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Lot 105

One of the First Maps to Show Texas as a State

105. [MAP]. MITCHELL, Samuel Augustus. Pocket map with text:

Text: Accompaniment To Mitchell’s New Map of Texas, Oregon, And California, with The Regions Adjoining Philadelphia: S. Augustus Mitchell, N.E. Cor. Market and Seventh Sts. 1846. 46 [2 blank] pp., folding map. 12mo (height: 13.5 cm; 5-1/4 inches), original plain blue wrappers with upper wrapper used as pastedown (as issued). Second signature signed both 2 and B. Except for minor insect damage to lower wrap, very fine. Minor shelf wear and some small spots, corners lightly bumped, but generally fine and bright. Pencil ownership inscription of California bibliographer Carl I. Wheat dated 1933. Preserved in dark green morocco and tan cloth slipcase with chemise.

Map: A New Map of Texas Oregon And California With The Regions Adjoining. Compiled from the most recent authorities. Philadelphia Published by S. Augustus Mitchell N. E. Corner Of Market & Seventh Streets. 1846 Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1845 by H. N. Burroughs in the clerks office of the District Court of the eastern district of Pennsylvania. Lithograph map within pink ornamental border, on bank note paper, original full color (boundaries in outline shading, Western regions, Baja California, Texas, and border in wash), folded into covers. Neat line to neat line: 56.4 x 51.7 cm (22-1/8 x 20-3/8 inches). Text at lower left: “Explanation” and “Emigrant Route From Missouri To Oregon.” Folded as issued in original cover, from which it is now cleanly separated. Other than a few tiny holes at folds (no losses), very fine. Quality of coloring in this map varies considerably, but this copy is skillfully colored, with good color retention.

Cover: Texas, Oregon And California (in gilt on upper cover). Original embossed green roan, salmon pastedown. Contemporary ownership inscription of Jos. Allen in ink on front pastedown and pencil on front free endpaper.

     First edition. Baughman, Kansas in Maps, p. 35. Braislin 1268. California 49: Forty-Nine Maps of California from the Sixteenth Century to the Present 25. Cohen, Mapping the West, pp. 134-135: “Mitchell’s `New Map of Texas, Oregon and California’ was the most popular of the West published up to that time, and in many ways it defined the American public’s view of the country’s changing geography.” Cowan II, p. 433. Day, 387. Graff 2841. Holliday Sale 787. Howes M685. Littell 742. Martin & Martin, pp. 134-135, Color Plate XI (p. 56). Plains & Rockies IV:122b. Schwartz & Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America, p. 276. Sabin 49714. Smith 2529. Streeter Sale 2511. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 520, Vol. III, p. 35. Wheat, Maps of the Gold Region 29, pp. xv-xvi.

     This map and its accompanying emigrant guide have been widely and frequently praised as the most accurate and current information then available in separate cartographic form for the regions shown. According to the accompanying pamphlet: “The chief authorities from which the map is compiled, are the Congressional Map of Texas, 1844, Kennedy’s Map of Texas by Arrowsmith, Mitchell’s Map of Texas, Ward’s Map of Mexico, Fremont’s Map of his explorations in Oregon, California, &c., 1842, 1843, 1844, Map of Lewis and Clarke’s tour, Major Long’s tour to the Rocky mountains, Nicollet and Fremont’s exploration of the country between the Mississippi and Missouri, the Congressional Map of the Indian territory, and Mitchell’s Map of the United States” (p. 3). For those contemplating the journey west, the Oregon Road and the Santa Fe trails from Independence, Missouri, are shown and a table of distances between Westport and Oregon City is printed. Even with these advances, however, the map also makes clear the vast stretches of Old Mexico and the West that remain unknown and unexplored. Much of California and the rest of the West is shown basically featureless; “California” occupies basically the entire area of modern-day California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. The map also shows an early depiction of Texas as a state of the Union, complete with all its extravagant territorial claims, including a Panhandle that stretches north to the 42nd parallel and a border on the Rio Grande. This map has been updated, however, to show Texas divided into counties instead of empresario grants.

     What information the map may lack is in many ways supplied by the pamphlet, which discusses Texas, Oregon Territory, California, Iowa, Indian Territory, and Missouri Territory, but the majority of which is devoted to the first three. In several respects, some of the remarks about Californians are astounding, even for the time: “Descended from the old Spaniards, they are unfortunately found to have all their vices, without a proper share of their virtues.... Their amusements are cock-fighting, bull and bear-baiting, and dancing...always accompanied with excessive drinking.... The female portion of the community are ignorant, degraded, and the slaves of their husbands.... The Indians of Upper California are indolent and pusillanimous... they are all extremely filthy in their habits” (pp. 28-29). On the other hand, Texas, the success of which Mitchell clearly wishes to promote, is made to sound like an earthly paradise. Oregon, which Mitchell wants the United States to incorporate, is also described favorably at great length. By contrast, the Missouri Territory is only briefly touched upon in an almost dismissive manner. ($12,000-20,000)

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