Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

Mr. Philip D. Burden‚Äč
P.O. Box 863,
Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks HP6 9HD,
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 76 33 13

A fascinating detailed map of the Southwest as we know it today, before the big westward migration of the nineteenth century. It is by John Pinkerton (1758-1826) and is largely derived from the maps of Alexander von Humboldt in 1809, Aaron Arrowsmith and Zebulon Pike, both in 1810. The map is dated 1811 although the atlas was not published until 1815. As the title states the map covers the then Spanish possessions in North America which at that time extended significantly into the region. Louisiana at this point was part of the United States of America. It extends eastwards to the Mississippi River and as far north as St. Louis. The extensive river network of the Plains are displayed northwards to the Platte River. The Rocky Mountains extend to the region of present-day Colorado and are accurately displayed for the period. Extensive detail is also found along the Californian coast.

Amongst the features identified in the Explanation are the ‘Garrisons or Military Posts’ and ‘Royal Mines’. It is a map surprisingly omitted from most of the regional carto-bibliographies. It is found in either early outline colour, or magnificent early wash colour as here.

Even as early as 1811, hostilities were already brewing in present day Texas. The Spanish capital of the region is here labelled ‘Pres. De Bejar, Capital of the Province of Texas’, otherwise known as San Antonio. Following the attempts of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla to achieve Mexican independence from Spain in 1810, Juan Bautista de las Casas led a revolt in 1811 overthrowing colonial rule in San Antonio. The Casas revolt lasted but a few weeks before he was arrested and a few months later he was shot in the back and beheaded. His head was taken to San Antonio for public display.

John Pinkerton (1758-1826) was born in Edinburgh but moved to London in 1781. An historian and poet largely, he moved to London in 1781 and on to Paris in 1802. Hi publications failed in France and along with the political situation in that country, he decided to return to England. He was also the publisher of works on geography, but his largest atlas was the ‘Modern Atlas’ of 1815 from which this map is taken. Tooley does not cite any work by him after 1815. By about 1812 his financial situation had deteriorated again, and he moved back to Edinburgh. His final years were spent in Paris.

The maps are individually dated, the earliest being 1809 which is presumed to be the latest that the work commenced. It might be concluded that he stretched himself too far and that by 1812 he had sold his interest to others. The atlas was published by Cadell & Davies in the Strand and Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown of Paternoster Row. There was only the one edition. Not in Day (1964); ODNB; Phillips (1909-) 724; Rumsey 0732.045not in Taliaferro (1988); Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004); not in Wheat (1957).


Spanish Dominions in North America, Northern Part

Cadell & Davies & Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown, London, 1809-[15]
515 x 705 mm., lovely early wash colour, in good condition.
Stock number: 10940
$ 1,350
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