"Amerique Septentrionale", Levasseur, Victor
Subject: North America, Texas
Period: 1845 (circa)
Publication: Atlas Universel Illustre
Color: Hand Color
17 x 11 inches
43.2 x 27.9 cm
Victor Levasseur's "Atlas National Illustre" and "Atlas Universel Illustre" are among the last decorative atlases published. The maps are all lavishly illustrated with scenes of the countryside, products and activities indigenous to the region.
This richly engraved map shows the United States extending into present-day Canada up to the 55° latitude line, reflecting the famous Fifty-Four Forty or Fight border dispute. The Republic of Texas is named within Mexico, and Mexico's northern border is drawn according to the Treaty of 1819 (here misprinted as 1810). Russia is in control of Alaska. Surrounded by beautifully engraved scenes of North and Central America including wildlife, a ship stranded in the polar sea and a Mayan temple.
The Fifty-four Forty or Fight dispute grew from the joint claim over the Oregon Territory settled by the United States and Great Britain in 1818. The treaty was over 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 49° North.
Plate mark crease in right blank margin. Very fine impression and lovely original outline coloring with well applied full color to vignettes.