Manifest Destiny Gone Viral

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287. [MAP]. ENSIGN & THAYER (publishers). Map with pictorial broadside, all enclosed within a green border of stars and chains and red U.S. shields at each corner: [Title of broadside at top]: Ornamental Map of the United States & Mexico; [title of map] Map of the United States and Mexico Including Oregon, Texas and the Californias; [table at lower left corner of map]: Distances in Mexico...; [below lower border of broadside] Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1848, by Ensigns and Thayer, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York—Published by Ensigns and Thayer. 50 Ann Street New York; [vignettes, three portraits across top of broadside]: [1] Gen. Taylor; [2, untitled portrait of George Washington, flanked by seals of U.S, and Mexico, surrounded by flags, cornucopia, etc.]; [3] Gen. Scott; [long view below portraits]; Panoramic View from New York to the Pacific Ocean by the Contemplated Oregon Railroad; and An American Exhibiting to the Sovereigns of Europe the Progress of His Country; [map flanked on left and right by two columns with statistics on the 32 states, left column topped by pictorial vignette of Oregon; right column with pictorial vignette of California]; [3 scenes below map]: [1] Great Temple Dedicated to the Sun....Rufus Blanchard, 242 Main St., Cincinnati. Jos. Ward, 52 Cornhill St., Boston; [2] An American Exhibiting to the Sovereigns of Europe the Progress of His Country;[3] The Halls of the Montezumas...credited to D. Needham, 12 Exchange St., Buffalo, N.Y. New York, 1848. Cerograph map and pictorial broadside with full original showy bright color; map: 36.5 x 39 cm (map); map, text, vignettes: 74.5 x 54 cm. The minor condition problems mostly affect the blank margins, only slightly touching the image and map. Foxing (mainly confined to lower border), edges of blank margins browned, marginal chipping (including a larger void to top left blank margin). Despite the minor faults, this is a fine copy; most copies on the market are in terrible condition due to the cheap paper on which the the broadside was printed.

      Rumsey 2914 (slight variation of addresses). Streeter Sale 3872. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 557: “This map is much the same as 1846 Haven, 1. The highly-colored broadside of which it is part [has] portions...which are obviously the same as those on 1847 Phelps, though the maps differ radically.” Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Regions 28: “A flamboyant affair.... As in 1846—Haven, ‘Sutter’s Colony’ is given prominence in ‘New California,’ but no hint of the gold discoveries on either the map or the broadside that surrounds it.” A busy production expressive of Yankee aspirations achieved, perfectly capturing the concept of self-satisfied, fanatical U.S. Manifest Destiny dished up for the eager masses. If ever the term “the climax of cheapness” fit, this is it. In the Panoramic View from New York to the Pacific Ocean a dandified gentleman in top hat faces an audience of richly dressed European aristocracy and royalty. He gestures with pride to a busy scene behind him with a giant steamboat named “Union,” other ships, a train, a factory (all of these are belching noxious, black fumes), a hot air balloon, and a city tapering away to majestic mountains.

     Texas is shown in the Emory conformation with the northern Texas border extending almost to the 40th parallel and taking in almost all of Eastern New Mexico. The northern border of Mexico is shown at the Rio Grande and Gila Rivers, but runs from the confluence of the Gila and Colorado west, leaving San Diego in upper California. Text on map: “The Texians claim as their Boundary the Rio del Norte.”


Sold. Hammer: $750.00; Price Realized: $918.75.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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