Exceedingly Rare Tanner Map in the Treaty Map Sequence:
The First to Show the Alamo & the Battle of San Jacinto

Thomas W. Streeter’s Copy

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398. [MAP: TREATY OF GUADALUPE HIDALGO SEQUENCE]. TANNER, H[enry] S[chenck]. A Map of the United States of Mexico, as Organized and Defined by the Several Acts of the Congress of That Republic, Constructed from a Great Variety of Printed and Manuscript Documents by H.S. Tanner. Second Edition, 1837. [below neat line at left] Published by H.S. Tanner, No. 144 Chestnut St. Philadelphia [below neat line at right] Entered According to Act of Congress, the 2nd. day of April, 1832, by H.S. Tanner of the State of Pennsylvania [inset at lower left] Table of Distance [inset map at lower left below table] Map of the Roads &c from Vera Cruz & Alvarado to Mexico [in Gulf of Mexico] Statistical Table. Philadelphia, 1837. Copper-engraved map on bank note paper, original color (outline color for boundaries, full color for Texas and Mexico including the latter’s territories in California, New Mexico, etc.); neat line to neat line: 57.4 x 73.6 cm; overall sheet size: 59.3 x 75.4 cm. Original pocket covers present (but detached), original purple cloth embossed with floral design (16.4 x 8 cm), lettered in gilt on upper cover: Mexico. Thomas W. Streeter’s copy with his distinctive pencil notes on inside front pocket cover: “...shows Texas as part of Mexico. Acquired April 1927. Scale 80+ miles to inch.” Map backed with archival tissue. A bit of very mild age-toning where formerly folded, a few neat repairs and very minor losses at folds, overall fine with good, strong color. This 1837 edition is exceedingly rare in commerce and in institutional holdings (none listed in OCLC or American Imprints). This copy of Mr. Streeter’s is the only copy we have been able to find.

     “Second edition” (dated 1837; copyright April 2, 1832) of Tanner’s Map of the United States of Mexico, first published in 1825, and the genesis of the subsequent boundary dispute involving Disturnell’s map. The present edition is not listed by Col. Martin, but it is an intermediary version between Col. Martin’s (d) and (e). (Colonel Lawrence Martin, “Disturnell’s Map” in Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America, Edited by Hunter Miller, p. 342). Not in other standard sources, other than the Streeter Sale (Lot 3824; in which the present map was one of the seven Tanner maps offered in a single lot, the seven maps selling for a total of $40). For more on Tanner’s map, see: Ristow, “John Disturnell’s Map of the United Mexican States,” in A la Carte, pp. 207. Jackson, Shooting the Sun, pp. 387-389 & Plate 87. Rittenhouse, Disturnell’s Treaty Map, pp. 13-14. Rumsey 5176. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 364, & Vol. II, pp. 229-230 (setting forth Lawrence Martin’s sequence of editions of Tanner’s map and Martin’s commentary). Schwartz & Ehrenberg, p. 276. Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region 32 & 33. Other maps in the Treaty Map sequence are White-Gallaher-White (copied from Tanner 1826); Rosa (copied from Tanner’s 1834 map); Disturnell (copied from White-Gallaher-White 1828). See herein for examples of these maps.

     Martin & Martin, Maps of Texas and the Southwest, 1513-1900 p. 137 (entry to White-Gallaher-White & Disturnell):

In 1822, perhaps the most prestigious map publisher in the United States, Henry S. Tanner, issued a new map of North America based upon the leading authorities of the day. In 1825 he reissued the southwestern portion of this map on a larger scale entitled Map of the United States of Mexico. In 1828, following the considerable popularity of Tanner’s map, the firm of White, Gallaher, and White located in New York, issued a copyrighted, but plagiarized Spanish translation of Tanner’s map. The same plates were used in 1846 by John Disturnell to issue his own copy of the earlier map, on which he merely substituted his name as the publisher. Outbreak of the United States’ war with Mexico in that year resulted in Disturnell’s map becoming a highly successful enterprise. It received widespread acceptance as an authority for the geography of the greater Texas region.

     Stephen F. Austin’s surveys are shown in Texas, and Tanner was the engraver-publisher for Austin’s cornerstone map of Texas. Shown on the map are the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto (Bat. 21. Apl. 1836, next to Lynchburg). This 1837 edition is the earliest of the Tanner sequence maps to show the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto, which Tanner first engraved on Stephen F. Austin’s 1836 map of Texas (see herein). “Tanner published several important maps of Texas and Mexico, which increased his reputation as the premier cartographer in America. His model of Mexico and the Southwest came into general usage very quickly replacing the Humboldt/Arrowsmith view and making him the logical choice as a publisher for Austin’s map of Texas” (Jackson, Shooting the Sun pp. 527-528). The pocket covers are the same as those used on the 1836 edition of Stephen F. Austin’s map of Texas, except that on the Texas map, the gilt-lettered title Mexico on the upper cover of the present map has been covered with a blue printed paper label.

     Austin’s colonies are now shown, as well as DeWitt’s Colony. Changes from the first edition include a much more accurately delineated coastline and interior. River names are added and corrected (e.g., Llano River is listed and located). San Sabia with a cross to denote a mission is no longer present; and instead is the designation Silver Mines between the San Saba and Llano Rivers. Other name changes include: St. Antonio de Bejar which is now S. Antonio de Bexar; Bay of S. Bernardo changed to Matagorda Bay; Bahia changed to Bahia or Goliad; etc. It would be interesting to compare place names and changes on the Tanner maps that Col. Martin lists, but we have been unable to locate either of the previous “second editions” (1832 and 1834). As for Tanner’s delineation of Texas on the present map, Texas is definitely set out as a separate political entity by full bright yellow wash and darker yellow outlining. However, the place name engraving (Coahuila and Texas) has not changed. The word Coahuila is located in Mexico, and the rest of the phrase (and Texas) is in the delineation of independent Texas. The borders of Texas are in the early, more modest claim (before the attempt to get South Pass), with the southwestern boundary at the Nueces River, extending north to the Guadalupe Mountains which are still in New Mexico. The north and east boundaries are the Red River and the Sabine River.

     Henry Schenck Tanner (1786-1858), engraver and publisher, is “thought to be the first native-born American to devote his life to publishing” (Tooley). He and his brother Benjamin were partners in the firm of Tanner, Vallance, Kearny & Company until Henry went on his own to publish The New American Atlas (1819). “He established his well-known publishing company in Philadelphia and was the first person in the United States to publish a map of Texas, using Stephen F. Austin’s 1829 map. His map was published in 1830 and went through eight editions. Tanner is best known for his New American Atlas, published in five parts from 1818 to 1823, with a last edition published in 1839. He died in New York in 1858” (Handbook of Texas Online: Henry Schenck Tanner).

     As for the contention sometimes made that Tanner’s maps were wanting in accuracy and updating, it should be enough to remember that in a rapidly changing region, Tanner published at least five editions and eleven issues of this map from 1825 to 1847 (see Wheat, Tranmississippi West, Vol. II, pp. 89-90). Konstantin Dierks in his article “Geographical Ignorance as an Agent of Historical Change” in Huntington Library Quarterly, 74:2 (June 2011) discusses the connection between geographical knowledge as a driving force of the new imagination of the American West in advance of knowledge, policy, conquest, or settlement. He judges Tanner’s cartographic work as superior compared to most other mapmakers, because of Tanner’s use of the knowledge gathered in the extraordinary United States official surveys made and being made in the young nation. Dierks also points out that Tanner interacted with individuals who had actually travelled in the West. Having Stephen F. Austin as a source on the ground undoubtedly gave Tanner an advantage in delineating Texas and Mexico. Tanner’s maps rightfully were primary sources for cartographic intelligence of Mexico and the emerging Western territories for three decades. Little wonder that Tanner was also utilized, with or without permission, by the commercial sector; just as Tanner himself relied on the work of the great Humboldt (see herein), Lewis & Clark, Pike (see herein), Arrowsmith (see herein), Darby, et al.


Sold. Hammer: $16,000.00; Price Realized: $19,600.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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