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

2007 Catalog > 27. Gray, Map of United States and Mexico Boundary.


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27. Andrew B. Gray. “Map of that Portion of the Boundary between the United States and Mexico from the Pacific to the Junction of the Gila and the Colorado Rivers . . .; showing also the Limits of the Territory acquired under the Treaty negotiated by Hon. James Gadsden, 1854” (New York: Ackerman Lith., 1855). Published in Report of the Secretary of the Interior, in Compliance with a Resolution of the Senate, of January 22, communicating a Report and Map of A. B. Grey [sic], Relative to the Mexican Boundary (Washington, D.C.: Sen. Doc. No. 55, 33rd Cong., 2nd sess., 1855). Lithographed folding map in black and white, as issued. 21 1/2 x 49 1/4" at neat line. Sheet size: 23 1/2 x 50 1/4". Three insets at bottom, l. to r.: “Sketch of the Port of San Diego,” “Table of References,” “Profile of Country from the Rio Grande to the Gulf of California, and from the Rio Grande to the Junction of the Gila and Colorado Rivers.” Old folds visible, faint toning at folds; minor glue and paper residue in u. l. margin where formerly attached to report. Overall, fine.

Price: SOLD.

Called by Wheat “a major performance,” this large, very detailed map incorporates the boundary changes determined by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) in setting the United States-Mexico border and shows the territory acquired under the Gadsden Purchase in 1853. The map covers an area from Los Angeles east to Fort Conrad, New Mexico, and south to El Paso and San Diego. It delineates two disputed boundaries that resulted from inaccuracies in Disturnell’s map and from John R. Bartlett’s botched survey agreement with the Mexican Boundary Commissioner Pedro Garcia Conde, which Andrew Gray, surveyor of the present map, refused to sanction (an annotation on the map states his opposition).

Gray insisted that the boundary with Mexico be placed on a line with El Paso, instead of 40 miles north of it as established by the Bartlett-Conde Line. Gray’s opposition was significant, according to Goetzmann, as Gray “believed that the area between 31˚ 45’ and 32˚ 22’ contained the only practicable route for a railroad across the Southwest to the Pacific.” The Gadsden Treaty resulted in the purchase by the Unites States of an area that now comprises lower Arizona and New Mexico to provide for the proposed southern route of a transcontinental railroad. The acquisition of land in this purchase defined the final boundaries of the continental United States. Gray was removed from office before the treaty was ratified, but the U.S. Congress nonetheless issued his map and report in 1855.

The map is remarkable for its large-scale details of topographical features, Indian and white settlements, wagon roads, missions, surveyor routes, notes describing the land, and proposed railroads. Now fairly rare, it is a cornerstone map for the Gadsden Treaty and a fine example of the quality of government survey work in the mid-nineteenth century

Refs.: Goetzmann, Army Exploration in the American West, pp. 176–179; Wagner-Camp, 254; Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West, vol. III, no. 820, pp. 238–239.

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