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Auction 13: A Few Good Maps & Manuscripts

Lot 6

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6. [TREATY MAP]. [POCKET 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. Fourth Edition, 1847. Below neatline at left: Published by H. S. Tanner [remains of address slightly visible]. Below neatline at right: Entered According to Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by H. S. Tanner, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York. Two insets at lower left: (1) Table of Distances; and (2) Map of the Roads &c from Vera Cruz & Alvarado to Mexico. Insets at right margin: (1) Statistical Table; and (2) Harbour of Vera Cruz. Pocket map, folded into original 16mo purple blind-stamped cloth, upper cover gilt-lettered: TANNER’S TRAVELLING MAP OF MEXICO (covers present but detached). Engraved map with original full color and outline coloring. 57.3 x 73.2 cm (22-5/8 x 28-7/8 inches). A few light stains at old folds and one small void in Statistical Table (affecting only one numeral and a tiny segment of a vertical bar line), a few folds neatly reinforced on verso. Pocket folder faded from purple to brown, inside upper cover with Streeter’s notes, including provenance and indicating that he paid $4 in 1941).

     “Fourth edition” (dated 1847; copyright 1846); Lawrence Martin’s sequence (i). Streeter Sale 3824 (this copy). Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West #554 & Vol. III, p. 48. Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region #32n (listing the “Third edition” dated 1846, and mentioning that the Library of Congress owns a copy of the present edition); see also #33n.

     The alterations to the 1846 Tanner map which are included on the present map are important because they show updated geography based on Frémont’s explorations. Wheat in Mapping the Transmississippi West comments on Tanner’s 1846 improvements (#529): “The plate has been changed to follow Frémont in California, including the Great Basin. The southern boundary of California now extends from Pt. Mondrains northeast to the mouth of the Gila, while the United States boundary with Sonora is still much too far south. New Mexico is still confined to a narrow strip between the Rio Grande and the mountains that form the continental divide, all east of there being Texas, which ends at the Arkansas River. North of that stream the map has been altered to show the Parks and South Pass.” In Maps of the California Gold Regions, Wheat remarks on the 1846 updates (#32): “The ‘Old Spanish Trail’ from Santa Fé to Los Angeles is prominently displayed (though not identified) on this map, and Frémont’s route south from Nueva Helvetia to the Mojave Desert and on to Great Salt Lake is included. Large fanciful bays extend inland from Los Angeles and Ventura. Much of the California portion of this map is based on Frémont’s map, and it is similar to that listed as 1847--Disturnell.” Numerous changes can be seen in California, including addition of place names for Los Angeles and San Francisco and developments on the Mexican-American War front (such as Taylor’s troops on the Rio Grande in South Texas). Tanner boldly angled the boundary between Upper and Lower California to the southwest, to include Guaymas. Lawrence Martin points out that had Disturnell done likewise, the final boundary between Upper and Lower California might have been drawn quite differently in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

     This edition of Tanner’s map seems to appear on the market with more frequency than other editions. We sold a copy of this edition of Tanner’s map at our Auction 8 (November 1999) for $14,000 (one short split at fold with no loss, in original pocket covers, slightly faded and with one old ink spot, otherwise very fine). That same year Swann sold a slightly lesser copy (pocket covers present, tape repairs on verso) at $13,000. Old Print Shop offered a copy in 2001 at $12,500 (new pocket covers, small loss at right center panel, repaired and backed, some stains and splits, otherwise “good”). Antique Map Price Records documents one other offering by a dealer in 1989.      ($15,000-25,000)

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