2007 Catalog, William R. Talbot Fine Art, Antique Maps & Prints Home

2007 Catalog > 26. Bartlett, Map of United States and Mexico Boundary.


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26. John M. Bartlett. “General Map Showing the Countries Explored & Surveyed by the United States & Mexico Boundary Commission in the Years 1850, 51, 52, & 53” (New York: J. H. Colton & Co., 1854). Published in Personal Narrative of explorations and incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, and Chihuahua, connected with the United States and Mexican Boundary Commission, during the years 1850, ’51, ’52, and ’53 (New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1854). Lithographed folding map in black and white, as issued. 15 x 19 1/4" at neat line. Sheet size: 16 1/4 x 21 1/2". Slight toning at left edge of sheet; very faint damp stain in l. l. and u. l. corners along old fold; right margin uneven where formerly bound into book; areas of very light transference. Overall an excellent, bold impression.

Price: SOLD.

Bartlett’s remarkable map of 1854 covers more area than its title indicates. It shows the entire United States west of the Mississippi, with particular emphasis on land recently acquired from Mexico. It is one of the first maps of the West to reflect the Gadsden Purchase, which resolved the controversy over the U.S.–Mexico boundary. The Gadsden Treaty, implemented in 1853, secured for the United States the lands south of the Gila River and west of the Rio Grande in what is now southern Arizona and New Mexico. The treaty was negotiated to correct an error on the Disturnell map in which a critical portion of Arizona, coveted for the southern transcontinental railroad route, was retained by Mexico.

As boundary commissioner appointed to carry out the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Bartlett prepared several maps over a series of years reflecting the boundary negotiations with Mexico. This map is the final one of the series. It was privately printed by J. H. Colton for Bartlett’s Personal Narrative of explorations and incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, and Chihuahua, Connected with the United States and Mexican Boundary Commission, during the years 1850, 51, 52, and 53 (1854), which became a standard early source of information about Texas and the Southwest. Wheat calls the map excellent: “It shows the enlarged Utah and New Mexico of that day; it is one of the first commercial maps to show Jackson Lake east of the Three Tetons, and its interior of California is creditable, though the mining region is place too far east. . . . One very enterprising feature for so early a map is a dotted-line (if unlabeled) showing the Gadsden Purchase boundary.”

A finely detailed map with much interesting information, it is one of the earliest and most important maps of the post-Gadsden Southwest.

Refs.: Howes, B201; Sabin, 87268; Wagner-Camp, 234:1; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, vol. III, no. 798; pp. 237–238.

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