Schoyer’s Pocket Map of the Young Republic
With a Fine Rendering of the Eagle from the U.S. Seal

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373. [MAP]. SCHOYER, Solomon. Map of the United States Drawn from the Most Approved Surveys Published by Solomon Schoyer. New York. Scale of Miles [diagrammatic scale] Engraved by G.W. Merchant Albany 1826. [lower left in the area of Mexico, large untitled engraving of eagle with wings displayed, wearing a shield with stripes, arrows in left talon and olive branch in its right, perched on an islet, in beak a banner titled E Pluribus Unum and 15 stars in background], prime meridians of Washington, D.C. and Greenwich. Albany, 1826. Copper-engraved map on banknote paper, original outline coloring (boundaries of states and territories); neat line to neat line: 41 x 51 cm; overall sheet size: 44.2 x 53 cm, folded into publisher’s stiff textured terracotta boards (15.5 x 10 cm), lettered on upper pocket cover (U. States). Some splits at folds (a few minor losses), fragile boards worn with contemporary ink notes. A rather fatigued copy of a mundane map. Often touted as rare, which does not seem the case either in commercial offerings or institutional holdings.

     First edition. Karpinski, Maps of Famous Cartographers Depicting North America (“Maps of the United States Naming Michigan” #84, p. 235) dates the map 1825, but the first imprint for the map listed by OCLC is 1826.Graff 3706. Rumsey 2201 (suggesting that the map is a slightly reduced copy of Finley’s map of the United States that appeared in pocket form and in Finley’s 1826 atlas). Not in American Imprints under 1825 or 1826. The map shows the Young Republic with its twenty-three states and the territories of Arkansas, Northwest, Michigan, and Missouri, the latter of which extends beyond the Rockies and to the present Canadian border. Locations of Native tribes are noted, particularly in the southeast. The map shows the area beyond Rio del Norte (Rio Grande), but the geography of Texas remains distorted and vacant for the most part. Locations and notations in Texas include Pass of Cavallo, Galveston Bay, I. of St. Luis, I. St. Fernando, Carancaways, Arcaquisas, the river system, and only a few interior towns, such as San Antonio. The Big Bend of the Rio Grande is reduced to a little bump. As for the eagle, although it has been suggested to be the Mexican eagle because of its location in Mexico, it is the eagle that appears on the Seal of the United States. One might read Manifest Destiny in this map, but all in all, more likely the map is a commercial map based on available maps of the day which incorporated information from the Louisiana Purchase and Missouri Territory.

     According to Mantle Fielding (p. 613) engraver George W. Merchant, also created “a well-engraved plan of the floor of the Senate chamber, at Albany [which] is used as a frontispiece to the Legislative Manual of the State of New York 1834.” The only map Tooley records for Schoyer is the present one.


Auction 23 Abstracts

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