Catalog Archive
Auction 182, Lot 99

"Geographical, Statistical, and Historical Map of North America", Carey & Lea

Subject: North America

Period: 1827 (published)

Publication: A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas...

Color: Hand Color

13.3 x 14 inches
33.8 x 35.6 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 is the scarce 1827 edition of this map, differing from the map published circa 1822 in its depiction of the United States' claims in the Oregon Boundary Dispute and in its addition of a note near present-day Point Barrow indicating the extent of the H.M.S. Blossom's explorations. The Missouri Territory takes up the entire Pacific Northwest and Plains regions. Texas and the Southwest are still part of Mexico. The western mountain ranges and river systems reflect the confusing reports by early explorers. Greenland is depicted connected to Canada, although the surrounding text states, "It is highly probable, therefore, that Greenland forms no part of the continent." Alaska is a Russian Possession with no defined boundaries and the name Tchoukotches along its western coast. The map is surrounded by columns of text describing the boundaries, topography, Native Indians, and the history of the settlement of North America. Drawn by J. Finlayson and engraved by J. Yeager. With text, the map measures 20.6 x 16.6".


Condition: B+

Contemporary color with minor toning along the centerfold and short centerfold separations at top and bottom that have been closed on verso with archival materials. There is some light soiling at bottom and small chips in the bottom blank margin that have been repaired with old paper.

Estimate: $240 - $300

Sold for: $400

Closed on 4/28/2021