11.5 x 17 in (29.21 x 43.18 cm)
1 : 700000
A curious c. 1865 manuscript map of the Lago de Cuitzeo region along the border between the states of Michoacan and Guanajuato in central Mexico. It is remarkably detailed in cataloging the geographic features and various ranchos, villas, haciendas, and other rural settlements in the region.
A Closer LookCoverage extends from the Lago de Cuitzeo north to Irapuato, and west from La Barca, near Lago de Chapala, east to (Santiago de) Querétaro. Lighter ink or pencil denotes administrative boundaries and roads, while darker ink notes mountains and elevation, lakes (with area recorded in leagues), rivers, and settlements. Aside from cities, pueblos, villas, haciendas, and ranchos are noted according to the symbols listed at left. The large swamp (cienaga) towards top is no longer extant, and the Lago de Cuitzeo, whose levels frequently fluctuate, is itself currently in danger of disappearing due to drought.
Military Use?The purpose of this map is unclear; being a remarkably-detailed manuscript raises the possibility that it was intended for military use. If so, then it was most likely related to the French Second Intervention (or Invasion, 1861 - 1867), which saw the installation of a Habsburg monarch, Maximilian I, supported by France and Mexican conservatives, and opposed by federalist liberals. Most of the war's fighting took place in central Mexico and its dramatic culmination came with a siege of Maximilian and his supporters at Querétaro in 1867. After the battle, Maximilian and two of his top generals were executed outside of Querétaro, ushering in the Restored Republic led by Benito Juárez.
Publication History and CensusNo publication information or even a cartographer's signature is included. As a manuscript, this map is presumably entirely unique.
Good. Foxing throughout. Hand drawn sections laid on linen.