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Maps of Western America

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Bonne Mexico
Rigobert Bonne. "Le Nouveau Mexique." Paris, 1778. 8 x 12 1/4. Engraving by Dien. Very good condition. Lowery: 545.

Rigobert Bonne was the Royal Hydrographer of France, so his primary interest was in marine charts. However, with his Royal connections and access to the cartographic documents in Paris, Bonne was able to compile maps containing some of the most up-to-date information of his time. This map of the southern part of North America is a good example of his work. It shows as far north as Santa Fe and to just below Guadalajara, also including the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. The southern coast of the United States in included to western Florida, and the river systems are included inland, especially for present-day Texas. A fine eighteenth century map of the region, with good early information of this American southwest. $325

Mathew Carey. "Mexico or New Spain." Philadelphia: M. Carey, 1814. 17 5/8 x 15 5/8. Engraving. Original outline color. Very good condition.

An intriguing American map of Mexico. Published by Mathew Carey in 1814, during the War of 1812, this map is from Carey's Atlas which represented the best American cartographic work of the period. Mexico, or "New Spain" as such included not only present-day Mexico, but El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, all subject to the Spanish Crown. The northern boundary as shown here extended well north of Santa Fe, while the eastern border is located at the Sabine River-a boundary which was to moved west by the treaty accords following the 1819 War between Spain and the United States. By 1820 the provincial government under Augustin de Iturbide had revolted against the new liberal monarchy for fear of modernization. This was the beginning of a 60-year period defined by one internal rival struggling against the other that would end only with the second election of Porfirio Diaz in 1884. The southern end of the nation similarly reacted in their own, local interests forming the Central American nations of modern times. $850

Burr Mexico
David H. Burr. "The United States of Mexico." From Universal Atlas. New York: D.H. Burr, Feb. 16, 1832. 12 1/2 x 10 1/4. Engraving by Illman & Pilbrow. Full original color. Some paper waviness. Otherwise, very good condition.

Another fine map by David H. Burr, this the southwestern part of North America, along with Central America. This map shows Mexico three years before Texas broke off and just over a decade before it lost its entire northern section, becoming today's American southwest. Stephen F. Austin had received a grant to settle in Texas in 1823 and more and more Americans moved into the area until in 1830 the Mexican government forbade further emigration into Texas from the U.S. Relations between the Americans in Texas and Mexico deteriorated and in June 1832, just after this map was issued, the first fighting broke out at the Battle of Velasco. This map shows early settlements in Texas, including San Felippe de Austin, S. Antonio, la Trinity, Ft. del Altar, Espada, Lagunilla, Matagordia, Brazoria, and Nacadoches. The information in the inset map of South America ("Guatemala or the United Provinces of Central America") is also very good. $850

John Dower. "Mexico and Guatimala." From A New General Atlas of the World. London: Henry Teesdale & Co., 1835. 13 1/4 x 16 3/8. Engraving by J. Dower. Original outline color. Excellent condition.

A fine British map showing Mexico the year before Texas broke away and a decade before it lost "Upper or New California" as well. The map shows the typical superb craftsmanship of the British map makers, with clearly engraved, copious detail throughout Mexico. Only a few rivers and mountains are indicated in what was then the United States. In the current southwestern part of the United States, then part of Mexico, the information is quite good, showing rivers, Indian tribes, and some settlements. Of note is the geographic error of a double representation of the Great Salt Lake, as well as equally non-existent rivers running from these lakes to the Pacific. A nice picture of the geographic knowledge and mistakes of the period. $575

"Mexico." Edinburgh: A. & C. Black, 1840. 10 x 14 5/8. Engraving by Sidney Hall. Original outline color. Very good condition. Inset in lower left of "Guatimala." Phillips Atlases: 777.

A fascinating map of Mexico and the American southwest issued in Edinburgh in 1840. Topography, coastal information, and settlements are shown throughout, with particularly good detail given for Mexico and Texas. Of particular interest is the fact that Texas is shown as a republic. Texas had declared its independence just a few years before this map was issued, and Sidney Hall tried to show the new situation with as good information as he had. The old Mexican internal borders are shown, but Texas is named and is indicated as extending well to the northwest, up towards Santa Fe as claimed by the Texans. The Great Salt Lake is shown, named as "L. Youta or Salt Lake," and on its eastern shore is indicated "American Fur Co.'s Depot." Throughout the region are indications of Indian tribes. Of special interest are the markings of roads and major trade routes, including the great road from Chihuahua north to Santa Fe and the "Gr't Spanish Road" from Natchez west along the Red River to Santa Fe. Overall, this is a fascinating and very up-to-date mapping of this region at an important period in its history. $475 Henry S. Tanner. "Mexico & Guatemala." Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, 1846. 12 3/4 x 14 3/4. Lithographic transfer from engraved plate. Original color. Some typical paper toning. Very good condition. Wheat: 519.

An excellent map of Mexico by the great American cartographer, Henry Schenck Tanner. The map shows Mexico at the beginning of the Mexican-American War, during which the country lost its northern provinces to the United States. In that region, the detail in New Mexico, along the Rio Grande to north of Santa Fe, is quite accurate, but the information in Upper California is not so correct. Texas is shown as part of the United States, having just been annexed the year before this map was issued. This map came from the final edition of Tanner's atlas before Mitchell, the publisher, made the atlas his own. $475

After H.S. Tanner. "Mexico & Guatemala." From S. Augustus Mitchell's A New Universal Atlas. Philadelphia: H.N. Burroughs, 1847. 11 7/8 x 15. Lithograph transfer from engraved plate. Full original hand color. Some paper toning at edges and a few small stains in margins. Otherwise, very good condition.

In 1846, S. Augustus Mitchell took over publication of H.S. Tanner's Universal Atlas, continuing the run of this important atlas. This is the second state of Mitchell's version of the Tanner map. The year he took over Tanner's atlas (1846), he reissued Tanner's map and then, the same year, issued a version with the copyright date changed to 1846, but all else the same. The next year Mitchell further modified the map by removing Tanner's name and adding some updated information, especially in northern Mexico. The geography of this region is much better depicted, with the mountains surrounding the Great Basin drawn, which had the desired effect of getting rid of the non-existent rivers that had appeared on the earlier edition of this map. Political changes are also shown, for the northern half of the Mexican state of Sonora was detached, becoming part of a large area newly labeled "Upper or New California." This entire region, along with New Mexico, would within a short time of the publication of this map become part of the United States at the settlement of the Mexican-American War. Also to this version Mitchell added a number of roads in the region, including one from Mexico across Texas to Nacodoches. $475

Oregon and California
S. Augustus Mitchell. "Oregon and Upper California. Published by S. Augustus Mitchell . . . 1848." From A New Universal Atlas. Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, 1848. 17 x 13 3/4. Lithograph transfer from engraved plate. Full original hand color. With manuscript line and text indicating "Humbolt's River." Some light staining; otherwise, very good condition.

A fine pre-Gold Rush map of the westernmost United States in the mid-nineteenth century, showing the region at an interesting period in its history. The map is filled with myriad topographical details, including rivers, towns, and separate coloring for the territories. At the time there were only two territories, Oregon and Upper California, in the region later divided into Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. This map is also fascinating in its depiction of the early exploration and development of the region. The "Great Interior Basin," between the Great Salt Lake and the Sierra Nevada Mountains is shown as unexplored, though Fremont's route to its southeast is noted. Early settlements and a coastal road are shown in California , and the old trail between Santa Fe and Los Angeles is also indicated. Of particular note is the prominent depiction of the Oregon Trail, shown snaking from present-day Colorado to the Columbia River. Locations of myriad Indian tribes throughout the region are noted. The map was copyrighted by H.N. Burroughs and published by S. Augustus Mitchell, whose firm dominated American cartography in output and influence for much of the middle part of the nineteenth century. It is obvious from the quality and attractive appearance of this map why Mitchell's firm became so important. This map, one of the best of the region issued in mid-century, went through many different versions from it's first appearance in 1846 until the late 1850s. With the discovery of gold just one year in the future, this map shows the American west on the eve of the huge development to follow. $850

Cowperthwait western territories
"Map of the State of California, The Territories of Oregon & Utah, and the chief part of New Mexico." From Universal Atlas. Philadelphia: Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., [1850]-1851. Copyright, H.B. Burroughs, 1845. 15 1/2 x 12 7/8. Lithographic transfer from an engraved plate. Original hand color. Full margins. Very good condition.

A mid-century map of the western part of the United States, one of the first maps to show the state of California and the territories of Utah and New Mexico. The map is an updated version of a map that appeared in S. Augustus Mitchell's Universal Atlas of 1849. The southern part of the region shown in that map, "Upper California," had just been won from Mexico in 1848, and Mitchell's map was important for presenting the vast new U.S. territories to the American public. In 1850, the rights to Mitchell's atlas were sold to the firm of Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., which reissued the atlas with some updating. That year the newly acquired lands were divided by Congress into the state of California and two territories, Utah and New Mexico; Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. revised the Mitchell map accordingly.

Besides the new political information that appeared on this map, what had appeared on the 1849 map as the "Great Interior Basin" is now somewhat filled in based on Fremont's map, renamed "Fremont Basin." Other topographical features included considerable orography, rivers, and lakes. The Great Salt Lake is shown, next to which is "Salt Lake City. Mormon Set.," which had just been settled in 1847. Early settlements and a coastal road are illustrated in California, and the old Spanish trail between Santa Fe and Los Angeles is also indicated. Of further interest is the prominent depiction of the Oregon Trail, shown snaking from present-day Colorado to the Columbia River. The entire region north of Utah and California appears as the Oregon Territory, which it remained until the Washington Territory was created in 1853. Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. continued to revise this map, for in 1851 they came out with a further up-dated map retitled "A New Map of the State of California," and with more information provided on the counties of the territories and state. This is a fascinating and historical important map, one of the first to show the new political situation in the west after the Compromise of 1850. $875

Meyers western US
"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 Instituion. 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, Fremont'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. $675

Andrew B. Gray. "Map Of That Portion Of The Boundary Between The United States and Mexico. From The Pacific Coast To The Junction Of The Gila And Colorado Rivers, Surveyed Under The Direction Of The Hon. John B. Weller U.S. Commissioner, And The Rio Gila From Near Its Intersection, With The Southern Boundary Of New Mexico, Surveyed Under The Direction Of John R. Bartlett." Washington: GPO, 1855. 21 x 49. Lithograph by Ackerman. Folded on somewhat brittle paper. Short tear near where attached; otherwise, very good. With original Senate report bound with new covers. Wheat: 840.

A large, very detailed map, called by Wheat "clearly a major performance." The map was created under the instructions of the Joint Commission that had been set up by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to map the new U.S.-Mexico border, including the Gadsden Purchase of 1854. This map is minutely detailed along the border region, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to Texas. Included is a inset "Sketch of the Port of San Diego." This is an excellent example of the quality of the government mapping of the west in the nineteenth century. $2,500

"A New Map of the State of California, The Territories of Oregon, Washington, Utah & New Mexico." Philadelphia: Charles Desilver, 1856. 16 x 12 3/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.

Charles Desilver, one of the many publishers working in Philadelphia during the mid-nineteenth century, issued an atlas of maps based on the famous Tanner-Mitchell-Cowperthwait series. Desilver used much the same information as originally drawn in the 1840s, but updated the maps with new counties, roads, towns, etc. Here the country west of the Rockies is depicted with the state of California and the rest comprised of just four territories: Washington, Oregon, Utah and New Mexico. Settlement in those territories was quite sparse at the time, with some cities shown, and a number of counties developed in the western part of the northern most territories. The map was issued just after the Gadsden Treaty (1854) so the current southern border with Mexico is depicted. Of note are depictions of the southern route proposed for the Pacific Railroad, the Spanish trail from Santa Fe to Los Angeles, the routes of Lewis & Clark and Fremont, and the Oregon Trail. Forts are indicated, as are the territories of various Indian tribes. Of interest is the small section entitled "Middle Park," which is shown as part of Utah, but which is currently part of Colorado (the western part of which is shown as part of Kansas Territory. Overall, a terrific and up-to-date map of the western United States. $650

"Washington and Oregon." New York: J.H. Colton & Co., 1856. 13 x 16. Lithograph. Full original hand-coloring. Some light stains in margins. Otherwise, very good condition.

An excellent map of the earliest manifestation of the Washington and Oregon Territories. In 1846, Great Britain and the United States signed the Oregon Treaty, which established the 49th parallel as the border between the two countries in the far west. The land south of this border was formed as the Oregon Territory, which it stayed until 1853, when the northern part was broken off as the Washington Territory. This is the political situation shown here. The two territories extend from the Pacific coast to the crest of the Rocky Mountains. Good information is shown in the west, where settlement had progressed, but between the Cascades and the Rockies little development is shown. This region was still virtually unexplored and the details shown include rivers, lakes, forts and cantonments. Also depicted is the Oregon Trail and the proposed route for the Northwestern Transcontinental Railroad. One of the most desirable maps of the Northwest at a very early stage of its development. $250

More maps of the Trans-Mississippi West by A.J. Johnson. New York: Johnson & Ward, 1864. Lithographs. Original hand coloring. Somewhat brittle. Very good condition.

"Williams' New Trans-Continental Map of the Pacific R.R. and Routes of Overland Travel to Colorado, Nebraska, The Black Hills, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Montana California and the Pacific Coast." New York: Henry T. Williams, 1877. 22 3/4 x 36 1/2. Lithography (Osborne's Process) by A.M. Photo-Litho Company, N.Y. Original hand color. Separation at folds repaired on verso. Very good condition.

A terrific, folding railroad guide of the American West about a decade after the completion of the trans-Continental Railroad. The map extends from Omaha to the west coast and its focus is on that landmark Pacific Railroad, the route of which-with all its stops-is shown with a bold black line. Also depicted in bold are important tributary lines, including a number in California, such as the Southern Pacific R.R., and lines to Eureka, Nevada, and Denver, Colorado. The Northern Pacific Railroad, then under construction across the northern part of the county, is indicated, but not in bold. Other lines, including proposed routes, and stage routes are also shown. The map highlights the states with contrasting colors and many towns, settlements and forts are named. Orography is graphically indicated and impressively up-to-date, giving a good picture of the topography of the West.

The map was issued by Henry T. Williams, among the first publishers to capitalize on the increased travel due to the opening of the trans-continental railroad. He issued his Williams' Pacific Tourist as well as other guides and maps. This folding guide was certainly intended to be used and on the verso of the guide are advertisements for railroad lines, hotels, and time tables. A most graphic and decorative map. $1,200


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