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AUCTION 19

Precursor Maps To The Gadsden Purchase

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115. [MAP: TREATY MAP].   UNITED STATES.  SECRETARY OF INTERIOR (R. M. McClelland). Report of the Secretary of the Interior, in Compliance with a Resolution of theSenate, of January 22, Communicating a Report and Map of A. B. Gray, Relative to the Mexican Boundary.... [Washington]:  Senate Executive Document No. 55, 1855.  33nd Congress, 2nd Session. 50, [2] pp., 2 folded lithograph maps (see map list below).  8vo, stitched, as issued.  Text:  Minor staining on first page, light tattering to some edges, last few leaves with old moderate stain in upper gutter margin.  Condition reports for maps following each map.  This report with its two great maps is surprisingly rare in commerce.

(1)  That Part of Disturnell's Treaty Map in the Vicinity of the Rio Grande and Southern Boundary of New Mexico as referred to by U. S. Surveyor, in Communication to Commissioner, July 25 1851 With Messrs. Bartlett & Conde’s Line Traced Off and the True Situation of the Parallels with Reference to Natural Objects in the Vicinity Shewn.  Note. The Santa Fe Road Was Laid out in 1825. Distance from Independence to Taos 730 Miles-To Santa Fe 840 Miles. Ackerman Lith 379 Broadway N.Y.; neat line to neat line: 22 x 27.6 cm.  Except for uniform light browning, fine. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 820* (Vol. 3), pp. 238-239:  “Elaborate work.  Clearly a major performance, with much topography appearing, and an insert of the Port of San Diego, surveyed in 1849-1850...with the name of the ranch here rendered S. Arguillo’s Ranch...  It is described by its title, and is full of interesting detail between the 30th and 34th parallels” & 839 (Vol. 4).

(2) 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 Hon. John B. Weller...and the Rio Gila from Near Its Intersection, with the Southern Boundary of New Mexico, Surveyed under the Direction of John R. Bartlett...Ackerman Lith. 379 Broadway N. Y. [inset map lower left] Sketch of the Port of San Diego Surveyed by the U. S. Boundary Commission in 1849 and 1850... [inset below] Profile of Country from the Rio Grande to the Gulf of California, and from the Rio Grande to the Junction of the Gila and Colorado Rivers [inset at lower left]:  Table of Reference; neat line to neat line: 55.6 x 122.7 cm (printed on two sheets, joined, as issued). Graphic scale: approximately 16 miles to the inch.  Creases from inept folding, some tattering at upper left with minor losses (barely into image area), some minor separations at folds (no losses), moderate browning where the two sheets of the map were originally joined.  Harlow, Maps of the Pueblo Lands of San Diego 20. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West *821 (Vol. 3), p. 239: “This is also a major map... Clearly this is an important map”: & 840 (Vol. 4).

     First edition of a major document in the development of the boundary line between the United States and Mexico.  Although published in 1855, the report consists primarily of official documents from 1853 relating to the December 30, 1853, Gadsden Purchase, known in Mexico as Tratado de la Mesilla.  Alliott, p. 90.  Braislin 852. Graff 1625. Holliday 447. Howes G330.  Meisel III, p. 100.  Plains & Rockies IV:254. Sabin 28376.  Streeter Sale 488. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 839-840. Not in Garrett & Goodwin, The Mexican American War.

     Though not part of the Treaty sequence maps, we include Gray’s report and its two important maps here because they had important ramifications for the final boundary line between Mexico and United States, as the commissioners struggled to reconcile the differences between Disturnell’s delineation of the area and the reality they found in the actual survey.  Profoundly disagreeing with Bartlett’s concessions to the Mexican commissioners, Gray here outlines in text and cartography his belief that Bartlett has been snookered into placing the boundary line too far north, a belief that would be proven true.  In the end, the U.S. could not in good faith go back on the bargain Bartlett had struck and had to purchase the necessary land from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase ($10,000,000) in present southern Arizona (including Tucson), which gave the U.S. the disputed territory necessary for a transcontinental railroad.  These maps are the precursors to the Gadsden Purchase, which in effect, eventually resolved the border question as it related to confusion resulting from the two versions of Disturnell’s map used in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo negotiations. See Chapter 5 of William H. Goetzmann’s Army Exploration in the American West, Chapter 30 of Wheat’s Mapping the Transmississippi West, introduction in Paula Rebert’s La Gran Línea: Mapping the United States-Mexico Boundary, 1849-1857 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2001), and historical notes in Martin & Martin 40. ($400-800)

Auction 19 Short Title List | Auction 19 Prices Realized


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