1869 Murray Map of Kodagu (Coorg) District, Karnataka, India

Map of Coorg to accompany the Paper by George Bidie, M.B. - Main View

1869 Murray Map of Kodagu (Coorg) District, Karnataka, India


Early study on manmade climate change.


Map of Coorg to accompany the Paper by George Bidie, M.B.
  1869 (dated)     7.875 x 7.25 in (20.0025 x 18.415 cm)     1 : 633360


This is an 1869 John Murray map of Kodagu (formerly Coorg) District in Karnataka, India. This is one of the earliest maps we are aware of to deal with manmade climate change. Created to accompany a paper published in The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society. The paper's author, George Bidie, described Coorg to his readers:
Coorg lies near the centre of the Western Ghâts, and chiefly in the eastern aspect of the range. On its western margin the crests of the chain rise up in bold peaked mountain masses, some of which attain the height of 5000 feet above the sea, and to the east of these the country consists of a series of low, long-backed hills, with intersecting deep-set valleys, running out towards, and gradually subsiding in, the table-land of Mysore.
19th century conservation?
Bidie's paper, entitled 'Effects of Forest Destruction in Coorg' recounts how deforestation for coffee plantations has effected the local climate and environment. Bidie focuses on water distribution and cites, noting that many streams that had previously been full all year long now only flowed during and just after the monsoon. He also describes the deforestation's effects on temperatures, animals, and plants. This is one of the earliest mentions we have seen of climate change. This map is accompanied by the original article from The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society in which Bidie details these changes.
Publication History and Census
This map was engraved by Edward Weller and published by John Murray for publication in The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1869. This map is not cataloged in OCLC. The separate map is rarely seen on the private market.


John Murray I (1737 - 1793) founded the British publishing firm John Murray (1768 - present) in London. Born in Edinburgh, Murray served as an officer in the Royal Marines and built a list of authors that included Isaac D’Israeli and published the English Review. Murray the elder also was one of the founding sponsors of the London evening newspaper The Star in 1788. John Murray II (November 27 1778 - June 27, 1843) continued the family publishing business and developed it into one of the most important and influential publishing houses in Britain. The list of authors published by the firm grew to include Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, Washington Irving, George Crabbe, and Lord Byron under his tenure. Murray II also moved the business to 50 Albermarle Street in Mayfair, which became famous for Murray’s tradition of ‘four o’clock friends’, which was afternoon tea with his writers. John Murray III (1808 - 1892) continued to grow the business, and the firm published the first English translation of Goethe’s Theory of Colours, David Livingstone’s Missionary Travels and Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species during his tenure. Murray also published Herman Melville’s first two books. The firm began publishing Murray Handbooks in 1836, an ancestor of all modern travel guides. Sir John Murray IV (1851 - 1928) was publisher to Queen Victoria. Three successive Murray’s after Murray IV led the business until it was purchased by Hodder Headline in 2002, which was acquired by the French conglomerate Lagardère Group in 2004. Today, Murray is an imprint of Lagardère under the imprint Hachette UK. More by this mapmaker...

Edward Weller (July 1, 1819 - 1884) was a cartographer and engraver based in London. Weller was a nephew of another well-known map publisher Sidney Hall (1788 - 1831), who gave him 50 Pounds to pay his apprenticeship fees. He engraved for many prominent mapmakers and was active enough in the community to be recommended for membership to the Royal Geographical Society in 1851 on the recommendation of John Arrowsmith, among others. He eventually inherited the Sidney Hall map business which led him to follow Arrowsmith as the unofficial geographer to the Royal Geographical Society. Weller was among the first map printers in London to embrace lithography. His best known work appears in Cassell's Weekly Dispatch Atlas, published in monthly segments for subscribers of the 'Weekly Dispatch' newspaper. This collection of maps eventually grew to include much of the known world. Published in various editions from 1855 through the early 1880s. Weller died in May of 1884, leaving behind a successful business and an unhappy widow. His son, Francis Sidney Weller (1849 - 1910), followed in his father's footsteps and continued the family map business. The atlas Mackenzie's Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales was published in 1894 and bore F. S. Weller's signature on the maps. Learn More...

Royal Geographical Society (fl. 1830 - present) is a British Society established in 1830 to promote geographical science and exploration. Originally titled the "Geographical Society of London", the RGS received its royal charter from Queen Victoria in 1859 shortly after absorbing several similar but more regional societies including the African Association, the Raleigh Club and the Palestine Association. The RGS sponsored many of the most important and exciting voyages of exploration ever undertaken, including the exploration of Charles Darwin, David Livingstone, Robert Falcon Scott, Richard F. Burton, John Speke, George Hayward, H. M Stanley, Ernest Shackleton and Sir Edmond Hillary. Today, the RGS remains a leading global sponsor of geographical and scientific studies. The Society is based in Lowther Lodge, South Kensington, London. Learn More...


Bidie, G., 'Effects of Forest Destruction in Coorg', The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society Vol. 39. (London: John Murray) 1869.    


Very good. Exhibits light wear along original fold lines. Exhibits some light offsetting.