Copyright 2000-2015 by Dorothy Sloan-Rare Books Inc. for all materials on this site. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

Auction 14: Americana

Lots 1 & 2: Atlases - Bradford & Arrowsmith

| last lots | |Auction 14 abstracts| |Home| |A14 contents| | next lots>> |

1. [ATLAS]. ARROWSMITH, [Aaron] & [Samuel] Lewis. A New and Elegant General Atlas. Comprising All the New Discoveries, to the Present Time. Containing Sixty Three Maps, Drawn By Arrowsmith and Lewis. Intended to Accompany the New Improved Edition of Morse’s Geography, but Equally Well Calculated to Be Used with His Gazetteer, or Any Other Geographical Work. Boston: Published by Thomas & Andrews. Sold at Their Bookstore, No. 45, Newbury-Street, and by the Principal Booksellers in the United States, May, 1812. [4] pp. (title and list of maps), 63 copper-engraved maps (2 foldout). Small 4to, contemporary sheep over boards covered with paper. Sheep dry and worn, front hinge cracked and weak, fragile paper-covered boards worn (especially at corners and edges). Interior age-toned and with mild to moderate offsetting, staining, and foxing, overall a very good, complete, unsophisticated copy. This copy is in its original uncolored state (the atlas is more frequently found with crude hand-coloring).
    The first edition of this early, influential American atlas was published at Philadelphia in 1804, with an edition following at Boston in 1805. The present edition contains the same maps as the first edition, plus seven new maps. American Imprints 24632. Cohen, Mapping the West, p. 80 (commenting on the Louisiana map): “The Samuel Lewis map was the primary map of the newly purchased territory of Louisiana and its surroundings and, as such, reflected the shaped American popular geographical images of the western interior at the time of Lewis and Clark.” Phillips, Atlases 718. Walsh, Maps Contained in the Publications of the American Bibliography 1639-1819, pp. 141-143. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 259, 260, 261 & 262 (listed in both vols. I and II).
     This atlas contains twenty-two maps of American interest, including four very important ones relating to the American West which also appeared in the 1804 edition:
(1) Louisiana Drawn by S. Lewis. 25 x 20.2 cm (9-7/8 x 8 inches). Extends from New Albion and the Pacific shores, with the prominent feature being “Roche or Stoney Mns. [Rocky Mountains]. The map is illustrated in Wheat (vol. II, plate following p. 2) and Cohen ( p. 81). “The most interesting of the four maps.... It is not too much to say that, until Lewis and Clark’s own map appeared in 1814, the Soulard map, in the version offered to the public by Arrowsmith and Lewis constituted the most ambitious, and–despite its many obvious infirmities–the most informative published attempt to portray the West and Northwest of what is now the United States” (Wheat, vol. II, pp. 4-8; see vol. II, pp. 9-12 for a fascinating discussion of the other three maps relating to the American West and Texas; also, vol. I, pp. 157-160).
(2) British Possessions in America.... 19.8 x 24.7 cm (7-7/8 x 9-3/4 inches).
(3) Spanish Dominions in North America.... 20.2 x 24.7 cm (8 x 9-3/4 inches).
(4) North America. 24.6 x 20 cm (9-5/8 x 8-1/4 inches).

    This atlas in its portrayal of the American West is a summation of all the hopes and fears of various competing factions for possession of the North American West. The present mapmakers give some emphasis to British pretensions to the territories shown, while nodding to Spanish and U.S. possessions. Probably deliberately, the western portions of geographical knowledge are shown basically in nebulous outline, although the map of Louisiana is based upon the apparently solid and experienced work done by French mapmaker Antoine Soulard, who is given no credit here. In this Louisiana map, based upon Soulard’s projections, Louisiana stretched almost coast-to-coast, reflecting French pretensions and probably published in this form as a warning to those pretensions rather than as an actual portrayal of facts. Despite those prejudices, the maps here in some form were the ones used by Lewis and Clark in their explorations, and they had to contend with the inaccuracies embodied in them. It was not until the 1814 publication of Lewis and Clark’s travels that the portrayals here were somewhat corrected. (See Wheat, vol. II, pp. 4-8; see vol. II, pp. 9-12 for a fascinating discussion of the other three maps relating to the American West and Texas; also, vol. I, pp. 157-160). Interestingly, U.S. mapmaker Samuel Lewis took editorial responsibility for both the maps here and the ones published in the 1814 Lewis and Clark report.
    This discussion does not encompass other notable maps in Arrowsmith and Lewis’s atlas, such as the map of Ohio, which was the first separately printed map of Ohio (see Thomas H. Smith, The Mapping of Ohio; Kent: Kent State University Press, 1977).
    Aaron Arrowsmith (1750-1823), prominent English cartographer, engraver, and publisher, created about two hundred maps during his illustrious career. He became hydrographer to the Prince of Wales around 1810, and to the king in 1820. Samuel Lewis (fl. 1774-1807), noted American draftsman, penman, cartographer, and geographer, published both independently and jointly with Arrowsmith. Samuel Lewis “is to be especially remembered as the draftsman who put in form for publication the celebrated map (originally drawn by William Clark) that in 1814 gave to the world its first detailed reflection of the American Northwest, as Lewis and Clark had pictured it” (Wheat, vol. II, p. 5, footnote 3; see also Wheat 316 and 317).

The Nathan Appleton Copy of the 1838 Bradford Atlas–With the Texas Map

2. [ATLAS]. BRADFORD, T[homas] G[amaliel]. An Illustrated Atlas, Geographical, Statistical, and Historical, of the United States, and the Adjacent Countries. Boston: Weeks, Jordan, and Company, [1838]. [4] 170 pp., 39 engraved plates as follows: 1 engraved pictorial title with hand-colored vignettes (views of Niagara Falls, the Capitol, medallions of a Native American and George Washington, and various American flora and fauna, within border composed of snakes and cane poles), 5 sheets of city plans with contemporary coloring (plan of New York City bound at front of atlas, opposite the title page, with purple tissue protective sheet in between), 33 maps with contemporary color outlining and shading, the map of the United States being double-sheet. The plate list at the front calls for 40 maps and plates, but the double-sheet map of the U.S. is counted on the plate list as two maps, making an actual total of 39 maps and plates.

Small folio (42.6 x 34.8 cm; 17-7/8 x 13-3/4 inches), contemporary three-quarter brown leather over plum cloth with embossed floral pattern, spine gilt in five compartments with wide raised bands, the bands tooled in gold on spine, publisher’s gilt-lettered burgundy leather label on upper cover, endpapers of thick sheened cream paper with brown floral stippled pattern. Binding with some edge wear and fading, marginal browning to some sections of endpapers due to contact with the leather, occasional mild foxing (mostly confined to endsheets and preliminary and terminal blanks), occasional offsetting from maps to text. The maps are uniformly very fine with very good coloring. Overall a very fine, complete, handsome copy with early nineteenth-century bookplate of Nathan Appleton, whose coat of arms consists of three apples surmounted by an elephant head. Appleton (1779-1861), U.S. merchant, manufacturer, financier, politician, and philanthropist, is best known as a pioneer in establishing textile manufacturing in New England and combining economic development with social responsibility.
    The Texas map is as follows: Texas. [Boston], 1838. Engraved map (by G. W. Boyton), original outline coloring in blue, borders shaded blue. 35.7 x 28.8 cm (14 x 11-3/8 inches).

There are at least six different versions of Bradford’s Texas map, all from the atlases that Bradford published between 1835 and 1840. The earliest of the Texas maps came out in Bradford’s 1835 atlas in small format and with outline coloring. In 1838, Bradford revised his atlas to this larger format. He made the map of Texas larger and updated it to reflect new knowledge. Variations occur in engraving and coloring, such as full color versus outline color. We have seen at least four versions of Bradford’s large-format Texas map from the same plate, the present copy being an intermediate state with outline coloring advancing the border of Texas to the Rio Grande, but with land grants rather than county lines, which came later, and here the city of Austin is not yet located. Bradford was the first maker of atlases to include a separate map for Texas. Martin & Martin 31: “Bradford[’s large-format] of Texas...was even more clearly patterned on [Stephen F.] Austin’s. Aside from showing Texas as a separate country, the map and text Bradford inserted into his atlas is historically important for clearly demonstrating the demand in the United States for information about Texas during the Revolution and the early years of the Republic. It also serves to confirm the importance of Austin’s map as source for that information.”

    First edition of Bradford’s large-format atlas, one of the first U.S. atlases with lengthy textual information, and the earliest atlas published in the United States that contained maps of Texas as a republic (see Martin & Martin, plate 31). Howes B701. Phillips, Atlases 1381n. Sabin 7261. Streeter Sale 88. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 430 & 431 & II, p. 165.

| last lots | |Auction 14 abstracts| |Home| |A14 contents| | next lots>> |