Catalog Archive
Auction 118, Lot 158

"Map of the Western & Middle Portions of North America to Illustrate the History of California, Oregon and the Other Countries on the North-West Coast of America", Greenhow, Robert

Subject: Western North America

Period: 1844 (published)

Publication: The History of Oregon and California and other Territories of the North-West…

Color: Black & White

25 x 23 inches
63.5 x 58.4 cm

This is a great copper engraved map showing the western part of North America. It extends to Acapulco in the south and north to show all of Alaska including the Bering Strait and a small portion of Russian Asia. The Sandwich Islands are at lower left. Canada is named British America with the region west and south of Hudson Bay called Hudson's Bay Company's Territories. The Red River Settlements are clearly shown south of Winnipeg Lake. Most of the United States is shown, except for the Southern and New England States, with no states or territories individually named.

Locates the Independent Republic of Texas, naming S. Antonio de Bexar, Austin, and Washington, shown here as the capital. In 1836-37 five towns served as temporary capitals for the newly formed republic: Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston, Velasco and Columbia. The Texas Declaration of Independence was enacted at Washington-on-the-Brazos on March 2, 1836, making it a logical choice for the first capital, a designation seen on few maps.

The Great Basin is a large Sandy Plains Containing Salt Lakes & Swamps with no rivers or other features. According to Wheat, Greenhow included some early information from Fremont's explorations. Greenhow was a strong advocate of American expansion into the Northwest. So it is not surprising this map shows the Oregon Region extending well into Canada, a nod to the border dispute characterized by the famous "Fifty-four Forty or Fight" slogan. Drawn by George H. Ringgold and engraved by E.F. Woodward, both of Philadelphia. A most uncommon issue.

References: Wheat (TMW) 481.

Condition: B

Folding, as issued. Nice example on sound paper less some light offsetting and a 4" tear into blank area of map at left, closed on verso with archival tissue.

Estimate: $450 - $550

Sold for: $300

Closed on 3/6/2007