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Lot 0239

[MAP]. MITCHELL, Samuel Augustus (publisher). Mexico & Guatemala: Published by S. Augustus Mitchell, N.E. corner of Market & 7th. Streets Philada. 1846. [inset map at upper right]: Guatemala [inset map at lower left]: Valley of Mexico. [right blank margin at bottom]: 36. [above neat line below]: Entered According to Act of Congress, in the Year 1846, by H.N. Burroughs, in the Clerk’s Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Lithograph map with original color (Mexico in full color, insets in partial color, Texas and pre-1848 U.S. uncolored), ornamental borders in pink and green. Border to border: 30.5 x 37.5 cm; overall sheet size: 32 x 38.5 cm. 12mo (12.5 x 8 cm) original black embossed roan covers with title in gilt on upper cover: Mexico. Map fine and bright, endpaper browned, light wear to pocket covers. A rare map in pocket form.

Early issue without the battle flags. Another issue appeared in an atlas. Atlas map issue: Day, Maps of Texas, p. 43. Ristow, American Maps and Mapmakers, p. 311. Rumsey 537.037. Wheat, Maps of the California Gold Region #27. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West #519 & pp. 34-35.

This map shows the territory of the Republic of Mexico on the eve of the Mexican-American War, and was frequently reissued and used by other publishers as a template as events of the war unfolded and political boundaries evolved. Texas is shown as a state with the Rio Grande border; located are Austin’s Colony, DeWitt’s Colony, the towns of Austin, Houston, Harrisburg, etc. Native tribes are located in Texas and throughout the Southwest. Upper California shows a still-sleepy San Francisco and locates “Russian Establishment” north of the town. Sonora extends into present-day U.S. and includes New Mexico and Arizona. Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Taos are included within the Texas borders.

The present map is much more than the title Mexico & Guatemala would imply. The map is dominated by the Transmississippi West and Mexico; Guatemala is relegated to an inset. The map was published just at the time when a large portion of what is shown on the map would be transferred from Mexico to the U.S. As Wheat (#519) notes, it is based on Frémont’s important 1845 map. The map retains the older place names in Texas, such as Austin’s Colony, while adding new towns. Texas is shown as an independent entity with its western border at the Rio Grande rather than the Nueces, and its Panhandle thrusts somewhat ambiguously all the way into northern Mexico as far as Taos, or possibly beyond Pike’s Peak. Truly, geography was in flux in that pivotal year. The map was also published in Mitchell’s New Universal Atlas, the copyright to which he acquired from H.S. Tanner in 1846; the number “36” occurs on both the present pocket map and the atlas version. According to Phillips (Atlases 6101), the Mitchell’s atlas was a reissue of Tanner’s New Universal Atlas. In Mitchell’s atlas form, the map locates the early battles of the Mexican-American War from Palo Alto to Buena Vista. However, the present pocket map shows none of those battles, thus indicating its preliminary nature as a map issued before the conflict truly heated up. This map would be the seed for Mitchell’s New Map of Texas, Oregon and California and his series of Mexican-American War maps (1846-1848) that kept growing ever longer as the war progressed.


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[MAP]. MITCHELL. Mexico & Guatemala. 1846

Estimate $750 - $1,500Dec 15, 2016
P.O. Box 4825
Austin, TX 78765
United States
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