Catalog Archive

Auction 183, Lot 105

"[Lot of 2] Etats-Unis [and] Etats-Unis",

Subject: United States

Period: 1821-41 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

See Description

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.

A. Etats-Unis, by Aristide Michel Perrot, circa 1821 (7.4 x 5.4"). The United States is the main focus of this unusual French map, although it does extend to include Hudson Bay in the north and much of Mexico in the south. There is a vast Missouri Territory in the middle of the country inhabited by Sioux, Osages, and other tribes. The outlines of the state of Missouri appear, but with the name of Jefferson. Below Jefferson is a full-sized Arkansas Territory that stretches into most of present-day Oklahoma. The Pacific Northwest is labeled as Columbia and extends north to the 54th parallel, a reflection of the famous 54-40 or Fight controversy. What would become the American Southwest is still a part of Mexico. The lakes Timpanogos and Teguayo are located in present-day Utah. Engraved by P. Tardieu. Chromolithography is credited to Engelmann et Graf. Godefroy Engelmann patented chromolithography and invented lithographic wash in 1819. Condition: Contemporary color on a lightly toned sheet with minor scattered foxing.

B. Etats-Unis, by Alexander A. Vuillemin, circa 1841 (10.0 x 7.6"). This map depicts the U.S. land claims in the Northwest extending well into British Columbia illustrating the Fifty-four Forty or Fight dispute with England. Nouvelle Californie, Nouveau Mexique, and Texas are still part of Mexico. Much of the land west of the Mississippi is divided into Indian districts: Huron, Sioux, Osages, and Mandanes. Instead the Indian Nations are located; District de Osages, District des Mandanes, and more. A conjectural stretch of R. Buenaventura connects Lake Teguayo to the Pacific. Arkansas is shown in its largest configuration with its western border extending to the Red River. The map is enclosed in a decorative border. Engraved by Lale. Condition: Light toning and scattered foxing.


Condition: B+

See description above.

Estimate: $220 - $250

Sold for: $160

Closed on 6/9/2021