Map of the United States with the contiguous British and Spanish Possessions Compiled from the latest and best authorities

MELISH, John (1771-1822)

Publication Date: 1816
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Engraved map, engraved by J. Vallance & H. S. Tanner, period hand colouring in outline, dissected into 40 sections and linen-backed, as issued. Housed in a full blue morocco box. The first large-scale map of the United States and a cornerstone map of the American west: first edition, fourth state. A map of inestimable importance - one which synthesized the best data available at the crucial moment of the opening of American West, and one which, in a sense, envisioned and enabled the 'Manifest Destiny' of the United States. "The cartographic publication that best publicized for the American people the data derived from the Lewis and Clark Expedition and Zebulon Pike's exploration of the southwest in 1806 and 1807 was John Melish's 1816 Map of the United States ." (Ristow p.446) Also, much like the Mitchell map of the previous century, the Melish map became the map of record in many important treaties between the United States and Spain, Mexico, and both the Republic and State of Texas. Specifically, the United States-Mexico boundary was laid out on a copy of the map according to the Adams-Onis Treaty signed in February 22, 1819. Martin and Martin write: "Recognizing that the demand for geographical information on the American west was limitless in the foreseeable future, Melish undertook to accumulate a vast amount of descriptions, statistics and maps and in 1816 produced in six sheets his famous map . For the Texas area, Melish relied heavily on the surveys conducted by William Darby, who had personally surveyed much of the Sabine River area . Melish's map significantly improved the descriptions and depictions of the Texas interior, but perhaps its most lasting value to history was its official association with the Adams-Onis Treaty, because Melish's 90th meridian, today the eastern boundary of the Texas Panhandle, was off by approximately ninety miles, controversy and court litigation concerning the correct boundary lasted well beyond Texas's annexation . Of lasting value, too, was the widespread dissemination of new information concerning Texas geography only five years before Stephen F. Austin decided to honor his father's contract with the Mexican government to bring Anglo-American settlers to inhabit this rich new land" (Martin & Martin). The map also played a key role in the development of American mapmaking. "An exquisite map, it distinguished Melish as the leading American map publisher of the second decade and placed American maps on equal footing with those produced by the prestigious firms in London and Paris" (Schwartz). In fact, Melish founded the first company in the United States to deal specifically in maps and geographical works. The map was engraved by arguably the two finest map engravers in the United States at the time, John Vallance and Henry S. Tanner. It set a new standard for clarity and precision in map production. The present copy is the fourth state of the first edition of 1816, as identified by Ristow (in A la carte pp.162-182, the most complete account of the map): a rare early issue of the first edition, prior to Mississippi Territory being divided into the State of Mississippi and Alabama Territory. There are two primary reasons for the great rarity of this map: firstly, Melish only printed 100 copies of each issue to allow him to constantly update the map with the latest geographical information, the second reason is its large size which has ensured a high attrition rate over the past two centuries. It would not be exaggerating to say that Melish's map, the first on a large scale to show the area of the present United States from coast to coast, provided most Americans with their first clear-sighted view of the continental landmass of which the United States was a part. Although the term Manifest Destiny, referring to the inevitability of the growth of the United States across the entire continent, was not current until the 1840s, there can be little doubt that this powerful cartographic image. Bookseller Inventory #

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Title: Map of the United States with the contiguous...
Publication Date: 1816

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1.

MELISH, John (1771-1822)
Published by [Philadelphia (1818)
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Book Description [Philadelphia, 1818. Engraved map, with full period hand colouring, dissected into 40 sections and linen backed (as issued). Inset of the West Indies, statistical table. Housed in a modern full blue morocco box. The first large-scale map of the United States: this very rare issue of great significance to the mapping of the West, being the edition used to determine the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico in the 1819 Adams-Onis treaty. A map of inestimable importance - one which synthesized the best data available at the crucial moment of the opening of American West, and one which, in a sense, envisioned and enabled the Manifest Destiny of the United States. "The cartographic publication that best publicized for the American people the data derived from the Lewis and Clark Expedition and Zebulon Pike's exploration of the southwest in 1806 and 1807 was John Melish's 1816 Map of the United States " (Ristow). Also, much like the Mitchell map of the previous century, the Melish became the map of record in many important treaties between the United States and Spain, Mexico, and both the Republic and State of Texas. Specifically, the United States-Mexico boundary was laid out on a copy of the map according to the Adams-Onis Treaty signed in February 22, 1819. The map also played a key role in the development of American mapmaking. "An exquisite map, it distinguished Melish as the leading American map publisher of the second decade and placed American maps on equal footing with those produced by the prestigious firms in London and Paris" (Schwartz). In fact, Melish founded the first company in the United States to deal specifically in maps and geographical works. The map was engraved by arguably the two finest map engravers in the United States at the time: John Vallance and Henry S. Tanner. It set a new standard for clarity and precision in map production. The present example is the third issue of the 1818 edition, as identified by Ristow (in A la Carte pp.162-182, the most complete account of the map). The 1818 edition is of particular importance, as it is "the 1818 edition that was consulted by the official arbiters in laying down the boundary between the United States and the Spanish possessions in 1819" (Ristow). This issue is the first to show Illinois as a state rather than a territory and to include Chicago as part of Illinois. Martin and Martin write: "Recognizing that the demand for geographical information on the American west was limitless in the foreseeable future, Melish undertook to accumulate a vast amount of descriptions, statistics and maps and in 1816 produced in six sheets his famous map . For the Texas area, Melish relied heavily on the surveys conducted by William Darby, who had personally surveyed much of the Sabine River area . Melish's maps significantly improved the descriptions and depictions of the Texas interior, but perhaps its most lasting value to history was its official association with the Adams-Onis Treaty, because Melish's 90th meridian, today the eastern boundary of the Texas Panhandle, was off by approximately ninety miles, controversy and court litigation concerning the correct boundary lasted well beyond Texas's annexation . Of lasting value, too, was the widespread dissemination of new information concerning Texas geography only five years before Stephen F. Austin decided to honor his father's contract with the Mexican government to bring Anglo-American settlers to inhabit this rich new land" (Martin & Martin). There are two primary reasons for the great rarity of this map: firstly, Melish only printed 100 copies of each issue to allow him to constantly update the map with the latest geographical information; the second reason is its large size which has ensured a high attrition rate over the past two centuries. Melish's map, the first on a large scale to show the area of the present United States from coast to coast, provided most Americans with their first clear-sighted view of the continental landmass of which the United States was a part. Thomas Jefferson, said of the map that it provides a "luminous view of the comparative possessions of different powers in our America." Ristow, American Maps and Mapmakers , p. 446; Ristow in A la Carte, pp. 162-182; Schwartz & Ehrenberg, pp. 238-39, pl. 233; Wheat II, no. 322, pp. 62-64; Martin & Martin, p. 115 (plate 26). Seller Inventory # 36173

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2.

MELISH, John (1771-1822)
Published by Philadelphia: John Melish, 1816 (1816)
Used Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
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Arader Galleries - Aradernyc
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Book Description Philadelphia: John Melish, 1816, 1816. EXCEPTIONALLY FINE engraved folding map (36 x 58 4/8 inches) by J. Vallance and H.S. Tanner, laid down on cartographic linen in 40 sections, edged with green silk, with original hand-colour in outline (some occasional pale spotting), folds with marbled end sheets; contemporary half red roan, marbled paper boards portfolio, two pairs of linen ties. THE FIRST AMERICAN-PRODUCED WALL MAP DEPICTING THE COUNTRY FROM COAST TO COAST. Apparently the fourth state, with Cadiz, Washington, Cambridge, Adelphi, Mansfield and Wooster added in Ohio and "Vevay or" added before "Swiss Vineyards" in southeastern Indiana. "An exquisite map, it distinguished Melish as the leading American map publisher of the second decade and placed American maps on equal footing with those produced by the prestigious firms in London and Paris. Incorporating data from state and military maps as these became available, Melish frequently revised and corrected the plates, limiting each printing to 100 copies" (Seymour I. Schwartz and Ralph E. Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America, Edison, NJ, 2001, p.238). "I wish friend John, thee would make a Map of the Seat of Peace" (anonymous, recorded by Melish in his "Geographical Intelligence", 1818). Melish published the first American-produced wall map depicting the country from coast to coast, inspired by a friend who wrote to him "during the progress of war. a very respectable Friend in Philadelphia, when talking of the Map of the Seat of War, said 'I wish friend John, thee would make a Map of the Seat of Peace.' The hint was not lost. The author had seen the good effects of maps, particularly when accompanied by descriptions." (reported by Ristow). Determined to keep his maps contemporary Melish is reknowned for reissuing numerous revisions of his maps: new editions, in a total of 24 issues, of this map were published in 1818, 1819, 1820, and 1823, and Melish himself outlined the reasons for the principal changes in his posthumously published 1826 edition of "Geographical Description": "When the late treaty was negotiated with Spain which had reference to the map in fixing the southwest boundary, it was determined to bring forward an entire new edition of the Map, exhibiting Florida as a part of the United States, and making all alterations that had taken place in the country, up to the time of publication; and from a conviction that Mexico would soon become independent, and would eventually be of great importance to the United States, it was determined to add another sheet exhibiting a complete view of that very interesting country, with all the most important West India Islands. This was accordingly executed, and the supplement was so enlarged as to exhibit a view of the whole West Indies, with Guatimala, the Isthmus of Panama, and the northern provinces of South America, now forming part of the Republic of Colombia." (reported by Ristow). Martin/Ristow 24; Streeter VI:3798. Seller Inventory # 72map44

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