Major Iconography for the Southwest & Borderlands
1. ABERT, J[ames] W[illiam].
Report of the Secretary of War...
Report and Map of the Examination of New Mexico....
ington, 1848]. 30th Congress, First Session, Senate Execu-
tive Document, No. 23. 132 pp., 24 lithographs, folding litho-
graph map of New Mexico + 11 lithographs from Abert’s
1846 report (
Message...Report of an Expedition...on the Upper
Arkansas and through the Country of the Comanche Indians, in the
Fall of the Years 1845
). Total: 35 lithograph plates with excep-
tionally beautiful watercoloring. The coloring of the plates is
in the same style, technique, and shades found in Abert’s own
copies of these reports with his original watercolors or per-
sonally hand-colored lithographs in the Beinecke Library at
Yale. This is an extra illustrated and annotated copy, with
extensive manuscript corrections, especially of botanical and
Spanish words, apparently in Abert’s hand, and pencil notes
on most plates indicating proper placement of plates within
text. Signed “Abert” on first plate. 8vo, modern full green lev-
ant morocco, spine gilt-lettered, raised bands, inner gilt den-
telles, marbled endpapers. Light intermittent foxing. Upper
inner corners with light waterstaining barely into plates.
Text and plates trimmed (a few plates shaved with occasion-
al loss of a few letters of title or imprint; a few of the manu-
script annotations are also trimmed). The map appears to be
supplied from another copy. Overall a very good copy, the col-
oring of the lithos quite lovely, fresh, and bright. The W. J.
Holliday copy, with his bookplate tipped in (front pastedown
with evidence of removal of former bookplate).
Upper Arkansas and Comanche Country Report, 1846
American Nineteenth Color Plate Books
, p. 1:
“Very fine colored lithographic plates. This item appears in
two forms, colored and uncolored, and the colored copies
have long been in substantial demand.” Graff 6. Howes A10.
Matthews, p. 297.
Plains & Rockies
IV:120. Raines 1: “Signifi-
cant and important.” Sabin 59. Streeter Sale 161 (Abert’s
copy, now at the Beinecke). These are the plates from Abert’s
1846 report on his 1845 trip from Bent’s Fort along the
Canadian River, back to St. Louis. Among them is an impor-
tant early lithograph view of Texas.
New Mexico Report, 1848
(printed report, map, and 24
plates): First edition of an early official U.S. publication relat-
ing to NewMexico. Graff 5. Howes A11. Pilling 2. Rader 3344.
Raines, p. 1: “Canadian Valley of Texas was part of region tra-
versed and described.” Rittenhouse 2: “A basic Santa Fe Trail
document.” Sabin 57. Streeter Sale 168: “First printed map of
New Mexico made public by the War Department.” IV:143.
Mapping the Transmississippi West
532. This report con-
tains Abert’s journal of the expedition from Fort Leavenworth
to Santa Fe and tour of NewMexico Territory immediately fol-
lowing U.S. acquisition. An extremely important work, initiat-
ing a scientific awareness of Southwestern geography and con-
taining some of the very first regional views. Abert’s report
includes valuable observations and illustrations of Hispanic
and Native American cultures of the Borderlands.
The Upper Arkansas Report was available (but is rarely
found) with the lithographs tinted by the lithographer. Abert,
however, complained that the copies so colored contained
errors, especially in the coloring of the flowers (see Holliday
Sale Lot 4 where this problem is mentioned). Because two of
the plates of this report present here have yucca flowers incor-
rectly colored yellow, it seems possible that the coloring on
Texas, California, the Southwest U.S.,
Mexico & the Borderlands
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