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1852 Levasseur Map of North America (w/ Republic of Texas)

Amerique Septentrionale. - Main View

1852 Levasseur Map of North America (w/ Republic of Texas)




Amerique Septentrionale.
  1852 (undated)     12.5 x 17.5 in (31.75 x 44.45 cm)     1 : 40000000


A visually stunning decorative map of North America dating to 1852, by French map publisher Victor Levasseur. Levasseur published several different editions of his North America map - this being the most desirable due to its depictions of the ephemeral Republic of Texas. Though cartographically minimalist, there are a number of additional important elements that are worthy of note. These include the extension of Oregon territory well into British Columbia, reflecting the American claims that later led to the 54 40' dispute. Also, the Northwest Passage from Atlantic to Pacific is drawn as an open and practically navigable seaway.

By far this map's most striking feature is its elaborate allegorical border work. Levasseur composed this map for publication in his magnificent Atlas Nationale de la France Illustree, one of the most decorative and beautifully produced atlases to appear in the 19th century.

This particular map is surrounded by wide and elaborate illustrative border work showing the cultural, natural, and trade richness of the Americas. The left hand side of the map depicts European seamen bargaining for indigenous products. In the background is a Mesoamerican style pyramid, dramatic mountain scenery, and a railroad train. The right hand side of the map shows a cross-section of the flora and fauna common to the continent, including a Bison, vultures, a polar bear, an elk, a fox and an alligator. In the undergrowth, a leopard lies hidden. At the base of the map a classically dressed woman lounges with a St. Bernard and Bale of Cotton. To either side her text boxes offer additional information about the discovery, history, and culture of the region. A population table appearing at the bottom of the map gives statistics for the Arctic (50,000), Alaska or Russian America (50,000), British America (1,200,000), the United States (19,000,000), Texas (200,000), Mexico (8,000,000), Guatemala (3,000,000), and the Antilles (2,720,000).

Published by V. Levasseur in the 1852 edition of his Atlas National de la France Illustree.


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