Auction 117, Lot 204

"A Map of the Indian Territory Northern Texas and New Mexico Showing the Great Western Prairies", Gregg, Josiah

Subject: South-Central United States, Indian Territory

Period: 1844 (published)

Publication: Commerce of the Prairies

Color: Printed Color

14.9 x 12.3 inches
37.8 x 31.2 cm

This map was printed using the revolutionary cerographic process, a milestone in cartographic printing techniques. This early printed color technique was an important change in the way maps were produced and the only truly American cartographic publishing innovation.

This is a landmark map of the western territories, mapping the area from Missouri, Kansas and Louisiana to the Rocky Mountains. This is the first edition of this map, published just before the more common Morse and Breese atlas map, also dated 1844, but published in 1845. Morse and Breese are named as publisher of this map as well. It shows the northern part of the Republic of Texas reaching along the Rockies and has quite a bit of Indian Territory as well. New Mexico is shown, with Santa Fe as the destination of the route of the Santa Fe Caravans. The map has many tracks of explorers and other routes shown, with topography, towns, villages, smaller villages and ranches, Indian villages, forts, trading posts, ruins, springs, and camps. This would have been a very valuable map for anyone considering traveling across the prairie in the mid 19th century.

Josiah Gregg first went west in the 1830's to look for a cure for his tuberculosis. He recovered his health and traveled across the prairies as a merchant to Santa Fe, Texas and Mexico. He published his account of the region in 1844, which is the source of this map. Wheat calls this map a 'cartographic landmark'. The full title of Gregg's book is Commerce of the Prairies: Or the Journal of a Santa Fe Trader, During Eight Expeditions Across The Great Western Prairies, and a residence of nearly nine years in Northern Mexico. Illustrated with Maps and Engravings.

References: Wheat, (TMW) #482; Wagner & Camp 108.1.

Condition: B

Very good with folds as issued and with early cerographic printed color. There is one tiny pinhole in the map and a clean fold separation in the center. Map is fragile along folds and would benefit from professional backing.

Estimate: $500 - $700

Sold for: $1,000

Closed on 12/6/2006