Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
Thousands of settlers flowed into the Oregon Territory between 1840 and 1860, drawn by the opportunity for low-cost and agriculturally promising land. Oregon achieved statehood in 1859, and as the number of inhabitants grew, traders, miners, military personnel, and settlers needed maps to navigate the challenging topography of the state. Robert A. Habersham traced this map of the southwestern corner of Oregon in 1874 in the adjutant general’s office, which provided a commander administrative assistance with military operations. As indicated in red ink on the upper right of the map, at the time, Habersham was serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Cavalry. He also worked in the Portland Office of the Army Corps of Engineers before serving two terms as United States Surveyor General of Oregon. Habersham may have traced this map in preparation for another he published in 1874 of the entire state, titled “Habersham’s Sectional and County Map of Oregon Compiled from the most recent U.S. Government Maps & Surveys.” The key for this published map decodes the draft version of the map shown here and indicates that the dashed lines show projected railroads, while the solid lines show the railroads in operation. The red lines are stagecoach routes and highways, which connected places such as the mining town of Jacksonville and the military outpost of Fort Klamath.