Catalog Archive
Auction 165, Lot 320

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

Subject: Western United States & Mexico, Texas

Period: 1842 (dated)


Color: Hand Color

15.5 x 12.2 inches
39.4 x 31 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 just a few years before Mexico lost the region in the Mexican-American War. Texas is shown as an Independent Republic with its panhandle extending well north up to Spanish Peaks. Excellent detail throughout Texas shows many towns and villages, roads and trails, topography, and watershed. All of the Southwest and California are here noted as "Generally called Upper California." Large swamps and lakes in the Great Basin drain through a complex R. Buenaventura system. The map displays excellent detail throughout and includes many frontier forts, Indian tribes, etc. There are interesting notations; a Supposed Petrified Forest in the western part of Texas, Supposed residence of the Aztecs in 12th century (Humboldt ) in the Moquis (Hopi) region of present-day Arizona. Published by Chapman and Hall, engraved by J. & C. Walker. Dated 15 Oct. 1842.

References: Wheat (TMW) #460.

Condition: B+

Original outline color with three light, horizontal creases that run the width of the map.

Estimate: $550 - $700

Sold for: $400

Closed on 11/15/2017