View of New Tacoma and Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, Washington Territory. Terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Altitude of Mount Rainier, 14,440 feet. artist Glover, li, heldon.

View of New Tacoma and Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, Washington Territory. Terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Altitude of Mount Rainier, 14,440 feet.

Portland, Oregon: Eli Sheldon Glover, drawing; San Francisco, CA, A. L. Bancroft & Co., lith., 1878. Llithograph, 13.625” x 24” plus margins; 3 manuscript fives near one house, in a period hand, apparently marking a lot.

A rare view of Tacoma and Mount Rainier, being the earliest published view of the city, showing both the earlier settlement as well as the recent development to the south, known as New Tacoma, resulting from the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad.

This captivating view from an elevated vantage point to the west shows these adjacent settlements situated on Commencement Bay. The Northern Pacific R.R. passes through the middle ground and snow-covered Mount Rainier (Mt. Tacoma) looms large in the background. Among the features of the town depicted are numerous houses, a hotel, a church, a land office building, a ship depot, a public school, a saw mill (built in 1852 but abandoned during the Yakima War of 1855–56), various businesses, a foundry, and a wharf, where the steamboat Dacota is docked. Also shown is the Puyallup River, the Northern Pacific R.R. car works, the Puyallup Coal R.R. making way over Commencement Bay, and various vessels plying the waters of the bay. Two men at the bottom-left hold rifles and look down on the settlements.

In 1864, one Job Carr found a small body of water near the bluffs of present-day Tacoma, which he believed to be a choice location for a city. In 1868, developer Morton McCarver arrived in the area and purchased Carr's claim, naming the area Tacoma (the city being incorporated in 1875). After McCarver and others lobbied the Northern Pacific Railroad Co. to locate its terminus there, the company complied, selecting Commencement Bay in 1873. However, the precise location chosen for the railroad depot was two miles south of McCarver’s development, an area that came to be known as New Tacoma. Once the N.P.R.R. settled on Tacoma as its terminus, the city experienced an influx of settlers. (Old) Tacoma and New Tacoma were united in 1884, and the transcontinental link was completed in 1887. Between 1880 and 1890 the population grew from 1,098 to 36,006.

Eli Sheldon Glover (1844–1920) was a prolific viewmaker active during the heyday of American bird's eye views. He began his career in 1866 working as a sales agent for Albert Ruger in Michigan, and likely also helped Ruger in the creation of city views. In 1868, Glover struck out on his own—moving to Chicago to become a printer and publisher. However, his Merchants Lithographing Co. came to a sudden halt when it was destroyed by the 1871 Chicago Fire. Glover started making views in Ontario and Kansas after the fire, and following a brief residence in Salt Lake City he began making his way west, producing Colorado views in 1873 and 1874, as well as views in Montana, Utah and Wyoming. Glover resided in Los Angeles from 1876 to 1877 and produced some sixteen views of California cities, during which time he is believed to have begun his partnership with Albert Little Bancroft. As Reps details, “The Glover-Bancroft collaboration brought together a skilled topographic artist and high-quality lithographic craftsmanship. The large folio views that resulted are consistent in their style, format, attractive appearance, and use of a single tone stone to provide pleasing and often dramatic cloud and sky effects” (Views and Viewmakers of Urban America, p. 180).

Glover moved to Portland, Oregon in 1877, using his new residence as a base to create views of Seattle, Port Townsend, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland—all created between 1878 and 1879. By 1889, he owned a valuable tract of land bordering Steilacoom Lake near Tacoma, granted to him by the city of Tacoma in exchange for a series of his views (including the present one). He moved there with his family in 1890, following which he mainly tended to his property. In the final period of his career he made views in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. His last known view depicts Port Arthur, Texas in 1912. Glover died in Seattle in 1920, having produced over sixty views of towns and cities in fourteen states and Canadian provinces.

Albert L. Bancroft (1841–1914) was the younger brother of Hubert H. Bancroft (1832–1918) who moved to the booming city of San Francisco in 1852 to set up a West Coast office for his brother-in-law, who operated a bookstore in Buffalo, New York. Establishing H. H. Bancroft & Co. in 1856, Hubert found success and entered the world of publishing as well. In 1859, Albert joined the firm. After Hubert retired around 1870 to become an author, ethnologist and historian, the company became A. L. Bancroft & Co. At the time, the firm’s bookstore and lithographic office was the largest of its kind on the Pacific coast, producing maps, city views, book illustrations, advertising posters, can and box labels, and more. In 1886, A. L. Bancroft & Co. suffered a fire, and in 1897 the firm was purchased by Whitaker & Ray Co. The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley takes its name from Hubert, whose 60,000-volume book collection was purchased by the University of California in 1905.

OCLC locates five copies, at the Library of Congress, Penn State, University of Washington, Seattle Public Library and Washington State University.

REFERENCES: Glover, Eli Sheldon. The Diary of Eli Sheldon Glover, October-December, 1875 at archiveswest.orbiscascade.org; Glover, Eli S. View Of New Tacoma and Mount Tacoma, Puget Sound, Washington Territory at digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu; Reps, Views and Viewmakers of Urban America, pp. 178-180; Last, Jay. The Color Explosion (Santa Ana, California: Hillcrest Press, 2005), p. 163; Wilson, J. G. et al., eds. "Bancroft, Hubert Howe". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography (New York: D. Appleton, 1900); Men and Women of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporaries (New York: L.R. Hamersly and Co., 1910), p. 87.

CONDITION: Very good, some soiling to margins, a few small spots, occasional reinforcement with paper pulp along edges of verso.

Item #6045

Price: $5,500.00

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