Auction 121, Lot 206

"Oregon Territory", Burr, David H.

Subject: Northwestern United States - Oregon

Period: 1836 (dated)

Publication: Burr's New Universal Atlas

Color: Hand Color

12.3 x 10.5 inches
31.2 x 26.7 cm

The United States and Great Britain established in 1818 joint claim over the Oregon Territory - the region north of Spanish controlled Upper California up to the southern boundary of Russia's Alaska Territory at North latitude 54°40'. By the late 1830's this arrangement was beginning to fall apart. In the 1840's the expansionist Democrats, including their 1844 presidential candidate, James Polk, claimed the entire region for the United States. Their expansionist desires were expressed by Polk's famous campaign slogan, "Fifty-four Forty or Fight!" The slogan also became a rally cry for Americans desiring to settle the territory. Following Polk's election, the dispute was resolved by the 1846 Treaty of Oregon, which struck a compromise that fixed the U.S./Canadian boundary at 49º North.

This is an early map of Oregon Territory that was copyrighted by the firm of Illman & Pilbrow in 1836. A historical and interesting map, it draws on the explorations of Jedediah Smith, Lewis & Clark, the Hudson's Bay Company and John Jacob Astor's Company for it's remarkable degree of information and accuracy for the period. The Oregon Territory extends all the way west to the Stony Mountains. The northern boundary with the British Possessions is set at 54°40' per the "Boundary of Russian Possessions settled by Convention in 1824." The southern boundary is set at 42° per the "treaty with Spain 1819." East of the Stony Mountains, the northern boundary is today's Canadian border and noted as per the "treaty with Gt. Britain 1818." In the south, a remnant of the River of the West theory appears, as the Los Mongos River, that flows to the Pacific from the large L. Timpangos. Filled with information and place names including Friendly Indians, Ft. Clapsop or Ft. George, Edmonton Factory, and much more.

References: Wheat (TMW) 402; Rumsey 1941.

Condition: B+

The map has fine coloring and good margins. It has a few tiny foxing spots, mostly in blank ocean. There is one area of double printing resulting in a blurred effect along the Lewis River.

Estimate: $500 - $700

Sold for: $700

Closed on 9/26/2007