Dorothy Sloan – Books

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The Earliest Issue of a Popular Map

Taylor’s Campaign

<p>Entire map</p>


[MAP]. MITCHELL, Samuel Augustus (publisher). Map of Mexico, Including Yucatan & Upper California, Exhibiting the Chief Cities and Towns, the Principal Travelling Routes &c. Philadelphia: Published by S. Augustus Mitchell, N.E. Corner of Market and Seventh Sts. 1846. Entered According to the Act of Congress in the Year 1846 by S. Augustus Mitchell, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. [inset plan of Monterrey and surrounding area, at top right] The Late Battlefield. Flags marking battlefields of the Alamo, San Jacinto, Resaca de la Palma, Palo Alto, and Monterrey. Lithograph map on thin wove paper, within green decorative border; no outline color around Texas but it is in its Emory conformation with overreaching Panhandle; inset uncolored; Mexico and California in full color. Neat line to neat line: 44 x 64 cm; overall sheet size: 44.3 x 64.3 cm; plan at top right: 15.3 x 19.3 cm. Trimmed close, else very fine with excellent color retention. Lightly creased where formerly folded; washed and mounted on modern backing.

First edition, first issue of this popular, rapidly evolving map documenting progress of the Mexican-American War, here with inset plan at top entitled The Late Battlefield (uncolored); dated 1846; without the lower Road Between Mexico & Vera Cruz; and other later variations. The first edition came out in 1846 and is easily identifiable because the copyright and imprint date both read 1846 (Streeter Sale 3868, Taliaferro, Cartographic Sources in the Rosenberg Library 284).

The very first issue had the inset map at upper right uncolored. Various incarnations of this map have passed through our hands over the years, most of which exhibit evidence of persistent revision and the likelihood of a plethora of cartobibliographical variances deserving full analysis and study.

The map is a simplified, adapted version of Mitchell’s 1846 New Map of Texas, Oregon and California with the Regions Adjoining (see Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West #254). As soon as the conflict was underway, Mitchell saw that there would be a demand for maps detailing the events in the theater of war, so he quickly came out with a folding map of Mexico with Texas usually shown with a red outline in its relative position with its panhandle extending to the 42nd parallel. The map was very much a war map, with topographical information kept to a minimum, but roads, towns, political divisions, battle sites, and rivers clearly shown, all of which were updated in later iterations as the war progressed. This map covers only Taylor’s campaign.


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