[TEXAS]. TILDEN, Bryant Parrott, Jr. Notes on the Upper Rio Grande, Explored in the Months of October and November, 1846, on Board the U.S. Steamer Major Brown. Commanded by Capt. Mark Sterling, of Pittsburgh. By Order of Major General Patterson, U.S.A. Commanding the Second Division, Army of Occupation, Mexico. Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston, 1847. [i-iii] iv-v [1, blank],  8-32 pp., 9 folded lithograph maps. 8vo (23.5 x 15 cm), original blue printed wrappers. Light scattered foxing, especially to first and last few leaves, discrete Library of Congress embossed stamp on title page and pencil call number on verso, maps with uniform light age toning with a few marginal chips, but all professionally backed. Overall, an excellent copy.
 A Sketch of the Upper Rio Grande Explored in the Months of October and November 1846 on Board the U.S. Steamer Major Brown Commanded by Capt. M. Sterling of Pittsburgh under the Direction of Lieut. Bryant P. Tilden, Jr. 2d. Regt. U.S. Infantry by Order of General Patterson U.S.A. Commanding the 2d. Division of the Army of Occupation in Mexico. Lith. of T. Sinclair. [Upper right]: No. 1. 21.3 x 37 cm.
 [Plus 8 additional untitled detail maps of the river, numbered in upper right]: No. 2 [to] No. 9. [Lettered in lower right corner (except one in lower left)]: Lith. of T. Sinclair. [Map No. 5 two views on one sheet]. Various sizes. All the maps put together form a strip map of the river.
First edition of a rare and important work on Texas and the Mexican-American War, giving an account of a river journey from Camargo at the mouth of the Rio Grande, up the Rio Grande nearly 300 miles to Presidio del Rio Grande. Connor & Faulk 766 (“rare little book”). Garrett & Goodwin, p. 144 (photocopy). Graff 4151. Haferkorn, p. 87. Howes T264. Raines, p. 206. Sabin 95874.
Tilden’s maps and detailed text constitute an excellent source for conditions along the Rio Grande during the early campaigns of the Mexican-American War. The primary purpose of the mission was to determine the feasibility of opening steamboat communications as far up river as Presidio del Rio Grande, then the crossing point on the river for traffic between San Antonio and Monclova. Tilden’s party left on their expedition October 1, 1846, less than a week after the Battle of Monterrey. They were unable to proceed farther than Laredo by water and made the last leg of the journey up on horseback and down by dugout canoe. Text includes descriptions of towns along the route (Mier, Laredo, Presidio del Rio Grande, etc.), the countryside, and encounters with Mexicans. The maps, with their interesting notations, show the Rio Grande from Camargo to the Presidio del Rio Grande, and are the most accurate and informative published maps of the area to date. A vital work on the river that would finally form the boundary between Texas and Mexico. See J.B. Wilkinson, Laredo and the Rio Grande Frontier (pp. 204-207) for a discussion of the Tilden Expedition.
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