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“Exploration of the Sierra Nevada” (1925)
by Francis P. Farquhar


The Wheeler Survey

One of the several western surveys carried on during the decade prior to the establishment of the United States Geological Survey was entitled the United States Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian and was in charge of Captain George M. Wheeler under direction of the Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army. A considerable amount of general topographical work was done in the northern put of the Sierra Nevada and observations, already mentioned, were made on Mount Whitney in 1875, the latter by a party under command of Lieutenant Rogers Birnie.

Explorations in the Yosemite region were made in 1878 and 1879 by Lieutenant Montgomery Meigs Macomb, assisted by J. C. Spiller, topographer. Macomb and Spiller occupied a number of the higher peaks including Dunderberg, Conness, Lyell, Hoffmann, Merced, and Clark. The results of their work were compiled in what was for many years to come the standard map of the Yosemite region. A list of altitudes of Yosemite peaks and waterfalls was also published. 88

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88 Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers, War Department, to, 1879, Appendix OO, pp. 2210-2144, 2233-2238; Sierra Club Bulletin, 1915. X, 3, plate opp. p. 369.


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