Catalog Archive
Auction 145, Lot 164

"Phelp's National Map of the United States, A Travellers Guide", Phelps, Ensigns & Thayer

Subject: Eastern United States

Period: 1847 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

21.7 x 17.9 inches
55.1 x 45.5 cm
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A nice example of the first edition of this folding pocket map. The map extends to the Great Plains and includes part of Texas with two large unnamed regions extending northward, presumably the Indian territories and Iowa Territory. The map is filled with details including roads, towns and villages, railroads and rivers. Delineates the Trader’s Route to Santa Fe in Missouri and through the territory to the west. Names numerous Indian tribes, Burial Grounds, and trading depots. It is embellished with a surrounding border featuring finely engraved portraits of 16 famous Americans, the seals of 30 states including Texas, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the seal of the United States. This early edition does not have the large inset "Map of Oregon, California & Texas" that appears soon after this issue at lower right. Here the original insets include the vicinity around Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis. The southern tip of Florida and the north part of Maine are shown in insets as well.

The map is attached to the rear cover of Phelps’s Travellers’ Guide through the United States; containing Upwards of Seven Hundred Rail-road, Canal, and Stage and Steam-Boat Routes, accompanied with a New Map of the United States. The 70-page booklet contains all manner of information valuable to the traveler including distance tables for stage, canal, steamboat and railroads listed by state and an extensive index of place names. Hardbound in red leather (3.5 x 5.5") with an elaborate cover design embossed in gilt showing an early train and the steamship St. Louis. Gilt on fore edges (T.E.G.).

References: Howes #P291.

Condition: B

Issued folding with original color, light toning along the folds, a 1.2" tear in the image where the map was glued to the back cover, along with two adjacent 1" tears in the border. Spine has split in half with the index attached to the front cover, and the map separately attached to the back cover.

Estimate: $900 - $1,100

Sold for: $650

Closed on 6/12/2013