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An Important Map of the Valley of Mexico



[MAP]. SMITH, Martin Luther & Edmund La Fayette 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]. Lithograph map with U.S. Army routes in red. 65.9 x 50 cm. Fold splits and light uniform browning.

First edition.

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.

In (as issued):

UNITED STATES. SECRETARY OF WAR (Marcy). Report of the Secretary of War, in Compliance with the Resolution of the Senate, a Map of the Valley of Mexico, from Surveys by Lieutenants Smith and Hardcastle. January 29, 1849. [Washington, 1849]. [1] 2-14 pp. 8vo (22.4 x 14 cm), disbound, some leaves loose, first leaf missing right upper corner with slight loss of text.

First edition (31st Congress, 1st Session, Executive Document 11). Garrett & Goodwin, pp. 430-431. Haferkorn, p. 31. Tutorow 1632.

Submits the reports of Smith and Hardcastle, noting that the map has already been submitted.


Report of the Secretary of War, in Further Compliance with the Resolution of the Senate of August 3, 1848, Calling for a Map of the Valley of Mexico, by Lieutenants Smith and Hardcastle.  January 29, 1849. [Washington, 1849]. [1] 2-14, [2, blank].  8vo (22.5 x 14.5 cm), disbound, slightly age toned.

First edition (30th Congress, 2d Session, Senate Executive Document 19).

Includes two reports by Smith and Hardcastle on the Battle of Mexico City.


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