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The First Large Scale Map of Mexico

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[MAP]. SALAS, José Mariano de. Ministerio de Guerra y Marina. Comision de Estadistica Militar [caption title]. [Mexico City, 1846]. Dated in type November 28, 1846. [2] [2, blank] pp. 12mo (21.5 x 15 cm), folded sheet. Very fine. On embossed paper. Rare. No copies on OCLC.

First edition. Not in usual Mexican-American War sources.

Salas reactivates the Military Statistics Commission, created on September 30, 1839, but which still has not completed its tasks, especially the publication of a general map of the republic and a geographical dictionary.

The map referred to is Pedro García Conde’s large scale map of Mexico that he was preparing when the war broke out. Santa-Anna called him back into active military service, and work on the map presumably stopped. Since then, it has totally disappeared. What is presumed to be a smaller-scale copy of it is in the possession of the SMGE in Mexico City. García Conde could not find a Mexican publisher who could do the map, so he approached European publishers. All he could manage was a small-scale version published in London by Benjamin Rees Davies. The members of the Comisión de Estadística Militar griped in 1848 about the lack of an accurate map: “How can one expect to understand the nation’s territorial extension, or consult regarding its defense, without the formation of a general map and one of each state and territory” (as quoted in Craib, Cartographic Mexico). No official map of Mexico appeared until Antonio García Cubas’ map of 1863.

García Conde (1806-1851) was the military commander of Chihuahua when Doniphan invaded. He was defeated at the Battle of Sacramento, after which he fled the state. He later served on the Joint Boundary Commission, but died during the survey.

A very important law that tried to remedy a great Mexican cartographic lack.


Sold. Hammer: $400.00; Price Realized: $490.00.

Auction 24 Abstracts

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