This is a scarce 1849 map of North America and South America by Joseph Meyer. The map covers all of North America as well as South America from the Arctic to Cape Horn. In North America, Russian and British territories in Alaska and Canada are clearly noted. In South America, Chili extends southward only to the border of Patagonia, while Bolivia has a coast. Meyer marks the territories and countries with outline color and notes major cities, rivers, mountains etc. Elevation is rendered in hachure. This map predate the Gadsden Purchase despite postdating the Mexican American War, consequently the R. Gila is the southernmost boundary of the United States.
The 1850s were a period of both great hope and simmering tensions in the United States. With the end of the Mexican American War and the signing of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the United States acquired vast new territories. The discovery of gold in California in 1849 initiated and mass trans-continental emigration in the quest for wealth and land. California was admitted as the 31st state in September of this year and the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco were incorporated. Meanwhile, tensions continued to rise between the slave holding agrarian southern states and the industrialized 'free' northern states. The Compromise of 1850, intended to placate the slave holding states, essentially divided the United States along lines that, by 1861, would degenerate in the American Civil War.
Meanwhile, much of South America was, at this time, embroiled in or was about to become embroiled in, severe civil strife. The new nations, freed from Spanish dominance though various wars of liberation in the previous decades, were struggling with their newfound independence in an attempt to create stable and prosperous governments. Most would dissolve into civil war between 1858 and 1864.
This map was issued as plate no. 28 in Meyer's Zeitung Atlas. Although all the maps in this atlas are not individually dated, the title page and maps were often updated while the imprint with the date was not, causing confusion to the exact date for some of the maps. Moreover some maps in the atlas were taped in at a later date as an update to the atlas. We have dated the maps in this collection to the best of our ability.
Joseph Meyer (May 9, 1796 - June 27, 1856) was a German industrialist and publisher, most notably for the encyclopedia Meyers Conversation-Lexicon. Born in Gotha, Germany, Meyer was educated as a merchant in Frankfurt am Main. He moved to London in 1816, but returned to Germany in a820 after his stock speculations and business adventures fell through. Once back in Germany, he began by investing in the textile trade (1820-24). Meyer began creating business plans concerning how to start railways soon after the first steam-hauled railway began operation in December 1835. He founded the Deutsche Eisenbahnschienen-Compangie auf Actien (German Railway Rail joint stock company) in 1845. Meyer also found great success as a publisher, utilizing the system of serial subscriptions to publications, a new idea for the time. He founded a company, Bibliographisches Institut in Gotha in 1825, which published several versions of the Bible, works of classical literature, atlases, the world in pictures on steel engravings, and an encyclopedia. More by this mapmaker...
Meyer, J., Meyer's Zeitung Atlas, 1852.
Meyer's Zeitung Atlas, formally titled Neuster Zeitungs-Atlas Fuer Alte und Neue Erdkunde was a popular German hand-atlas published in Heidelberg by Joseph Meyer between, roughly, 1848 and 1859. The atlas is well engraved in the German style with exceptionally dense detail and minimal decoration. Meyer's Atlas, and its constituent maps, are typically very difficult to date as later editions often contain earlier maps and earlier editions later paste-in updates. That said, the atlas' frequent updates and publication run during a turbulent decade provide a noteworthy cartographic record of the period.
Very good. Minor toning and some foxing at places.