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

Presented 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, an important map showing the progress of the Mexican-American War. Published in 1847, this edition is revised with additional place names and significantly enlarged to include the  ancillary "Map of the Principal Roads from Vera Cruz and Alvarado to the City of Mexico," the corresponding elevation profile below it, and an updated inset map showing the "Battle Field at Monterey" in pink at top right. The map is considered to be an adaptation of Mitchell's earlier 1846 A New Map of Texas, Oregon, and California.

Cartographically, the map presents Texas in its large stovepipe configuration with its southern boundary on the Rio Grande and northern panhandle to 42º north latitude. To its west is a very narrow strip of New Mexico and vast Upper California with a red line along the Gila River. The red line implies U.S. control of this region, as the map was published after victories by Commodore Sloat and General Kearny in New Mexico and California. In California, Yerba Buena and New Helvetia are identified, and several important routes are noted including the Great Spanish Trail to Santa Fe and the Trader's Route to Independence, Missouri. 

Published in the middle 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. Further attention is given to the Battle of Monterrey, fought September 20-24, 1846 between General Zachary Taylor and his Army of Occupation and the Mexican Army of the North under General Pedro de Ampudia, with the inset map at top right. 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 to Vera Cruz, given the importance of this route. 

Samuel Augustus Mitchell Sr. (1792 - 1868) began his map-publishing career in the early 1830s. Having worked as a schoolteacher, Mitchell was frustrated with the low quality and inaccuracy of school texts of the period. His first maps were an attempt to rectify this problem. In the next 20 years Mitchell would become the most prominent American map publisher of the mid-19th century. Mitchell worked with prominent engravers J. H. Young, H. S. Tanner, and H. N. Burroughs before attaining the full copyright on his maps in 1847.

In 1849, Mitchell teamed up with printer Cowperthwait & Company to produce Mitchell's Universal Atlas and Mitchell's General Atlas. In the late 1850s most of the Mitchell copyrights were bought by Desilver and Co., who continued to publish his maps, many with modified borders and color schemes, until Mitchell's son, Samuel Augustus Mitchell Jr., entered the picture. S. A. Mitchell Jr. purchased most of the copyrights back from Desilver and, from 1860 on, published his own New General Atlas. The younger Mitchell became as prominent as his father and published atlases well into the late 1880s when most of the copyrights were again sold and the Mitchell firm closed its doors for the final time.


Map is in good and stable condition. An attractive example, the map has been professionally restored with new linen backing and edge ribbon on original rollers. The new linen reinforced and repaired numerous small cracks and tears, mostly at top. There are two small areas of loss below Great Salt Lake that have been reinstated in facsimile, along with two small chips in the left and right border, also replaced in facsimile. Overall attractive original hand coloring, with only light toning to paper and minor foxing. Map is presented unframed. Unframed dimensions: 32" H x 23 5/8" W.

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