terminal pastedown; volume I (Congress) cloth with some fading, some damp staining and browning of interior, 1 page loose but present, library stamps on edges and several pages; Volume II with some age toning.
[Senate vol. I] Volume I, Washington D. C. : A. O. P. Nicholson, 1857. 34th Congress, 1st Session, Executive Document No. 108, Senate. This set is unique in that it has both versions of volume I.
Volume I Congress version is complete with all maps, charts and plates, including 10 coloured full page plates, except for "Rio Grande, near Frontera" at p. 46. and the large folding coloured map, both of which are present in the Senate version of volume I, which is complete with no plates or maps lacking; in fact it has an extra plate at p. 96 "View of Monument Mountain".
George P. Merrill, 1906, Contributions to the History of American Geology, p. 461: "This has the distinction of being the earliest coloured geological map of the region published by the Government. It is, moreover, of historical interest as showing how little was definitely known of the region."
5,000 copies were printed for the Senate and 5,000 for the House, altogether 10,000 copies of volume I, and only 3,000 copies each of volume II (parts 1 and 2). According to Jenkins: "Alarmed at the high cost of the first volume, Congress ordered much smaller printings of the last two volumes, making a complete set difficult to obtain." Some of the artists who contributed to the illustrations are Arthur Schott, John E Weyss, Augustus de Vaudricourt, and a map by Lt. Michler.
The 25 coloured plates of birds are magnificent included in the report by Spencer Baird are also present. [Wagner-Camp, 291. Howes, E146. Raines, p. 76. Dobie, p. 86. Wheat, Transmississippi West 826-7].