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AUCTION 20

“The political juxtaposition of the Republic with the Revolution and the Declaration of Independence was made explicit by culturally rich wall hangings such as this” (Matthew H. Edney)

69.  [MAP]. PHELPS & ENSIGN. Phelps & Ensign's Travellers’ Guide, and Map of the United States, Containing the Roads, Distances, Steam Boat and Canal Routes &c. New York Published by Phelps & Ensign 1840 [below title] Engraved on Steel by J. W. Wells, Brooklyn, L.I. [below images at bottom] Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1840 by Phelps & Ensign in the Clerks Office of the District Court of the Southern District in the State of New York [insets of scenes, maps, profiles, portraits, clockwise from top left] (1) A Comparative View of the Chief Rivers in the World...; (2) The World (double hemisphere); (3) A Comparative View of the Prinicipal Mountains in the World...; (4) In Congress July 4th 1776. The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America [facsimile of the Declaration with signatures plus cartoon rendition of the signing]; (5) George Washington...; (6) Thomas Jefferson...; (7) John Adams...; (8) James Madison... (9) King Philip 1676 [portrait surrounded large elaborate border of Native American artifacts]; (10) Landing of the Pilgrims Dec. 22nd 1620; (11) Battle of Lexington April 19th. 1775; (12) Battle of Bunkers Hill June 17th. 1775; (13) Washington’s Farewell to His Army N.Y. Dec 4, 1783; (14) The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America July 4th. 1776; (15) E. Pluribus Unum [untitled portrait of George Washington within wreath, surrounded by large elaborate border of flag, military accoutrements, etc.]; (16) John Q. Adams...; (17) James Monroe...; (18) Wm. H. Harrison; (19) Martin Van Buren...; (20) Andrew Jackson...; (21) South Part of Florida; (22) Vicinity of Charleston; (23) Vicinity of Pittsburg; (24) Vicinity of Chicago; (25) Vicinity of Detroit; (26) Vicinity of Washington; (27) Vicinity of Baltimore; (28) Vicinity of New Orleans; (29) Vicinity of Mobile; (30) Vicinity of Cincinnati; (31) Vicinity of St. Louis; (32) Vicinity of New York; (33) Vicinity of Philadelphia; (34) Vicinity of Boston; (35) North Part of Maine. New York, 1840. Engraved varnished wall map with original outline and wash color, mounted on original linen and with original selvages, contemporary black wooden rollers. Map proper within ornate fine border: 43.5 x 66    Overall image:  66 x 96.9 cm.  Overall sheet:  71 x 105 cm. Cracks and abrasions with some small losses to image (customary for wall maps, due to use), short tears along blank margins, age-toned, and some staining.  An unsophisticated copy with no misguided dolling-up.
     This extravagant icon of Young Republic popular culture came out in several editions during this time period.  An 1837 copyright has been noticed for one version, with copies of 1838 and 1839 found. The present 1840 edition is the first of this particular revision, and the first to show Stephen F. Austin’s colony in Texas. The map reaches farther West than most maps of the United States at this period, extending west to the Rockies, including a huge Missouri Territory (seemingly encompassing all of the Great Plains), New Mexico (with southeastern boundary at San Antonio), and a scaled-down Texas as an independent political entity (Brazoria and north, with Stephen F. Austin’s colony prominently shown; the town of Austin is not yet located). Since this was a map intended to guide travellers, railroad, steamboat, and canal routes are shown.

     Matthew H. Edney, Mapping the Republic: Conflicting Concepts of the Territory and Character of the U.S.A., 1790-1900 (citing the 1841 edition):  “The political juxtaposition of the Republic with the Revolution and the Declaration of Independence was made explicit by culturally rich wall hangings such as this. The map (originally designed to be printed on tissue paper and folded into a pocket guide to the more populated parts of the United States) was displayed within a larger complex of images symbolizing the history and character of the Republic: (a) a rather crude rendition of John Trumbull’s 1824 painting, commissioned for the Capitol Rotunda by Congress in 1817, of the signing of the Declaration of Independence; (b-d) the text of the declaration, a facsimile of its signatures, and a key to the painting, all at left; (e-h) four images depicting iconic moments in the early history of the United States, one of the landing of the ‘Plymouth Pilgrims’ in 1620 and three of the start and end of the Revolution; (i-j) allegories of the two great military leaders produced by America (King Philip [or Metacom], the Wampanoag sachem who fought the New England colonists in 1675-1676, and George Washington); and, (k-l) portraits of each of the Presidents in two panels. Three images of the world and its primary geographical features reinforce the common distinction between the Old World of Tyranny and Despotism and the New World of Liberty and Democracy. The overall political meaning of this wall hanging would have been quite obvious to its viewers in schools, libraries, and homes.” ($750-1,500)

Sold. Hammer: $2,600.00; Price Realized: $3,055.00

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