327. [MAP]. MELISH, John (publisher). Map of the United States with the Contiguous British & Spanish Possessions.... Philadelphia, 1816. Copper-engraved map, original full and outline coloring by state or territory, illustration of the U.S. national symbol of eagle and shield above title; neat line to neat line: 89 x 146 cm; overall (including selvage): 91 x 149.5 cm; sectioned and mounted on contemporary cartographical linen (40 sections), original pale bluish grey silk selvages, original tan and blue marbled paper backing on verso of two sections. Other than discoloration of linen backing, the map is very fine and fresh with only a touch of barely noticeable light foxing to a few sections, with exceptionally brilliant coloring. In very worn and split original pull-off covers. With the map is the following book: MELISH, John. A Geographical Description of the United States, with the Contiguous British and Spanish Possessions, Intended as an accompaniment to Melish’s Map of these Countries....Third Edition. Philadelphia: Published by the Author, 1818. 4 engraved maps (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore). 8vo, contemporary black roan over marbled boards. Very worn, fair copy only. American Imprints (1818) 44791. Howes M490.
First edition, Ristow’s fifth state. Ristow, “John Melish and His Map of the United States” in “À la Carte, Selected Papers on Maps and Atlases”, Library of Congress, Washington, 1972, pp. 162–182. Streeter Sale 3799.Cohen, Mapping the West, pp. 102–104. Edney, Matthew H., Mapping the Republic: Conflicting Concepts of the Territory and Character of the U.S.A., 1790–1900: “Melish dramatically expanded the geographical frame of the Republic. His initial concept, developed during the War of 1812, was to map the United States as far West as the Rocky Mountains. But he soon realized that it would be much better to extend the map all the way to the Pacific Ocean.... Melish foreshadowed the idea of ‘Manifest Destiny.’” Howes M490. Martin & Martin 26 (commenting that the map is “of lasting value” because of the “widespread dissemination of new information concerning Texas geography”). Rumsey 5168: “The first large scale detailed map made in the U.S. that showed the entire country from the Atlantic to the Pacific... Notwithstanding the many issues, the map has become extremely rare.” Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West 322, Vol. II, pp. 62–64: “A landmark map.” This map shows a feature labeled “Southern Pass,” perhaps a reference to present-day South Pass, Wyoming (Continental Divide), which, if true, would be the earliest such reference on a separately printed map to this feature. ($50,000-75,000)