Dorothy Sloan – Books

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“Obviously a pot-boiler” (Wheat)


[PRINT]. PHELPS, ENSIGNS & THAYER (publishers). Ornamental Map of the United States & Mexico. 1847. [Along bottom]: Entered According to Act of Congress in the Year 1846, by Humphrey Phelps, in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York—Published by Phelps, Ensigns & Thayer, 36 Ann Street, New York. Broadside within decorative border with map, vignettes, and text, most with contemporary hand-color. New York, 1847. [Title of map]: “Phelps’ Ornamental Map of the United States and Mexico” with two statistical tables (35 x 48 cm); [vignettes at top]: [Cortez, George Washington (surrounded by flags, cornucopia, etc.), Montezuma; [vignettes and text at bottom]: United States great seal with statistical text; Taylor with text on Oregon; Great Pyramid with historical text; Santa-Anna with text on New Mexico and Californias; Mexican great seal with text and history. Image area: 72.2 x 53.7 cm; overall sheet size: 78 x 59 cm. Probably woodcut engravings. Overall slight toning, minor chips and old tape repairs in margins. Overall, very good. Most copies on the market are in terrible condition because of the cheap, friable paper on which the item was printed.

First edition. Mayer, México ilustrado, p. 107 (illustrated). Wheat, Gold Regions 36. Wheat, Transmissippi West, 551: “The route of the ‘Great Oregon Rail Road’ from Chicago [i.e., New York] to Oregon City is prominently marked in color.”

Another example of the limitless efforts of publishers to satisfy the public’s craving for war news. Printed after the Battle of Monterrey but before Scott’s invasion. The emphasis on Oregon reflects the other territorial conquest that was on citizens’ minds. “The flamboyant broadside...was obviously a pot-boiler” (Wheat, Vol. 3, p. 47).


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