— Copyright Dorothy Sloan 2013 —
Most Complete Version of Mitchell’s Mexican-American War Map with the Freshest Attainable News
Texas in Emory Conformation & Boldly Outlined in Brilliant Red
[MAP]. MITCHELL, S[amuel] Augustus. Map of Mexico, including Yucatan & Upper California, exhibiting the Chief Cities and Towns, The Principal Travelling Routes &c. Philadelphia: Published by S. Augustus Mitchell N.E. Corner of Market and Seventh Sts. 1847. Entered accordg. to Act of Congress in the Year 1847 by S. Augustus Mitchell, in the Clerk’s Office of the Dist Court of the Eastern Dist. of Pennsylva.; [inset plan on pink ground at top right, 15.1 x 16.4 cm] Battle Field of Monterey; [inset map below main map, with Mexican eagle and principal roads marked in red, 20 x 59.8 cm] Map of the Principal Roads from Vera Cruz and Alvarado to the City of Mexico, Including the Valley of Mexico, Mountains, Plains, Volcanoes, Lakes, &c. Compiled from the latest and best Authorities. By Geo. Stealey, Civil Engineer...; [elevation profile with table at right showing altitude at which various crops flourish, 17 x 59.8 cm] Profile of the Road between Mexico and Vera Cruz; flags marking battlefields of the Alamo, San Jacinto, Resaca de la Palma, Palo Alto, Monterey, and Cerro Gordo. Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, 1847 (copyright 1847). Lithograph map within decorative border, original hand-coloring with brilliant red outline coloring around Texas (in its Emory conformation with greatly extended Panhandle), border yellow, pink shading to battle plan at top, Mexico in full color, border to border: 81.5 x 59 cm, overall sheet size: 82.2 x 60.3 cm, folded into pocket covers (13.5 x 8.3 cm), original burgundy roan, elaborately blind embossed on both covers, lettering in gilt on upper cover: MEXICO, printed leaf affixed to verso of upper cover: Extent and Population of Mexico. Professionally backed on thin, archival paper (a few minor losses and light browning at folds), otherwise very fine in the desirable pocket covers, with original vivid coloring, and much better condition than usually found.
The expanded, most complete, and final edition of a Mexican-American War map that enlarged in size and detail as the war progressed. The present map is Rumsey’s “third edition” (4594), the issue with the battle plan at upper right entitled Battle Field of Monterey, rather than The Late Battlefield (Rumsey 3119). In this revised and enlarged edition the battle plan has been redrawn with a new title and showing less area east of the city. Also added is the Map of the Principal Roads from Vera Cruz and Alvarado to the City of Mexico and profile below, but indicating longitude 8.7 to 11.9 (earlier edition indicates 8.5 x 12.1); area shown, however, is the same. In the present version, many place names have been added (such as Yerba Buena in California), as well as additional battle flags. The first issue is thought to have had the inset map at upper right uncolored. Streeter Sale 3869. TCU, Going to Texas: Five Centuries of Texas Maps, Plate 32, pp. 70-72. Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region 35. The first version came out in 1846 (Streeter Sale 3868, Taliaferro 284, and Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 548), followed by an edition in 1847 adding towns in Northern Mexico (Rumsey 3119). Garrett & Goodwin, The Mexican-American War, p. 417 (unspecified early issue).
This map is a simplified, adapted version of Mitchell’s well-known 1846 New Map of Texas, Oregon and California with the Regions Adjoining. At the time, Mitchell was among the leading map publishers in the United States. See: California 49: Forty-Nine Maps of California from the Sixteenth Century to the Present 25. Cohen, Mapping the West, pp. 134-135. Cowan II, p. 433. Graff 2841. Howes M685. Martin & Martin, pp. 134-135, Color Plate XI (p. 56). Plains & Rockies IV:122b. Rumsey 534. Schwartz & Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America, p. 276. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 520, Vol. III, p. 35. Wheat, Maps of the Gold Region 29, pp. xv-xvi.
The present map is one of a series of popular maps cartographical publisher Mitchell began to publish at the outbreak of the Mexican-American War. As soon as the conflict was under way, Mitchell saw that there would be a demand for maps detailing the events in this far-off corner of the continent, so he quickly came out with a folded map of Mexico with Texas boldly shown with a red outline in its relative position, its panhandle extending to the 42nd parallel. The map was very much a war map, with topographical information kept to a minimum, but roads, towns, political divisions, and rivers clearly shown. Mitchell updated this map as news of events arrived, adding, for instance, flags indicating the sites of recent battles and other details such as rivers, towns, tribes, and Mayan ruins.
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