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1835 Bradford Map of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Guyana


Colombia and Guiana.
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Price: $100.00
Title:    Colombia and Guiana.

Description:    This is an excellent example of T. G. Bradford's 1835 map of Colombia (New Granada), Venezuela, Ecuador and Guyana. This map covers French Dutch and British Guiana as well as Gran Colombia or Great Colombia, which included territories of modern day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, and part of northern Brazil, Peru and Guyana. Bradford's map offers fine detail throughout with elevation rendered by hachure and political and regional territories color coded. Towns, rivers, mountains and various other important topographical details are noted.

Envisioning an independent New World nation comprising all of the territories under the Spanish and Portuguese colonial rule, the Venezuelan revolutionary Francisco de Miranda suggested a consolidated South American empire named after Christopher Columbus. The idea took hold and in 1819 the 'Viceroyalty of New Granada' (comprising of modern day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela), among the first South American regions to liberate themselves from Spain, was renamed 'Gran Colombia'. The war against Spain finally ended in the mid-1820s when the pro-Spanish loyalists were decisively crushed. The congress of Cucuta adopted a constitution for the new republic in 1821. The vision of Gran Columbia, unfortunately, proved untenable and Venezuela and Ecuador became independent states 1829 and 1830, respectively.

This map was published as plate no. 72 in Thomas G. Bradford's 1835 Comprehensive Atlas Geographical, Historical and Commercial.  Bradford's atlas, published in 1835 was an important work on many levels.  First, it was one of the first American atlases to follow an encyclopedic format, offering readers extensive geographical and statistical tables to supplement the maps themselves.  Second, it was published in Boston and influenced the city's rise as a publishing center later in the 19th century (at the time most publishing in the United States was restricted to New York and Philadelphia).  Third, this atlas was the first to contain a separate and specific map showing the Republic of Texas.  Fourth and finally, Bradford's atlas in some instances broke the Euro-centric mold regarding atlas production.  Among other things, Bradford focused his atlas on the Americas and abandoned the classical decoration common in European atlases in favor of a more informational and inherently American approach.

Bradford published this atlas in several editions and with various partners.  The first edition was published by William D. Ticktor and did not contain the iconic Republic of Texas map (although we have in fact seen Ticktor examples with a Texas map, suggesting, against conventional wisdom, that there may have been two Ticktor editions).  The second official edition, published in the same year by the American Stationers Company, was the first to contain the Republic of Texas map, which is based on Austin's map, with two pages of descriptive text.  A third edition was issued in 1836, also by American Stationers (though still dated 1835), and contained an unaltered Republic of Texas map with only a single page of descriptive test.  A fourth edition appeared later, possibly 1837, and included an updated and revised map of Texas that replaces the old Mexican land grants with new inchoate counties. The maps from this atlas are an important addition to any collection focusing on early American cartography and Republic of Texas cartography.

All maps in this atlas, though not specifically noted as such, were most likely engraved by G. W. Boynton of Boston, who also engraved most of the maps for Bradford's later publication.


Date:    1835 (undated)

Source:    Bradford, T. G., A Comprehensive Atlas Geographical, Historical and Commercial (Boston), 1835.    

References:    Rumsey 2643.082 (1838 edition).

Cartographer:    Thomas Gamaliel Bradford (1802-1887) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked as an assistant editor for the America Encyclopedia. Bradford's first major cartographic work was his revision and subsequent republishing of an important French geography by Adrian Balbi, published in America as Atlas Designed to Illustrate the Abridgement of Universal Geography, Modern & Ancient. Afterwards Bradford revised and expanded this work into his own important contributions to American cartography, the 1838 "An Illustrated Atlas Geographical, Statistical and Historical of the United States and Adjacent Countries. In his long career as a map publisher Bradford worked with Ticknor of Boston, Freeman Hunt & Company of New York, De Silver of Philadelphia, Hinton, Boynton, and others. Click here for a list of rare maps from Thomas Gamaliel Bradford.

Cartographer:    George Washington Boynton (fl. c. 1830 - 1850) was a Boston based cartographer and map engraver active in the first half of the 19th century. Boynton engraved and compiled maps for numerous publishers including Thomas Bradford, Nathaniel Dearborn, Daniel Adams, and S. G. Goodrich. His most significant work is most likely his engraving of various maps for Bradford's National Atlas. He also engraved for the Boston Almanac. In 1835 Boynton is listed as an employee of the Boston Bewick Company, an engraving, stereotype, and printing concern based at no. 47 Court Street, Boston. Little else is known of his life. Click here for a list of rare maps by G. W. Boynton.

Size:   Printed area measures 10.5 x 8.5 inches (26.67 x 21.59 centimeters)

Scale:    1 : 15000000

Condition:    Very good. Original platemark visible. Minor spotting at places. Blank on verso.

Code:   ColombiaGuiana-bradford-1835 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)

Tags:    Bradford , Gran Colombia , Francisco de Miranda

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