Auction 126, Lot 104

"North America", Tallis, John

Subject: North America, Texas

Period: 1844 (circa)

Publication: Illustrated Atlas and Modern History of the World

Color: Hand Color

9.5 x 14 inches
24.1 x 35.6 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.

An early issue of this decorative steel engraved map that features an Independent Texas. It was issued during the time the United States and Britain were arguing over the western U.S./Canadian border. In typical British fashion, the border here drops down west of the Continental Divide to the Columbia River. The map is surrounded by steel engraved vignettes by Marchant featuring beavers, elk, North American Indians, Niagara Falls, Mayan ruins, a Convoy of Diamonds, and more. The map is filled with detail including forts and many Indian Tribes. Mexico extends to the northern border of today's California, identified as Upper California. Alaska is Russian America. A rarely seen edition of this map. Surrounded by a delicately engraved and decorative border.


Condition: B+

Nice impression and original hand coloring in outline. The borders and vignettes are uncolored, as issued. Overall handsome ivory toning.

Estimate: $275 - $325

Sold for: $200

Closed on 12/3/2008