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Pingenot Auction, Lot 188

188. [MAP]. SMITH, M. L. & E. L. F. Hardcastle. Map of the Valley of Mexico with a Plan of the Defenses of the Capital and the Line of Operations of the United States Army under Major General Scott in August and September 1847.... New York: J. & D. Major’s Lith., [1850]. Lithographed map with U.S. Army routes in red. 65.9 x 50.0 cm (26 x 19-5/8 inches). A few short tears and light uniform browning.
         With this large-scale map is the following government document: Report of the Secretary of War, Communicating...a Map of the Valley of Mexico, from Surveys.... Washington: SED11, 1849. 8vo, disbound. Garrett, The Mexican-American War 430-31. Haferkorn, p. 31. Tutorow 1632. In the accompanying document, cartographer M. L. Smith (Lieutenant of the Topographical Engineers) writes to J. J. Abert (Colonel Corps Topographical Engineers) paying homage to the accuracy of Baron Humboldt’s map of the Valley of Mexico and stating that it was the only one in which they placed confidence for moving troops in to capture the city. He remarks, however, that he believes that the present map is the first survey of the valley ever made by triangulation. His colleague, E. L. F. Hardcastle, supplements the report with memoirs of the march made in his journal as events occurred. This sparse but pithy report has excellent details on military engineering, and the map is a great one for collectors of both the Mexican-American War and the cartography of Mexico.