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Sketch C [Chesapeake Bay]: Bache c. 1849

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  • Title: Sketch C [Chesapeake Bay]
  • Author: A. D. Bache
  • Date: c. 1849
  • Medium: Engraving
  • Condition: Very Good - light age toning, fold lines, paper loss left margin
  • Inches: 14 3/4 x 18 5/8 [Paper]
  • Centimeters: 37.47 x 47.31 [Paper]
  • Product ID: 317025
Sketch C.
Showing the progress of Section No. 3.
U. S. Coast Survey
in the years 1844, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49

Map of the Chesapeake Bay showing parts of Delaware Bay, Maryland, and Virginia. Also depicts the cities of Baltimore, MD and the mouths of the Rappahannock, Potomac, and Susquehannah Rivers, among others. Inset to the left of the map depicts Washington, D. C., Georgetown, and Alexandria on the banks of the Potomac River.

Surveyor, scientist, and pioneering oceanographer A. D. Bache (1806-1867) served as the 6th Superintendent of the U.S. Coast Survey. Born in Philadelphia, he came from a prominent political family, and was the great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin. Under his leadership, the Coast Survey’s operations grew significantly, expanding from nine to seventeen states as it surveyed the Gulf and West Coasts. Bache ran meticulous studies relating to ocean currents, tides, and the earth’s magnetic field, endeavors which provided in-depth knowledge about U.S. coastal geography. Thanks to Bache, the Coast Survey evolved into an immense resource for the U.S. government and one of the foremost scientific institutions in the country leading up to the Civil War.