1857 Wall Map of the United States by Ensign, Bridgeman & Fanning

Presented is a scarce American wall map of the United States and Mexico issued by Ensign, Bridgman, and Fanning in 1857. As the title suggests, the map covers all of the United States, as well as Mexico, Cuba, and Central America as far as Panama. Inset maps in the lower left illustrate the World on a double hemispheric projection and the Lesser Antilles.

The focus of the map is the westward expansion and settlement of the United States. The map was updated accordingly, to indicate territorial and border changes west of the Mississippi River. In this 1857 printing, Texas is configured with borders established as a result of the Compromise of 1850 and New Mexico has added new territory thanks to the Gadsden Purchase. The borders of Kansas and Nebraska adhere to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of May 30, 1854 in which Nebraska stretches to the Canadian border.

The gold region in the Sacramento Valley is highlighted in California. The map notes emigrant and exploration routes to the west, including Fremont's Route, The Oregon Trail, and the Santa Fe Caravan route. American Indian lands are identified throughout.

This map was first published in 1849 by Horace Thayer and Edward Hooker Ensign, who had it engraved by John M. Atwood. The imprint varied over the years, with the 1851 edition also attributed to 'Ensign and Thayer', an 1853 edition attributed solely to Horace Thayer, and editions from at least 1855 attributed to 'Ensign, Bridgeman, and Fanning', like the present example. The map proved popular due to its more manageable size and was updated annually through at least 1857.


Very good condition, with original hand coloring. Paper toning is present. Scattered creasing and cracking to paper, more prevalent in margins, all of which have been stabilized. Imprint is strong and publication and titles remain intact. 

Map is archivally framed in a custom-built beaded wooden frame with linen top mat, gold spandrel, and UV Plexiglas. Framed dimensions: 52"H x 49" W. 

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