1844 Black Map of North America and the United States
Description: A fine example of Adam and Charles Black's 1844 map of North America. The map covers the continent from the North Georgian Islands in the Arctic Ocean to the Galapagos Islands in the North Pacific Ocean. Also covers Greenland and Iceland. Includes the Russian and British territories in America, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central America and the West Indies. Throughout the map notes several important cities, towns, rivers, islands, lakes mountains and a host of other important topographical features.
In Mexico the rebellion of the English speaking region of Texas caused tension between the liberals and the conservatives within Mexico, as well as between Mexico and the United States. The map predates the 1848 treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which formally ended the Mexican American War, annexed all Mexican territory north of the Gila and Rio Grande Rivers, including the short lived Republic of Texas, to the United States, increasing the country's size by about 35%. Texas is shown in its grandest incarnation, extending north as far as the Arkansas River and west as far as the Rio Grande (or Rio de Norte), inclusive of much of modern day New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas. The map thus details highly ephemeral period before the 1849 Gold Rush and the territorial reconfigurations that followed in the wake of America's great westward expansion. This map was engraved by S. Hall for issue as plate no. XLV in the 1844 edition of Black's General Atlas.
Date: 1844 (undated)
Source: Black, A. and C., Black's General Atlas (Edinburgh), 1844. Black's General Atlas was a popular Scottish atlas of the world issued by the Edinburgh firm of Adam and Charles Black. This atlas was first issued in 1840 with subsequent editions being printed well into the 1890s. While most editions were printed in Edinburgh, an American edition was issued in 1857. Most early editions of his atlas were engraved by S. Hall. Typically this refers to Sidney Hall, who died in 1831, but in this case, since the engraving was initiated well after his death, it was most likely his widow, Selina Hall, who did the engraving. Later editions feature additional maps updated and engraved by William Hughes. Early editions featured outline color only, but later editions embraced a full color approach with pale green, yellow, and blue pastels. All editions are known for their meticulous presentation of the most up-to-date cartographic information. Moreover, this exceptionally long publication run provides a fine cartographic record of the middle to late 19th century - particularly as regards the complex cartographic evolution of the Americas through this period.
References: Philips (atlases) 4334.
Cartographer: Charles and his uncle Adam Black of Edinburgh, Scotland, founded their publishing firm in 1807. They published a series of maps and atlases throughout the 19th century. In addition to an array of atlases, the Black firm is known for their editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1817 - 1826) and the first publishing of Sir Walter Scott's novels in 1854. In 1889 the A. & C. Black publishing house moved to London where it remains in operation to this day. Click here for a list of rare maps by Charles & Adam Black.
Cartographer: Sidney Hall (1788 - 1831) was an English engraver and map publisher active in London during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. His earliest imprints, dating to about 1814, suggest a partnership with Michael Thomson, another prominent English map engraver. Hall engraved for most of the prominent London map publishers of his day, including Aaron Arrowsmith, William Faden, William Harwood, and John Thomson, among others. Hall is credited as being one of the earliest adopters of steel plate engraving, a technique that allowed for finer detail and larger print runs due to the exceptional hardness of the medium. Upon his early death - he was only in his 40s - Hall's business was inherited by his wife, Selina Hall, who continued to publish under the imprint, "S. Hall", presumably for continuity. The business eventually passed to Sidney and Selina's nephew Edward Weller, who became extremely prominent in his own right. Click here for a list of rare maps by Sidney Hall.
Size: Printed area measures 10.5 x 15.5 inches (26.67 x 39.37 centimeters)
Scale: 1 : 3100000
Condition: Very good. Original platemark visible. Blank on verso.
Code: NorthAmerica-black-1844 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)
Tags: Black , Hall