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John Disturnell
(fl.1801-1877)

John Disturnell (1801-1877) was a New York book and map publisher operating gin the early to middle 19th century. Disturnell worked with various engravers and cartographers over the years including Calvin Smith, J. H. Young, and G. E. Sherman as well as the Ensign, Bridgeman and Fanning group. His primary focus seems to have been New York and vicinity, however, his most significant contribution to U.S. history came from the opposite side of the continent. When Nicholas P. Trist was sent to Mexico to negotiate the 1847 Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo which defined the Mexican-American border at the end of the Mexican-American war, he carried with him Disturnell's Map of America. This map, among other inaccuracies, located El Paso a whopping 34 miles north and 100 miles east of its true location. Since Trist based the border treaty on mileages from El Paso, the obvious subsequent confusion lead to the conflicts that were to follow. The border problems the resulted from this error were not resolved until 1963. Click here for a list of rare maps from John Disturnell.

Rare maps by John Disturnell currently for sale.

Rare maps by John Disturnell in the Geographicus Antique Map Archive.

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