Catalog Archive
Auction 165, Lot 321

"North America Sheet XV Utah, New Mexico, Texas, California, &c. and the Northern States of Mexico", SDUK Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge

Subject: Western United States & Mexico

Period: 1859 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

15.3 x 12.5 inches
38.9 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 detailed map shows an evolving territorial configuration in the western United States. A large Utah Territory occupies the areas of present-day Nevada and Utah while New Mexico Territory encompasses the area from the Texas border to California, including the southern tip of Nevada. Below New Mexico Territory is an early Arizona - a reference to what would later become the Confederate Territory of Arizona. The map is filled with detailed topography, rivers, Indian tribes and place names. A note in the Great Basin states that "there is a succession of Rivers & Lakes which have no outlet to the sea, nor any connection with the Columbia River…" Engraved by J. & C. Walker and published by Edward Stanford in London.


Condition: B+

Original outline color with a few minor spots.

Estimate: $300 - $375

Sold for: $275

Closed on 11/15/2017