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AUCTION 19

TANNER MAP FROM THE TREATY SEQUENCE

114. [MAP: TREATY MAP].  TANNER, H[enry] S[chenck]. A Map of the United States of Mexico, as Organized and Defined by the Several Acts of the Congress of that Republic. Constructed from a Great Variety of Printed and Manuscript Documents by H. S. Tanner. Second edition, 1846 [below neat line at left] Published by H. S. Tanner, No. 144 Chesnut [sic] St. Philadelphia [below neat line at right] Entered According to Act of Congress, the 2nd. day of April, 1832, by H. S. Tanner of the State of Pennsylvania [two insets at lower left]: (1) Tables of Distances; and (2) Map of the Roads &c from Vera Cruz & Alvarado to Mexico [inset at right margin] Statistical Table. Pocket map, folded into original 16mo dark brown ribbed cloth covers embossed with floral design, with matching gilt-lettered dark brown diced cloth label on upper cover: MEXICO (covers present but detached). Engraved map with original full color and outline coloring. Neat line to neat line: 57.5 x 73.5 cm. Some mild staining and offsetting, a few minor voids and short repaired splits at folds (minimal losses). Original pocket folder worn and split at spine and with some light edgewear (minor chipping). Thomas W. Streeter’s pencil notes inside front cover.

     “Second edition” (dated 1846; copyright April 2, 1832). The first edition of Tanner’s map came out in 1826. Martin, “Disturnell’s Map” in Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America Edited by Hunter Miller (Tanner) g. Cf. Martin & Martin, Plates 37 & 38.  Schwartz & Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America, p. 276 (referring to the Tanner map as the genesis of the sequence of the Treaty Map):   Streeter Sale 3824 (this copy). Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 528 & Vol. III, pp. 37-38.

     Tanner’s maps of Mexico, based on the work of Humboldt, Pike, Darby, and others, were primary sources for cartographic intelligence on Mexico and the emerging western territories of the United States for three decades.  For instance, Tanner’s 1834 map was one of the few sources to include Stephen F. Austin’s recent surveys (Tanner also published Austin’s maps). Rosa’s selection of Tanner’s map of Mexico indicates the importance placed on Tanner’s map as the ultimate authority on the region.  See Historical Essay above for additional information.

     Wanting to compete with his rival John Disturnell, Tanner brought out this edition in such haste that he didn’t even bother to change the original copyright date.  Wheat sniffs at what he calls this “throwback map”:  “It was in no sense a creditable production by the great mapmaker...” (Mapping The Transmississippi West, Vol. III, p. 37).  The California coast, for example, is a fanciful rendering based on no real geography; on the other hand, Tanner proudly promotes Texas ambitions by showing its western boundary as the Rio Grande and squeezing New Mexico into a tiny sliver of land.  The map’s importance lies in the fact that Tanner quickly revised it and reissued it later in 1846, thereby rendering this map the basis of the far more significant one that followed from it.  As Wheat concludes, it was probably issued in great haste to take advantage of the populace’s unending appetite for news of the Mexican-American War.  In any case, this is one of the series of maps that formed the basis for Disturnell’s blunders, which, combined with Bartlett’s, ultimately left Mexico in possession of the territory that held the only viable southern route for U. S. transcontinental rail service.  ($15,000-25,000)

Auction 19 Short Title List | Auction 19 Prices Realized

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