“Navajos” is a colored lithograph from the United States Railroad Survey series titled Reports of Explorations and Surveys, to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. (Twelve volumes published 1853-1861) The mid 1800’s was a time of extensive expansion of North American territory. The discovery of California Gold, the Louisiana Purchase and the acquisition of the northern part of Mexico , all these contributed to the need for an easier and safer cross country route and a transcontinental railroad seemed to be the answer. The United States government sent out four ( and later added two more) expeditions across the West at various parallels with the purpose of studying the flora, fauna, geology, climate. etc. The result was a twelve volume set on Western geography, history and science put together by surveyors, geologists, naturalists, botanists, many artists, and even astronomers. The purpose of the expeditions as stated by the then secretary of War, Jefferson Davis was ” to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.” The result was a collection of not only fascinating historical prints but also many beautiful images. This antique print is in good condition.