The 19th century European perception of the New World, condensed into one page.
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This lovely little map shows the primary political outlines of the North American continent shortly before the United States annexation of the ‘independent’ Republic of Texas. Though American claims are shown extending from coast to coast, the Oregon Dispute with Britain has yet to be resolved.
The map’s creator, Victor Leveasseur, gave a clearly favorable territorial advantage to the Americans – possibly a way for the Frenchman to stick it to his longtime rivals? French interests also extended further south, into Mexico. Just a few years prior to publication, the first engagement of two 19th century engagements between the countries took place, known as the Pastry War.
The map shows a fascinating wealth of contemporary detail – fur trading posts, Spanish missions, and frontier settlements – but the eye can’t help but be drawn to the elaborate engravings. The huge natural diversity of North America is on full display. In the background, climatic extremes are highlighted with scenes of a polar expedition and a temple lying in a jungle valley. Animals ranging from the polar bear to the alligator are depicted alongside towering pine trees, ferns, and bountiful fruits.
Economic abundance, notably through the institution of slavery (lower left), is also alluded to in the foreground. The map was published in Paris around 1844 by Victor Levasseur for inclusion in his Atlas Universel Illustre.
Publication Date: c. 1844
Author: Victor Levasseur
Sheet Width (in): 21.90
Sheet Height (in): 15.00
Condition Description: A few scattered spots and a bit of soiling in the upper left corner, well away from the image. Very good, with original outline color.
1 in stock