Most of united state take road maps because that granted. It is straightforward for today’s travelers to get a clean map to overview them on their way. This was no true with early voyagers throughout Nebraska’s "sea of grass." They had to do their own maps, and one the the most far-reaching chart-making explorers to be Captain john C. Fremont.In 1841 Congress proper $30,000 to pay because that a survey of the Oregon Trail and also named Lt. John C. Fremont to head the expedition. Guided through Kit Carson and also assisted through mapping through German-born cartographer Charles Preuss, Fremont performed the first of 2 surveys indigenous mid-June come mid-October that 1842. Upon his go back to Washington, DC, he and also his wife, Jesse Benton Fremont, ready the official report come Congress.

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Jessie was the daughter that Senator thomas Hart Benton who was worried to have actually the U.S. Expand past the good Bend in the Missouri flow at Kansas City. She was bright and also beautiful and also instrumental in help Fremont breeze a paper that soared with rhetoric and also symbolism.

Fremont led five expeditions to check out the West between 1842-1853. The 1842 trip was in some ways most significant, since it outlined the Platte Valley south Pass path that would be supplied by many California-and Oregon-bound emigrants. Seven maps were attracted that traced the 1842 journey. Published in 1846, the maps are based on Fremont’s field journal, as well as sketches and notes through topographer Charles Preuss.

Section II the the seven-map set depicts "the great Platte flow Road" from contemporary Grand Island to past what’s currently North Platte. Even more fascinating 보다 the slim line the river and surrounding topography, room the comments printed on the map. Because that example, he remarks, "Timber is exceptionally scarce, other than on the islands. Part driftwood and also buffalo excrement renders the fuel, as that of camels does in the deserts of Arabia."


An adaptation of Fremont’s 1842 map the what is now central Nebraska.Courtesy Nebraska State historic Society

Some that the excitement of encountering a brand-new environment for the very first time is conveyed in this note from Fremont’s journal, printed on the map close to the 100th Meridian where contemporary Cozad is located.

"June 30th. An initial view the buffalo. The air to be keen the following morning in ~ sunrise, the thermometer standing in ~ 44 degrees and also it was sufficiently cold to make overcoats very comfortable. A few miles carried us right into the middle of the buffalo swarming in immense numbers end the plains, wherein they had actually left scarcely a blade of grass standing. Mr. Preuss, who was sketching at a tiny distance in the rear, had at first noted them as huge groves of timber. In the sight of such a fixed of life, the traveler feeling a strange feeling of grandeur. We had heard native a street a dull and also confused murmuring, and when we came in view of their dark masses, there was not one amongst us that did no feel his love beat quicker. It was the early component of the day as soon as the herds are feeding, and every wherein they to be in motion. Here and there a vast old bull was rolling in the grass and also clouds that dust climbed in the air from miscellaneous parts the the bands, each the step of part obstinate fight. Indians and also buffalo make the poetry and also life that the prairie and our camp was full of their exhilaration."

Fremont observed the an excellent future of the West more clearly than other explorers. He saw in Nebraska the wealthy soil, the numerous grass and the beautiful wild flowers. Come his eye this an ar looked choose a garden, instead of a desert, as it had actually been represented by many.

Nebraska more than likely owes its name to Fremont. In his report come the Secretary of War, that calls ours great central river by its Indian surname Nebraska, or flat Water, and also the Secretary of War later on suggested Nebraska as a good name for the brand-new territory.

Fremont’s report came to be a guidebook for Americans that wanted to push westward. They walk not desire to check out of the harsh nation Pike and Long described. They wanted to learn of greener pastures. In addition, Fremont filled out the map. Lewis and also Clark, Pike, and Long had only fill in a couple of spots. Mountain guys knew details parts that the West really well, but they were not acquainted with large areas, no one were they schooled in exactly how to explain the West in written words or cartographic terms.

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While Fremont may not have actually been the an initial to explore the Platte valley route, his 1842 travels created the many attention. Thousands check out his influential account of the explorations, learned his route west, and also followed his suggestions. The maps ready by Charles Preuss, his cartographer, offered well those that followed.

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