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2006 Catalog > James W. Abert and William G. Peck, New Mexico

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34. James W. Abert and William G. Peck. “Map of the Territory of New Mexico . . . 1846–7” (Washington, D. C.: Senate Executive Document No. 23, 1848). Published as a folding map in Report of the Secretary of War, Communicating in Answer to a Resolution to the Senate, a Report and Map of the Examination of New Mexico, . . . Feb. 10, 1848. Lithograph, black and white as issued. 25 1/2 x 19 3/8" with full margins. Sheet size: 26 x 20 1/4". Faint toning at old centerfold; old folds visible. Overall fine.

Price: SOLD.

According to Streeter, the present map is "probably the second issue of the first printed map of New Mexico made public by the War Department, the first issue having appeared without the name of the lithographer with the Abert report when that was printed in the House edition of Emory's Notes of a Military Reconnaissance." The second issue was folded into Abert's summation of his findings, Report to the Secretary of War, published in 1848. Abert and Peck, both officers with the Army Topographical Corps of Engineers, began their reconnaissance of New Mexico two years earlier, in 1846, shortly after the Mexican province surrendered to the American army. Their report combined a topographical survey with scientific data on the new territory's population, political organization, flora, fauna, and mining districts. Today, the report is considered a founding document in Southwestern literature. The map is fascinating for its highly detailed depiction of topographical features. It also shows towns, Indian pueblos, battle sites, archaeological ruins, and mines. It is an excellent example of this basic Santa Fe Trail document and a fundamental addition to any collection of New Mexicana.

Refs.: Becker Wagner-Camp, 143; Goetzmann, Army Exploration of the American West, pp. 144–149; Graff, 5; Howes, A11; Sabin, 57; Streeter sale, 168; Wheat, Mapping of the Transmississippi West, vol. III, p. 5.

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