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2006 Catalog > John Thomson, Spanish North America

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18. John Thomson. “Spanish North America” (Edinburgh: J. Thomson & Co., 1814). Published in A New General Atlas. Copperplate engraving with bright original full and outline hand color. 20 x 24 1/8" at neat line. Sheet size: 21 1/2 x 28" with full margins. Minor toning and transference. Excellent with strong color.

Price: SOLD.

Edinburgh publisher John Thomson based this beautiful map on the great Humboldt map of Mexico via Pinkerton’s version of Spanish holdings in North America and included it in his New General Atlas of 1814, one of the great English atlases of the period. Focusing primarily on Mexico, it includes all territory from Great Salt Lake south to the northern part of Guatemala. The map is oriented such that the border between the Louisiana Territory and the United States is located to the extreme east on the sheet, with New Orleans emphasized in bold letters. Santa Fe, the capital of Spanish North America, also figures prominently. At least part of the fascination of this map is the way in which the third-generation image mutates from its sources. Among its more interesting aspects are Thomson’s additions to the area that is now Texas. Texan place names are no longer “presidios” and have been expanded to include several Anglo names. This very attractive, elegant interpretation of the famous Humboldt and Pinkerton maps provides a significant link in the history of mapping the development of Spanish influence on the American frontier and remains highly rated for any Southwest collection.

Ref.: Phillips, Atlases, 731; Wheat, Transmississippi West, vol. II, p. 15; no. 320.

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