— Copyright Dorothy Sloan 2013 —
Very Fine Copy in Original Cloth of Folsom’s Mexico in 1842
With an Unusual Map of the Republic of Texas
147. [FOLSOM, George]. Mexico in 1842: A Description of the Country, Its Natural and Political Features; with a Sketch of Its History, Brought down to the Present Year. To Which is Added, an Account of Texas and Yucatan; and of the Santa Fé Expedition. Illustrated with a New Map. New York: Charles J. Folsom; Wiley and Putnam; Robinson, Pratt and Co., [J.P. Wright, Printer, 18 New Street, N.Y. (title verso)], 1842. [1-5] 6-256 pp., folded lithograph map, original color (outline coloring of Mexican states and Texas in bright rose; Republic of Texas in yellow): Mexico and Texas in 1842. Published by C.J. Folsom, No. Fulton St. cor. Pearl, New-York. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1842, by C.J. Folsom, in the Clerks Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New-York. Lith. of G.W. Lewis, cor. Beckman & Nassau St. N.Y.; neat line to neat line: 23.1 x 25.8 cm (overall sheet size: 23.8 x 27.2 cm. 16mo (15.6 x 10.8 cm), original dark brown embossed cloth, gilt-lettering on spine. Head of spine skillfully reinforced, foot of spine slightly worn and frayed, overall binding is fine and unfaded. Text with occasional mild foxing, the map is pristine with good color retention. Overall a wonderful copy, the map superb.
First edition. Braislin 745. Eberstadt, Texas 162:301. Graff 1372. Holliday Sale 380. Howes F226. Moser, Daniel Webster: A Bibliography 870. Palau 93035. Plains & Rockies IV:91. Rader 1423. Raines, p. 83. Rittenhouse 694. Sabin 24968. Smith, The War with Mexico, p. 542.
Streeter, in his Bibliography of Texas (1413), best sums up the salient points of this book:
Folsom (1802-1869), although originally intending a career in law, turned to antiquarian and political pursuits. He assisted the American Antiquarian Society and became librarian of the New York Historical Society. In both positions he was instrumental in bringing a number of basic source materials for historical studies to publication. He also served in various political capacities, including that of the U.S. chargé d’affaires to the Netherlands.
The work has a short, interesting chapter on the cooperation of the Republic of Texas and Yucatan in their mutual rebellion against Santa-Anna’s dictatorship, including mention of the subsidized Republic of Texas Navy that protected the Yucatecans. Folsom documents important events leading up to and including the Texas Revolution. His comments on Mexico and Mexicans are unkind in relation to the Revolution; on the other hand, his comments about the country’s resources are fairly flattering, although his distaste for Santa-Anna is obvious.
This book is prized as much for its text as the unusual map, which shows the Republic of Texas in a rather bizarre configuration. A tall, wide Panhandle reaches to the Arkansas River. Though the Panhandle is wide, the outlining carefully retreats back to just east of Santa Fe. The southwestern boundary follows the Rio Grande and Pecos Rivers, relinquishing most of the Trans-Pecos West to Mexico. Phillips, America, p. 410. G.W. Lewis, who lithographed the map, is listed in Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers (revised edition), Vol. III, p. 128. Peters, America on Stone (pp. 264-265) attempts to piece together Lewis’ body of work (1841-1867), conjecturing that he may have been a stage-struck actor who supported himself with lithographic work. His map of Texas certainly reflects a dramatic flair. The advertisement at the front states: “The accompanying Map of Mexico, although small, conveys a more correct view of the country than any one hitherto published. Many towns have sprung up since the revolution that are not found on former maps; and notwithstanding the general accuracy of Humboldt, his magnificent atlas contains some errors.”
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