"Sketch of the Routes of Hunt and Stuart." From Washington Irving's Astoria, or Anecdotes of an Enterprise Beyond the Rocky Mountains. Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blanchard, 1836. Engraving. 9 5/8 x 17 3/4. With some light, old stains. Repaired tear at left. Professionally conserved and overall very good appearance. Denver.
John Jacob Astor was involved in the American fur trade, dominated by the British and Canadians, from the late eighteenth century. He decided that the Americans should have a cut of the lucrative trade in what would become the Pacific Northwest of the United Staes and so in 1810 he created the Pacific Fur Company. He sent out Captain Jonathan Thorn by ship, who built Fort Astoria in March 1811 on the Columbia River. At the same time he sent out a party under Wilson Price Hunt to blaze a trail across the continent to the Pacific Northwest. They arrived at Fort Astoria in February 1812. This was the first transcontinental trip since Lewis & Clark, and a return party, led by Robert Stuart, was sent out in June, discovering on the way the South Pass. Years later, Astor asked author Washington Irving to write a history of the fur trading company, which was published as Astoria in 1836.
This volume included this fold-out map which Carl Wheat calls "an important milestone in western mapping," and "for what it purports to be it is an excellent map." The map depicts the region from the junction of the Missouri and Mississippi to the Pacific Northwest. It shows the routes of both Hunt's outward and Stuart's return expeditions, including Stuart's route through the South Pass just to the south of the Wind River Mountains. The river courses and some idea of the topography is indicated, though rather confused. The Great Salt Lake, explored by Benjamin Bonneville-whose adventures were written about by Irving-is shown, as are other somewhat hypothetical lakes in the Great Basin region. Overall a significant map of western exploration and discovery. $325
John Dower. "Mexico and Guatimala." From A New General Atlas of the World. London: Henry Teesdale & Co., 1842. 13 3/8 x 16 3/8. Engraving by J. Dower. Original outline color. Very good condition. Denver.
An unusual map showing Mexico and Texas as an independent republic. In 1821, when Mexico achieved independence from Spain, the northern regions of Texas, New Mexico and California were sparsely populated with Native Americans and a few scattered settlements of European descendants. In 1823, Mexico, in hopes of strengthening her position in the north, let Stephen F. Austin set up a colony of Americans in Texas. Tensions between the Mexican government and the American colonists began to escalate in the 1830s, leading to an outbreak of fighting in late 1835 after Santa Anna overthrew the Mexican constitution and set up a dictatorship. A convention of Texans met at San Felipe de Austin from October to November, issuing a Declaration of Causes and forming a provisional government. Fighting between the Mexicans and Texans began in October and lasted until the spring of 1836, with the result that Texas became an independent republic. Mexico never formally accepted Texas' independence, but an informal truce held until 1845, though there were some incidents of conflict. This map shows Texas as independent, including a note which states "The Province of TEXAS acknowledged an Independent State by Grt. Brtain, Novr. 1840." Detail of Texas, Mexico, and the rest of Central America is excellent, with mountains, rivers, lakes, towns, and some forts noted throughout. Also indicated, as noted under the title, are mines, an important economic factor in the region. Each province and country is indicated with contrasting pastel shades, with the British possessions noted in red. Historically of considerable note and quite attractive as well, this is a wonderful document of Texiana interest. $1,250
John Charles Frémont, with Charles Preuss. "Map of an Exploring Expedition To The Rocky Mountains in the Years 1842 and to Oregon & North California in the Years 1843-44 By Brevet Capt. J. C. Fremont of the Corps of Topographical Engineers..." Washington, 1845. House issue. 30 x 50. Lithograph by E. Weber & Co. Some outline color. Backed on linen. Repaired tear in upper right corner and some light surface stains. Overall, very good condition for a fragile map. Wheat: 497. Demver.
A seminal map of the American West by John C. Frémont depicting the results of his explorations between 1842 and 1844. Frémont, popularly known as the "Pathfinder," was instrumental in opening the American West. In 1842, he was sent out by the U.S. Government to explore what soon came to be known as the Oregon Trail, as far west as the South Pass through the Rockies. The following years, Frémont was sent out again, at the instigation of Senator Thomas Hart Benton (Frémont's father-in-law) to further explore the northwest part of the country, following the Oregon Trail all the way to the Pacific Ocean. In 1845, the government issued a report of these two expeditions which covered vast lands between the Missouri River and the Pacific Ocean. Through this report Frémont achieved great fame, leading to his election as Senator from California and later to his selection as the first Presidential nominee for the Republican Party.
This important map depicts the surveying that Frémont did during those expeditions, as well as information from the earlier explorations of Jedidiah Smith. The map encompasses all the area between Kansas and the Pacific, and a profile of Frémont's route from the mouth of the Kansas River to the ocean is included at the top. As Carl Wheat noted, "John Frémont's map of 1845 represented as important a step forward from the earlier western maps of the period as did those of Pike, Long and Lewis and Clark in their day." He goes on to state that the map "radically and permanently altered western cartography," and that it "is a an altogether memorable document in the cartographic history of the West, and for it along Frémont would deserve to be remembered in history." $1,750
S. Augustus Mitchell. "A New Map of Texas, Oregon and California with the Regions adjoining Compiled from the most recent authorities." Philadelphia: S.A. Mitchell, 1846. Separately issued, folding map on bank note paper. 22 1/8 x 20 1/4. Lithograph. Original hand color. With some discoloration and oxidized color; professionally conserved and lined. Overall, very good condition. Martin: 36; Wheat: 520. Framed to museum standards. Denver.
Samuel Augustus Mitchell (1792-1868) was one of the premier American cartographers in the middle of the nineteenth century. He is equally well renowned for his school geographies, atlases and separately issued wall and folding maps, of which this is probably his most famous. The region shown extends from the Mississippi to the Pacific coastline, and from the Rio Grande to southern Canada. This region was of particular interest in 1846 because of two recent, related events. In 1845, Texas had been admitted to the Union as a new state, which prompted Mexico, in 1846, to invade Texas, thus precipitating the U.S.-Mexican war. General curiosity about the new state and understandable interest in the war led to Mitchell's timely map becoming a very popular item all across the United States. This map would have been purchased and perused from New England to Philadelphia and from Georgia to Houston.
As stated in the "Accompaniment to Mitchell's new map of Texas, Oregon and California...," in which the map was issued, Mitchell used the latest information on the American west which was available at the time. Among his sources were Arrowsmith's 1841 map of Texas, Fremont's and Emory's maps of their explorations in the region, data from the Lewis & Clark expedition, Nicollet's map of the region between the Mississippi and the Missouri, and Wilkes' map of Oregon. The map shows Texas claims to the upper Rio Grande, in present-day New Mexico. These claims were eventually given up as part of the Great Compromise of 1850 in return for federal assumption of Texas' public debt. Besides its cartographic interest, the accompanying booklet contains the most comprehensive description of the territories bordering the Pacific Ocean, a region soon to be incorporated into the United States. This is a striking map of seminal significance to the history of the United States and its mapping. $9,000
1846 Mitchell wall map with this map as inset.
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
S. Augustus Mitchell. "Map of Mexico Including Yucatan & Upper California, exhibiting The Chief Cities And Towns, The Principal Travelling Routes &c." Second state, with copyright of 1846. Philadelphia: S.A. Mitchell, 1847. Folding map on thin bank note paper (missing covers). 17 1/4 x 25 1/8. Lithograph. Original hand color. With some separations and small holes at folds; all expertly repaired and filled. Overall, very good condition. With inset of "The Late Battlefield." Wheat: 548. Denver.
With the annexation of Texas into the United States, war soon erupted between the U.S. and Mexico. As soon as the conflict was under way, Philadelphia map publisher, S. Augustus Mitchell, saw that there would be a demand for maps detailing the events in this far-off corner of the continent, so he quickly came out with a folding map of Mexico, with Texas shown with a red outline in its relative position, its panhandle extending to the 42nd parallel. The map was very much a war map, with topographical information kept to a minimum, but roads, towns, political divisions and rivers are clearly shown. Mitchell updated this map as news arrived of events, adding little flags to indicate the site of battles. This map shows the battles of the Alamo, San Jacinto, Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and Monterey. In the upper right Mitchell included a detailed inset map of "The Late Battlefield" at Monterey. Another feature of interest is the depiction of the "Great Spanish Trail to Santa Fe" (from San Francisco) and the "Trader's Route to Independence, Mo." from Santa Fe to the east. A fine example of this important war map. $8,500
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
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
Frederick Wislizenus. "Map of a tour from Independence to Santa Fé, Chihuahca, Monterey and Matamoros." From A Memoir of a Tour to Northern Mexico, Connected with Col. Doniphan's Expedition, in 1846 and 1847. Washington, 1848. 19 3/4 x 16. Lithograph by E. Weber & Co. Very good condition. Wheat: 572. Denver.
Frederick Wislizenus set off from Independence in 1846 to conduct a private, scientific exploration of the American Southwest, not realizing that war had just been declared between the U.S. and Mexico. He joined the caravan of gun-runner Albert Speyer, but was then imprisoned by the Mexicans. Later, Wislizenus was able to join with Colonel Doniphan's troops and return to the United States. William Goetzmann (Exploration and Empire, pp. 194-96) states that his report "was the most important geographical and economic survey of that almost unknown region then published," and his map, issued with the report, is also one of the best of the region at the time. As Wheat states, the map is "of considerable value. A number of routes to New Mexico and across Texas are shown, and Doniphan's campaign is carefully followed from Independence, through New and old Mexico to the camp of Jne 2nd, 1847, at Reynosa, at the mouth of the Rio Grande." (III, p.53f.) $750
Heinrich Kiepert. "Mexico Texas und Californien." Weimar: Geographischen Instituts, 1849. 21 3/8 x 24 1/8. Lithograph. Original color. Mounted on linen. Library stamp. Paper toned and crease in center. Otherwise, very good condition. Cf. Wheat: 723. Denver.
The 1849 edition of a rare map of the American southwest, Texas, Mexico and Central America by German cartographer Heinrich Kiepert. Information is very detailed and, according to Wheat, based mostly on Frémont. Kiepert is known for the amount and precision of his detail, and this map is a good example of his output. The clarity is impressive and Kiepert gives credit to the engraver of the topography (C. Jungmann) and of the writing and other information (K. Mädel). The map was issued shortly after the Mexican-American War, so both Texas and Upper California are shown as part of the United States. The borders of Texas are pre-Compromise of 1850, but Kiepert shows in blue both the extended border to the Rio Grande and the more eastern border following the "Rio de Puercos." It is obvious that Texas is the main focus of this map, for it is the only section with full body color. This reflects the fact that between 1844 and 1847 there was a huge influx of German emigrants to the region. The Adelsverein, or German Emigration Company, encouraged this migration to colonies within Texas, where there are many German descendants to this day. In the center of Texas, marked in red, is the "Deutsche Colonie" and a bit further south, marked in green, the "Französ Colonie." The map has three insets: one of Central America, one of the environs of Mexico City, and a profile of the heights across central Mexico. This map would have been issued for the German market, and it would have provided many an immigrant with a first look at his or her new country. $5,800
Sidney Hall. "Mexico, California & Texas." Edinburgh: A. & C. Black, ca. 1849. 10 1/4 x 14 1/2. Engraving by S. Hall. Original color. Light spot in map. Very good condition. Inset in lower left of "Guatimala."
An interesting map of Mexico and the American southwest issued in Edinburgh about 1849. Details of topography and settlements are shown throughout, and roads and political divisions are also indicated. This map was issued after the Mexican-American war, so Texas, New Mexico, Utah, and California are all shown as part of the United States. In Utah, Salt Lake City is shown on the Great Salt Lake, with the note that it is a "Mormon Set." Throughout the region are indications of Indian tribes. Overall, this is an interesting and up-to-date mapping of this region at an important period in its history. $375
"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., -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
"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. Origina color. Very good condition. Denver.
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
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