Friday, June 19, 2020

Search for a citation - "discover, open up, and make accessible the American West"

From: "Ron Tyler"

I have read your article, Eastward to Promontory, on the CPRR web page, and a quotation caught my eye that has turned up in some other sources as well, such as the web page of CSU-Northridge. I have been trying to locate the phrase — "discover, open up, and make accessible the American West." — and cannot find it in the introduction to the volume you are discussing in your essay. I have read much of the article and searched on two different scans of that volume (volume one) with no luck. At least two sources credit Frank Schubert, Vanguard of Expansion, but I cannot find it in his book either. If you could please tell me where you found the quote I would be most grateful. I am working on a book and would also like to use it. ...

—Ron Tyler, Retired Professor
Museum Director. Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Western Art, Western History: Collected Essays
The Art of Texas: 250 Years


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That online article was prepared from a borrowed stack of slide photocopies of the primary sources made for a lecture that was given about a quarter century ago. Doubt that those photocopies can still be located after such a long time.

The Cal State Northridge webpage seems to be attributing that phrase to the "Pacific Railroad Surveys," but just checked the cited page 4 of volume 1 and didn't find that phrase there. (But there are at least three versions [large House, large Senate, and physically smaller earlier printing] and the page numbering can be a bit chaotic, so there could be a different "page 4" somewhere.):

["Five potential routes were studied by Brevet Captain George B. McClellan and the Corps of Topographical Engineers whose stated charge was to discover, open up, and make accessible the American West, as stated in the resulting published findings Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean (vol. 1, p. 4.)"]

6/19/2020 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did not find that phrase in:
Frank Schubert, Vanguard of Expansion, Army Engineers in the Trans-Mississippi West, 1819-1879.

6/19/2020 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "Bruce Cooper"

As the questioner states the, phrase does not appear in Vol I of the Explorations and Surveys. I also reviewed the various Letters of Instruction from Sec of War Jefferson Davis to each of the leaders of the Survey Parties including McClellen which are printed in Part II of the Message of the President for 1853 (S. Doc. 1, 33rd Congress, 2nd Session) at pp. 55-65 and the phrase does not appear in any of those letters. I also did not find it in The Empire Express or any other book I checked so I don’t know its origin.

6/21/2020 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "Bain, David H."

... The phrase caused some echoes and so I did a quick poking in Google Books using the phrase in a simple search. I enclose a jpeg of the answer for you—words I would have read some 35 years ago when I was beginning work on my railroad book. That's why they sounded familiar. ...

—David Haward Bain

6/21/2020 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "Ron Tyler"

Thanks so much for taking time to try to locate this elusive little quotation. I have checked Wilson’s Heyday book, which was published in 2016. He cites Frank N. Schubert, Vanguard of Expansion, as the source. The quotation is not on page 56, which he cites. The Schubert book is available on HathiTrust. I searched there to no avail. I wonder if Wilson did not get the quote from Elbie Bentley’s M.A. thesis (which appears a little further down the page on the Google search), which was written several years before his book, because she also cites the Schubert book as the source of the quotation. I have written to her to ask if she might be able to clarify the question.

I am beginning to think the trail may be too cold ...

—Ron Tyler

6/21/2020 6:30 PM  

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