"Amerique Septentrionale et Meridionale Dediee et Presentee au Roi…", Lapie, Alexander Emile & Pierre
Subject: Western Hemisphere
Period: 1817 (dated)
Color: Hand Color
29.3 x 19.5 inches
74.4 x 49.5 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 interesting large map of the western hemisphere includes the western coastline of Europe and Africa. North America is also called Colombie. In the U.S., only states east of the Mississippi are delineated, with many Indian tribes named in the midwest and northwest. Mexico reaches far into the southwest, and the border between the U.S. and Canada reflects the Oregon Boundary dispute. At left, three inset maps feature the Caribbean islands. Lines of latitude and longitude for each degree have been hand drawn over all landmasses in the western hemisphere, which is an unusual detail. The map was engraved by Blondeau.
Watermarked paper with minute holes used as guides to draw longitude and latitude lines, only visible when held up to strong light. Two tears that enter map image 1" at bottom have been closed on verso with paper tape. There are six extraneous horizontal folds.