The Rare Rosa Plagiarism of the Treaty Map

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400. [MAP: TREATY OF GUADALUPE HIDALGO SEQUENCE]. ROSA. Mapa de los Estados Unidos Mejicanos Arreglado a la distribucion que en diversos decretos ha hecho del territorio el Congreso General Mejicano. Paris, 1851. Publicado por Rosa [inset map at lower left] Mapa de los Caminos &c. de Vera Cruz y Alvarado a Mejico [above inset map] Tablas de las Distancias. Paris, 1851. Engraved map with original pale blue outline coloring, sectioned and mounted on cartographical linen (18 sections); neat line to neat line: 57.7 x 72 cm. Light to moderate browning and staining, a few pinholes in blank margins. Professionally conserved and remounted on linen. Fine copy of an extremely rare map.

     Second edition of the Rosa version of the Treaty map. According to Colonel Lawrence Martin, the Rosa map was first published in 1837. This 1851 edition is identical to Rosa’s 1837 edition except for the changed date in the title and the hand-colored boundary lines. OCLC locates 7 copies of the 1837 edition (of which one is a ghost) and only 2 copies of this 1851 edition: Yale and University of Texas at Arlington (the latter actually a photocopy). The Bancroft Library, the Benson Latin American Collection at the University of Texas at Austin, and the DRT Library at the Alamo each hold a copy of the 1837 edition; Tulane recently acquired a copy of the 1851 edition. Martin, “Disturnell’s Map” in Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America Edited by Hunter Miller (Vol. V, pp. 343-344):

An independent plagiarism of Tanner’s map of Mexico.... This map was brought into the argument concerning the boundary marking in 1853. It is a literal copy of Tanner’s map, taken from the 1834 edition on the original scale and translated into the Spanish language. The essential respects in which Rosa’s plagiarism differs from Tanner’s map of Mexico are three in number: [a] the statistical table in the Gulf of Mexico is omitted; [b] in the table of distances, the village of Cordova is replaced by the village of Ayotla, but the distance from Mexico City is not modified; [c] the hand-colored northeast-southwest boundary between Upper and Lower California on Tanner’s 1834 map is replaced by an engraved boundary in the same position on Rosa’s 1837 plagiarism. Another edition of Rosa’s map was printed in 1851.

Cf. Martin & Martin, Plates 37 & 38. Rittenhouse, Disturnell’s Treaty Map, p. 14: “When the boundary disputes arose after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo..., three publishers’ maps were brought into the argument—the Tanner map, the Disturnell map, and the Rosa map.” Streeter Sale 233. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West #429: “A palpable plagiarism of Tanner’s Mexico.”

     That Rosa would have reissued the 1837 plagiarism of Tanner is not surprising, given the ever-increasing interest in the American West and the California Gold Rush. Curiously, the Texas-Mexico boundary line on our map follows the Nueces River rather than the Rio Grande as set by the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. Rosa’s colorists must have been uncertain because the boundary line in each of the two 1837 Rosa maps that we have handled is also different. The map in our Auction 22 marked the Rio Grande as the boundary and the southern border of New Mexico extends from just north of Paso to an unnamed river that flows northwest to the Gila; the map in our Auction 19 used the Nueces as the boundary with Tamaulipas but showed no boundary for Coahuila and Texas, and the New Mexico line extends from north of El Paso to just west of the Burras Mountains.

     This rare European map is the most elusive link in the evolution of the resounding Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo map, by which the final border between Mexico and the United States was set. When the University of Texas at Arlington acquired a copy of the 1837 Rosa map, Katherine R. Goodwin commented: “The library, prior to this acquisition, held editions of all the pertinent maps relating to the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo except the Rosa map. These holdings comprise a number of editions and states of the Disturnell map, the White, Gallaher and White map, and Henry S. Tanner’s maps, including that map’s cartographic sources. The addition of the Rosa map completes the sequence. The evolution of the treaty map is most important to the history of Texas and the United States, and especially to the history of the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848, the subsequent boundary disputes between the United States and Mexico, and the evolution of the boundaries of the state of Texas” (Compass Rose, Vol. XVII, No. 1, Spring 2003).

     We found little on Parisian publisher Rosa except a surname. Rosa published books and maps about Mexico and Latin America around this time period. Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers (revised edition), Vol. IV, p. 71, locates Rosa (last name only) at Gran Patio del Palacio Real, Rue Calle de Montpensier No. 5 in Paris and notes three editions of a map of this title (1822[!], 1837, and 1851). Tooley remarks of Rosa’s Mapa de los Estados Unidos Mejicanos: “Translated by Rosa from Humboldt’s map of 1810.” (We do not know what to say about that supposed 1822 edition, except that Rosa did publish Humboldt’s Ensayo politico... with a map in 1822.) Tooley notes a later publishing partnership of Rosa y Bouret and two unrelated maps done in 1858. Other titles published by Rosa (or Rosa y Bouret) include: Alexander von Humboldt, Viage á las regiones equinocciales del nuevo continente, hecho en 1799, hasta 1804, por Al. de Humboldt y A. Bonpland (5 vols., Paris: En Casa de Rosa, 1826); Nuevo curso completo de geografía universal física, histórica, comercial, industrial y militar.... (Paris: Librería de Rosa, 1844); Marcos Arróniz, Manual del viajero en Méjico ó compendio de la historia de la ciudad de Méjico....Colección Enciclopedia Hispano-Americana (Paris: Librería de Rosa y Bouret, 1858); Jesús Hermosa, Manual de geografía y estadística de la República Mexicana (Paris: Librería de Rosa y Bouret, 1859).


Sold. Hammer: $5,000.00; Price Realized: $6,125.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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