“The first ethnographical map of North America which had real merit”—Henry Adams

“This is a new geography for American maps [with] an early mention of Jedediah Smith”—Wheat

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295. [MAP]. GALLATIN, A[lbert]. Map of the Indian Tribes of North America about 1600 A.D. along the Atlantic; & about 1800 A.D. westwardly. Published by the Amer: Antiq: Soc: From a drawing by Hon: A. Gallatin. Pendletons Lithography. [color key at lower left] Eskimaux... Athapascas... Algonkin-Lenape... Iroquois... Cherokees... Creeks... Choctas & Chicasas... Sioux... Black Feet... Pawnees.... Engraved map on thin paper, original hand coloring indicating tribal locations; neat line to neat line: 38 x 41 cm (map extends beyond border at upper left); overall sheet size: 41.5 x 46 cm; folded into book: Archæologia Americana. Transactions and Collections of the American Antiquarian Society. Vol. II. Cambridge: Printed for the Society, at the University Press [title verso: Cambridge: Folsom, Wells, and Thurston, Printers to the University], 1836. [iii-vii] viii-xxx, [2], [1] 2-573 [1, blank], [2, errata] pp., 8vo (25 x 15.5 cm), recent tan cloth, gilt-lettered dark brown leather label. Map: 2 splits at folds and short tear at juncture of map and book (no losses), minor toning at very edge of lower blank right margin, otherwise very fine and fresh with superb color. Book: Scattered moderate foxing to text, otherwise fine, with the errata leaf and list of members of the American Antiquarian Society, which are sometimes missing. Light contemporary pencil notations and marginalia throughout the Gallatin article. It is always preferable to have a map in situ with the book in which it appeared. In this case, Gallatin includes a discussion of his map at pp. 140-142 of his essay.

     First edition. The map appears in Gallatin’s article “A Synopsis of the Indian Tribes within the United States East of the Rocky Mountains, and in the British and Russian Possessions in North America” (pp. 1-422). American Imprints (1836) 37582. Hiram Chittenden, The American Fur Trade (New York, 1835), pp. 309 & 428: “Gallatin’s map settled many, and in fact nearly all, the important unknown and disputed questions in regard to the western portion of what is now U.S. Territory.” Field Auction (Supplement) 48. Holliday Sale 415. Graff 49. Howes G30 (remarking on map): “Best of western country up to this time”. Pilling 1391: “A general discussion on the construction of Indian languages, with examples in various tongues.” Miesse, Mount Shasta: An Annotated Bibliography MS78: “As far as is known, Gallatin’s map and Tanner’s map...are the first maps to give any name at all to present-day Mount Shasta.” Plains & Rockies IV:34n: “Shows Smith’s route to California, information undoubtedly taken from a manuscript map that is now lost.” Rader 1519. Rumsey 3388: “The map, in addition to its abundant information regarding the Indian Tribes, shows Jedediah Smith’s route of 1827 across the Great Basin, one of the earliest American maps to do so.” Sabin 1049. Soliday 890 (possibly more book dealer lore): “This volume is the scarcest of the series, as a large portion of the edition was burned at the Stationer’s Hall fire in Boston in 1836.” Sturtevant, Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 13, p. 1152 (and numerous citations throughout). Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West #417, Color frontispiece to Vol. 2, & Vol. II, pp. 151-152: “Gallatin’s map with its showing of Smith’s route to California was an achievement, as important for the imaginary geography which its author wisely eschewed as for the items he included.” For more on Tanner’s map, which vies for priority in using Jedediah Smith’s gleanings from his travels, see also herein: [ATLAS]. TANNER. A New Universal Atlas (1836).

     Cohen, Mapping the West, pp. 114-115 (with color illustration):

“Map of the Indian Tribes of North America” (1836) is the work of Thomas Jefferson’s secretary of the treasury, Albert Gallatin. He published the map at the age of seventy-Five after a long career as a financier, diplomat, and statesman in several of the early administrations of the United States. One of America’s most important early leaders, Gallatin is known in some lesser circles as the “Father of American Ethnology.” His serious interest in ethnology and geography germinated during Alexander von Humboldt’s visit to Thomas Jefferson in 1804 when Humboldt freely disseminated his fresh knowledge about the American West.... Some of the most useful materials Gallatin received for his studies were sent by Humboldt.... [Gallatin’s] remarkable treatise on American Indian vocabularies and grammars was published in 1836, “A Synopsis of the Indian Tribes” proved the foundation for all subsequent study of Indian ethnology; as John Wesley Powell loftily explained: “As Linnaeus is to be regarded as the founder of biologic classification, so Gallatin may be considered the founder of systematic philology relating to the North American Indians.”

In the “Synopsis,” Gallatin classified eighty-one Indian tribes, which he then divided into twenty eight families. From these families he established eight large language groups which became geographical entities on his map.... Gallatin’s map complements his study of languages, as it identifies the Indian tribes’ various language groups.... [Henry] Adams pointed out that Gallatin had not only “first established the linguistic groups of North American Indians,” but also “made the first ethnographical map of North America which had real merit.” The new information about Indians makes Gallatin’s map an achievement in itself, but he was also interested in physical geography and was one of the first to include information gleaned from the remarkable fur trader Jedediah Smith. On his map are dotted lines showing “J.B.[sic] Smith’s route 1826” and “J.B.[sic] Smith’s route 1827.”

     In addition to Gallatin’s major work on the Indian tribes of North America, this volume contains “An Historical Account of the Doings and Sufferings of the Christian Indians in New England, in the Years 1675, 1676, and 1677” by Daniel Gookin; “Description of a Leaden Plate or Medal Found Near the Mouth of the Muskingum, in the State of Ohio” by De Witt Clinton; “The Ruins of Copan, in Central America” by Don Juan Galindo; “Letter from the Rev. Adam Clarke, D.D., LL.D. to Peter S. Du Ponceau, LL.D.”; and “Obituary Notice of Christopher C. Baldwin, Esq.”

     The article on Copán is important for Maya history, containing Colonel Juan Gallindo’s account of his expedition to the archaeological site in present-day Honduras in 1834 on behalf of the government of Guatemala. Gallindo’s article is among the earliest, if not the first, account of Copán in English. Gallatin includes information from Dr. Sibley on Texas tribes, including the Caddo, Karankawa, and others.


Sold. Hammer: $1,200.00; Price Realized: $1,470.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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