Catalog Archive
Auction 161, Lot 392

"Central America II. Including Texas, California and the Northern States of Mexico", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: Southwestern United States & Mexico

Period: 1848 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

15.5 x 12.5 inches
39.4 x 31.8 cm
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The beginning of the nineteenth century saw a period of rapid market growth and innovation in the map publishing world. Increased literacy and public interest in new frontiers and colonies overwhelmed the market because it was oriented toward the small, affluent market of the previous century. With the intent to fill this void, The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK) was founded in 1828 in London, by Lord Brougham and a group of men dedicated to the education of the aspiring working class and the Utilitarian ideal of 'Knowledge is Power.' The society produced an array of education materials, but the series of maps was one of their most successful ventures. A number of engravers and printers were used to produce the maps, which eventually exceed 200 sheets, and continued to be published after the Society as a whole ceased to function.

This excellent map covers the southwestern United States prior to Mexico losing the region in the Mexican/American War. Texas is shown at its largest extent with the panhandle extending well north up to Spanish Peaks. All of the Southwest and California are here noted as "Nueva or Upper California." Charles Fremont’s first expedition up the Oregon Trail and through the Sierra Nevadas is traced and there are several notations in the Great Interior Basin of California from that important exploration. Lake Tahoe makes an early appearance as The Great Spanish Track from Pueblo de los Angelos to Santa Fe is also noted. There is great detail throughout including forts, Indian tribes, and numerous interesting notations. This is an updated version of the map first issued in 1842; engraved by J. & C. Walker and published by Charles Knight.

References: cf. Wheat (TMW) #460.

Condition: B+

Original outline color with a few faint spots in the image and light toning and scattered foxing along sheet edges.

Estimate: $500 - $650

Sold for: $375

Closed on 2/8/2017