“The map is a most important one for its showing of political subdivisions of the West, and for its tracing of the ‘Mail Route’ on the route of the Butterfield Stageline”—Wheat

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64. BUTTERFIELD, Carlos. United States and Mexico. Commerce, Trade, and Postal Facilities Between the Two Countries. Statistics of Mexico. By Carlos Butterfield. Second Edition. New York: J.A.H. Hasbrouck & Co., Printers, No. 180 Broadway, 1861. [1-5] 6-109 [1, blank], [2], [1-3] 4-188 pp., 2 maps (1 double-page and uncolored; plus large folded colored map at rear). 8vo (23.2 x 15.2 cm), original brown pebbled blind-stamped cloth, spine gilt lettered. Lettering on spine dull, some binding wear (lower corners bumped, moderate stain at top corner), interior fine, large, colored map excellent. Laid in is a two-page government document on settling Butterfield’s claim (45th Congress, 3d Session, House Report 100, February 6, 1879). In the document, it states that Butterfield had contracted with the Mexican government to supply completely outfitted warships in the 1850s, but was never paid. A joint commission was appointed in 1868 to examine the claims of citizens of Mexico and the United States against each other, but the commission was not able to approve Butterfield’s case. Needing certified copies of State Department documents to pursue his claim, Butterfield is now too poor to afford them. The committee reports that he be given the copies.


[1] United States & Mexican Mail Steam Ship Line. Uncolored lithograph map showing steamship routes on the Gulf of Mexico. 27 x 22.6 cm. Bound after p. 9. Lightly foxed, else fine.

[2] Map of the United States and Mexico. Compiled from the Latest Authorities by Col. Carlos Butterfield. December 1860. Engraved by J. Bien 180 Broadway, New York. [at left] Table of Distances New York to Bremen... [at right] Table Showing the Route of the Western Steamers United States and Mexican Steam Ship Line... [lower right, short discussion of Columbus] Note: Columbus landed at San Salvador... [lower right at bottom, short discussion of the naming of America] Note: Ojedo followed Columbus.... Neat line to neat line: 71.2 x 76 cm; overall sheet size: 79 x 88 cm. Lithograph map on bank note paper in full original color, bright rose outlining of the states in the U.S. and Mexico. The map shows southern Canada, all of the United States, Mexico, and the northern portions of Guatemala and Honduras. Depicted are ocean shipping routes, mail and stage routes west, and four proposed railway routes west. A few minor, clean splits to blank margin (no losses), overall a very fresh, crisp copy with original vivid color.

     Second edition, with additional statistics not in the 1860 edition and with a new, revised large folding colored map. Sabin 9666n (citing the 1860 edition). Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 978n (citing the first version of the map): “Each state is brilliantly colored, and the West, which takes up a quarter of the map, is interesting.” Despite the wealth of statistical information on Mexico, not in Griffin, Palau, or Cortés Conde & Stein. Rumsey (2554) in the description of a similar pocket map identifies the precursor for this map as D.G. and A.J. Johnson’s 1857 wall map entitled New Map of the Union (Rumsey 0364).

     The map in the present 1861 edition of Butterfield’s book was made from a new stone, although it is approximately the same size as the map that appeared in the first edition (Map of the United States and Mexico. Published by Johnson & Browning under the direction of Col. Carlos Butterfield. December 1859; see Rumsey 3484). Here, for example, the depictions of steamships are absent, as is the inset map (Colton’s Map of the Americas, Africa, and a Portion of Europe, Showing the Atlantic and Part of The Pacific Oceans) at lower left. In the present edition, the map shows the area of approximately 47th degree north latitude (farther north than the first edition), but shows only south to the 14th degree of latitude (the present map shows more of Canada but less of Central America, the Isthmus, and the northern tip of South America). The present map substitutes a plain border for the elaborate grapevine border in the first edition. The northern border between Texas and Indian Territory is less accurately delineated. The emphasis of the present map narrows to rail and mail routes; such features as towns are almost entirely absent here.

     After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden Purchase, states and territories rapidly formed. Some differences between the first edition of the map and this second edition are: In the present map, Washington’s southern border with Oregon is not shown completely colored. The colored box around California, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona is missing. The Great Basin in Utah is not labelled. Both maps show New Mexico and Arizona divided horizontally rather than vertically, but this second edition does not name Arizona. Neither map shows Idaho. The most important overland mail route is the same on both versions of the map: “The route extends from Boonville southwest to Fort Chadbourne, on the Colorado (of Texas), thence west to El Paso del Norte, north to Doña Ana, in Arizona...and due west to Fort Yuma. From there the line extends northwest to the Pueblo de los Angeles, and on to its western terminus at San Francisco. The map is a most important one for its showing of political subdivisions in the West, and for its tracing of the ‘Mail Route,’ on the route of the Butterfield Stageline.”

     An excellent, lengthy source on Butterfield is Donathon C. Olliff’s, Economics of Mexican-United States Relations during the Reforma, 1854-1861 (Thesis, University of Florida at Gainesville, 1974), pp. 301-304:

Of the many Americans active in Mexico, Carlos Butterfield was the most notable for the duration, range, and intensity of his involvement. Butterfield’s activities in Mexico can be traced back to at least 1845 and he was still engaged as late as 1869. In addition to the Gulf mail steamer service mentioned earlier, his activities included service in the Mexican army, diplomatic agent for various conservative and liberal Mexican governments, diplomatic courier for the United States, arms agent for various Mexican regimes, purchaser of church property, loan agent and propagandist for the Juárez government, and the most prolific and insistent proponent of vigorous American economic expansion in Latin America. In addition to his Mexican activities, Butterfield appears to have been involved in Cuba and Venezuela, and at his death in 1880 his estate included a pending claim against the Danish government for over $1 million for unspecified damages suffered in the Danish West Indies.... Although he sprang from the same geographic area as John Butterfield, founder of the Butterfield Stage Lines and American Express, there is no evidence available to indicate whether there was any kinship. He was a graduate of a military academy but there is no record that he attended West Point or ever served in the American army.

     In addition to the two editions of the present book, Butterfield wrote several interesting works, including The Value of Spanish-America to the United States: The Promotion of American Commerce; How to Make the Monroe Doctrine Effective... (New York, ca. 1866); The National Debt and the “Monroe Doctrine”: How to Extinguish the One and Establish the Other: A Practical Plan to Secure the Peace and Prosperity of the Spanish-American States, and Greatly to Augment the Commerce and Wealth of the United States (ca. 1866). At one point, Butterfield declared that Spanish America ought to be “a large American farm” as India was to Britain (Butterfield’s correspondence to J.C.B. Davis, June 23, 1869, as cited in David M. Pletcher, The Diplomacy of Trade and Investment: American Economic Expansion in the Hemisphere, 1865-1900, (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1998, p. 181).Those publications and many of his activities were in support of the liberals in Mexican governments, who tended to favor him, if not pay him.

     According to the Papers of Jefferson Davis (1861), p. 78, Butterfield was a New York City-based speculator in steamship lines between Mexico and the United States. He also was involved in providing naval materials to the Mexican government. In most of these ventures he was unsuccessful financially. Butterfield was an ardent defender of Jefferson Davis after the Civil War and contributed financially to his legal defense. The editors of the Jefferson Davis Papers remark: “If Butterfield offered a proposal for a steamship line serving Mexico and the Confederacy, it has not been found.”


Sold. Hammer: $850.00; Price Realized: $1,041.25.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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