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Marcy's Expedition

Views Along the Red River, 1852

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Views by Randolph B. Marcy and George B. McClellan. From Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, In The Year 1852. Washington:GPO, 1853; printer, Robert Armstrong. Ca 4 x 7. Tinted lithographs by J. Ackerman and H. Lawrence. Very good condition.

The Red River was important in terms of the southern border of the Louisiana Purchase and later the northern border of Texas. However, due to inhospitable landscape, it remained virtually unexplored in its upper reaches until the middle of the 19th century. Randolph B. Marcy was sent off in 1852 to explore the river, mapping its course and source. The resulting map was quite good, though March was mistaken in what he thought to be the river's source (not discovered until 1875 by the Ruffner-McCauley expedition), and much interesting information on the region was gathered. The views are not attributed, so they were probably made by the two leaders, Marcy and McClellan, both trained at West Point.

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