Catalog Archive
Auction 152, Lot 92

"North America", Grattan & Gilbert

Subject: North America, Texas

Period: 1841 (circa)

Publication: Gilbert's Modern Atlas

Color: Hand Color

9.8 x 11.2 inches
24.9 x 28.4 cm
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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 uncommon map of the continent shows North America at an interesting point in its development. While the colorist has depicted a smaller Republic of Texas, its engraved boundary extends into present-day Colorado, including Santa Fe. Within Texas, Austin, Galveston, and San Antonio are named. The Alaskan Peninsula appears as Russian America, with the boundary of 1825 noted. The area to the north of Cape Mendocino is labeled New Albion. Since this is an English map, the disputed U.S.-Canada border in the Pacific Northwest is marked by the Columbia River, with a section of present-day Oregon as part of British Columbia. The map was drawn and engraved by J. Archer.

References: Phillips (A) #780-43.

Condition: B+

Light soiling.

Estimate: $120 - $150

Sold for: $90

Closed on 2/18/2015