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AUCTION 20

Tanner Treaty Sequence Map, the First with the Fremont Discoveries

72. [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. Third edition, 1846 [below neat line at left] Published by H. S. Tanner [below neat line at right] Entered According to Act of Congress, in the Year 1846, by H. S. Tanner in the Clerks Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York [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. New York, 1846. Engraved map on bank note paper, original full outline coloring. Neat line to neat line: 57.5 x 73.5 cm. Accompanied by upper pocket cover (lower cover lacking), 15 x 10.2 cm, original embossed plum cloth, gilt-lettered on cover: Tanner’s Travelling Map of Mexico. Mild staining and offsetting, a few tiny voids and short repaired splits at folds (minimal losses). Original pocket folder faded. Thomas W. Streeter’s pencil notes inside front cover: “This is the first Tanner map to contain the Fremont information.”

     “Third edition” (dated 1846; copyright 1846). The first edition 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) h. Streeter Sale 3824 (this copy). Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 529 & Vol. III, p. 38. Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region 32. Hailing it as a much superior production to the second edition, Wheat speculates that Tanner’s conscience must have been “pricked” by his earlier production. Texas and New Mexico are unaltered, but Tanner has incorporated Frémont’s 1845 map, thereby rendering inland portions and the coast of California in a much more accurate manner, even though the coast line still leaves something to be desired. More significantly, in the latter’s case, he has engraved a prophetic boundary line between Upper and Lower California, which, as Wheat (Mapping) points out, “had Disturnell done likewise, that southern boundary might well have been drawn differently in the treaty” (p. 38). No doubt published with the same motivations as his second edition, Tanner has here made a more sophisticated attempt to separate the public from their money.

     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). Other mapmakers, such as Rosa, selected Tanner’s map of Mexico, indicating the importance placed on Tanner’s map as the ultimate authority on the region. 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. The map’s importance lies in the fact that Tanner revised it and reissued it, and it became 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. See item 50 herein. ($15,000-$25,000)

Sold. Hammer: $19,000.00; Price Realized: $22,325.00

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