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Article: Mitchell's 1847 Wartime "Map of Mexico"

1847

Mitchell's 1847 Wartime "Map of Mexico"

This is the second edition of Samuel Augustus Mitchell's “Map of Mexico, Including Yucatan & Upper California, Exhibiting the Chief Cities and Towns, the Principal Travelling Routes,” published in 1847. An important map showing the progress of the Mexican-American War, the map indicates six battle sites, represented by small flags, including Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterrey, Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, and Vera Cruz. 

Inset Detail of 1847 "Map of Mexico, Including Yucatan & Upper California..." by Samuel Augustus Mitchell

Specific attention is given to the Battle of Monterrey, with the inset battle map at top right. The Battle of Monterrey was fought September 20-24, 1846 between General Zachary Taylor and his US forces and the Mexican Army of the North under General Pedro de Ampudia. The fortified city of Monterrey, capital of the northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, stood in the path of Taylor's advance through northeastern Mexico. The first day's fight outside the city paved the way for the assault on three fortified hills that guarded the approach. On the 22nd and 23rd of September, the two forces battled for conquest of the city with heavy artillery and urban battle tactics. When the battle appeared to turn against him, the Mexican commander called for a truce. Taylor agreed to a two-month cessation in hostilities and Mexican forces quickly withdrew from the area.

Taylor was lambasted by some in the press and federal government, including President James K. Polk who insisted that the Army had no authority to negotiate truces. Given the ramifications and press surrounding this battle, it is no surprise that Mitchell decided to include an inset map of the battle in this second edition. 

Inset Detail from 1847 "Map of Mexico, Including Yucatan & Upper California..." by Samuel Augustus Mitchell

Being a wartime map, Mitchell chose to emphasize lines of communication, settlements, and political boundaries more than geological features. However he does offer topographical detail in the inset map and profile of roads from Vera Cruz to Mexico City, given the importance of Cortez’ historic route.
Inset Detail from 1847 "Map of Mexico, Including Yucatan & Upper California..." by Samuel Augustus Mitchell

Consider adding this spectacular and historic map to your own collection! Shop this map and other hanging wall maps from our antique map offerings. 

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