Siberia & Central Asia.
1835 (undated) 8.5 x 11 in (21.59 x 27.94 cm)
This is a fine example of the 1835 T. G. Bradford map of Siberia and Central Asia. Centered on the supposed site of the ancient Mongolian capital at Karakorum, this map extends from the Ural Mountains and the Caspian Sea eastward as far as Siberia, Kamchatka and Japan. It includes Korea, Mongolia, Tibet and the Chinese empire. The Great Wall of China is identified. The sea between Japan and Korea, whose name is currently a matter of historical and political dispute between the two countries, is here identified as 'Sea of Corea.' Regarding the Mongolian Capital at Karakorum, Bradford deviates from the accepted D'Anville model, which situated the city on the engui-Moren River, in favor of Fischer (Fischer, Johann eberhardt, Siberische. Geschichte, St. Petersburg, 1768), who places it on the banks of the Orchon River. Throughout, the map names various cities, towns, rivers and assortment of additional topographical and political details.
During this time in Russia, around 1825, Russian army officers, called the Decembrists, protested against Nicholas I's ascension to the throne. They were however defeated and some were exiled to Siberia. There, against all odds, the Decembrists thrived making significant contributions to the cultural and economic growth of Siberia. In 1856, when the Decembrists received amnesty, only some returned to european Russia.
In the early 19th century Asia was coming under increasingly imperial european sway. By the 1830s oversaturation of the Chinese market slackened Chinese demand for most British products. To make up for the trade deficit, British merchants introduced Indian opium to Chinese markets. Addictive and cheap, Opium became Britain's most profitable and important crop in world markets, pouring into China faster than tea poured into Britain. Opium addiction and its attendant social ills reached such catastrophic levels that the Chinese government took action and destroyed British opium in Canton. As this threatened english commercial interests, the crown responded, sparking the Opium Wars of 1839-1842. The superior British forces took complete control of Canton, occupied Shanghai, and blockaded Chinese ports, forcing the Chinese to sign the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. This unequal treaty (the first of many between european powers and China) granted Britain extensive trading rights in China.
Thomas Gamaliel Bradford (1802-1887) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked as an assistant editor for the America Encyclopedia. Bradford's first major cartographic work was his revision and subsequent republishing of an important French geography by Adrian Balbi, Abrege de Geographie published in America as Atlas Designed to Illustrate the Abridgment of Universal Geography, Modern and Ancient. Afterwards Bradford revised and expanded this work into his own important contributions to American cartography, the 1838 An Illustrated Atlas Geographical, Statistical and Historical of the United States and Adjacent Countries. Bradford's cartographic work is significant as among the first to record Texas as an independent nation. In his long career as a map publisher Bradford worked with William Davis Ticknor of Boston, Freeman Hunt of New York, Charles De Silver of Philadelphia, John Hinton, George Washington Boynton, and others. We have been able to discover little of Bradford's personal life.
Very good. Original platemark visible.