Unattributed. “A New Map of the State of California, The Territories of Oregon & Utah. Compiled after the best authorities.” From Meyer’s Hand-Atlas.
Hildburghausen: Bibliographic Institution, 1852. 15 1/4 x 12 1/4. Engraving by E. Biedermann. Original color. Very good condition.
A very detailed map of the western United States showing the political situation there just after the middle of the nineteenth century. With the official acquisition of Oregon Territory (1846) and the Mexican Cession (1848), the California Gold Rush (1849) and the admittance of California as a state and the creation of Utah and New Mexico territories (1850), the American West was of great interest to Americans and others around the world. Thus it was that most atlases included a map of this region, of which this is the one that appeared in Meyer’s Hand-Atlas in 1852. About 1833 Joseph Meyer had founded the Bibliographischen Institut in Hildburghausen, which issued geographical works, and in 1849 he sent his son, Herrmann, to set up the North American branch of the Bibliographic Institution. In the 1840s and early 1850s this business published their well respected Hand-Atlas.
Their maps were known for their precise detail and this is a good example of their output. This map contains much the same information as the S. Augustus Mitchell maps which began in the mid-1840s, but with some differences, especially in California where this map has especially good detail. Throughout are shown rivers, mountains, Indian tribes, and settlements of all sizes. This map also shows a number of trails, including the Lewis & Clark’s canoe route, Frémont’s route of exploration, the Oregon Trail and the Great Spanish Trail. A nicely colored inset in the lower left is of San Francisco and environs. An excellent cartographic picture of the American West at a transformative period in its history.