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2007 Catalog > 2. Emory, Military Reconaissance of the Arkansas


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2. William H. Emory “Military Reconnaissance of the Arkansas, Rio Del Norte and Rio Gila” (Baltimore: E. Weber & Co., 1847). Published in Notes of a Military Reconnoissance (Washington: Wendall and Van Benthuysen, Printers, 1848 [Sen. Ex. Doc. No. 7, 30th Cong., 1st sess.]). Lithographed folding map in black and white, printed on three sheets and joined as issued. 30 x 67" at neat line. Sheet size: 31 3/4 x 70 1/2". Old repaired split along central horizontal fold; a few repaired corner splits; intermittent creasing. Excellent overall, especially considering the size of the map.

Price: SOLD.

Emory’s large Mexican-American-period map shows the route of Colonel Kearny and his Army of the West as they traveled from Fort Leavenworth to Los Angeles via Santa Fe and San Diego. An outstanding map, it accompanied Emory’s superb study of the lands newly acquired from Mexico. Wheat praises it in no uncertain terms: “The map possesses an importance much greater than many of the more showy performances of the period. Its carefully fixed points enabled other map makers to orientate entire regions not hitherto properly tied into known geographic positions. In many respects, Emory’s map was the most important milestone in the cartographic development and accurate delineation of the Southwest. In its period only the similarly scientifically based reconnaissance maps of Fremont were its equal. . . . It tied the country together on a route at its extreme south, and was to become of great value when the boundary of the United States and Mexico was traced a few years later.” Wagner echoes Wheat’s sentiments, calling the map “the first accurate depiction of that vast area. [It] is still regarded as one of the landmarks of American cartography.”

A fine example of Emory’s landmark map of the Rio Grande corridor and the lands north and south of the Army route taken to California.

Refs.: Graff, 1249; Howes, E145; Wagner-Camp, 148: 1, no. 4; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, vol. III, no. 544, pp. 7–8.

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