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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....

. [Wash-

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


plates): Bennett,

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

Interesting books, broadsides, maps & ephemera

With a Selection of Etched Books by Bernhardt Wall

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous


Wednesday, February 15, 2006, 4 p.m.

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