1850 Wyld Map of the United States

The United States and The Relative Position of The Oregon and Texas. - Main View

1850 Wyld Map of the United States


Depicts Texas at its fullest and traces the advance of the U.S.-Mexico border.


The United States and The Relative Position of The Oregon and Texas.
  1850 (undated)     15.75 x 22 in (40.005 x 55.88 cm)     1 : 9500000


This is a c. 1850 James Wyld map of the United States featuring Texas at its fullest before the Compromise of 1850. Wyld identifies three different borders between the United States and Mexico, only two of which existed. The Oregon Trail is also referenced, along with Astoria, Washington, and numerous forts throughout the American West.
Texas at its Fullest Expression
This map exhibits the Texas border configuration at its fullest expression, expanding northwards with the 'Stovepipe' reaching into modern-day Wyoming, and west to include Santa Fe. The map shows clearly that the original assumption on the part of the government of the United States was that Texas was to be annexed with boundaries as defined by the Texan Congress on December 19, 1836. Twelve years before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Texas claimed the area between the Nueces and the Rio Grande. The Old Alcalde, Chief Justice O. M. Roberts, made the classic statement of the case in State vs. Bustamente (47 Tex. 320):
Texas claimed the territory [between the Nueces and the Rio Grande], in defining its boundaries on the 19th day of December 1836. In 1846, the claim was perfected by possession and by actual exercise of exclusive jurisdiction, and from that time, it was lost by the State of Tamaulipas, in Mexico, for all purposes whatever, whether of judicial action or the exercise of powers relating to eminent domain. And it never afterwards recovered such lost powers.
The disputed western boundary of Texas was substantially, but not entirely fixed in the Compromise of 1850.
The Mexican-American War, the Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo, and the Mexican Cession
The Mexican-American War (April 25, 1846 - February 3, 1848) ignited after the United States annexed Texas in 1845, which the Mexican government still considered to be Mexican territory. The war ended after Major General Winfield Scott captured Mexico City. This forced Mexico to the negotiating table, which concluded in signing the Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo. Per the treaty, Mexico recognized the Mexican Cession, land conquered in the southwestern United States by the U.S. Army during the war and established the U.S.-Mexico border of 1848 as it is marked here.
Historical Borders in Alta California
Wyld labels three different borders in the western United States, two of which separated the United States and Mexico. The northernmost of the three was created by the Adams-Onís Treaty and signed by the United States and Spain in 1819. This treaty ceded Florida to the United States and established the border between the U.S. and New Spain. However, the Adams-Onís Treaty only remained in effect for 183 days because Spanish military officials signed the Treaty of Córdoba, which recognized Mexican independence. That same border was reaffirmed by the Treaty of Limits between the United States and Mexico in 1828. The middle border's history, labeled 'line proposed to Mexico by the United States in 1835', remains clouded by history. We have found references to efforts to amend the Treaty of Limits in 1835, but nothing mentions the United States suggesting a different border in Upper California. The third border was established by the Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo after the Mexican-American War and followed the Gila River to the Rio Grande River. The United States would acquire that last bit of territory along today's U.S.-Mexico border following the Gadsden Purchase in 1854.
Publication History and Census
This map was created and published by James Wyld c. 1850. The OCLC catalogs seven examples of this map, which are part of the institutional collection at the Newberry Library, the Birmingham Public Library, the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of Houston, the Denver Public Library, the National Library of Scotland, and The British Library. We have located two different states of this map, which are nearly identical. We believe the present map to be an example of the second state because the Menomonee River between Michigan and Wisconsin is labeled on the present stated and not on the other. We have been unable to find any other differences between the states.


James Wyld I (1790 - 1836) and his son James Wyld II (November 20, 1812 - 1887) were the principles of English mapmaking dynasty active in London during much of the 19th century. The elder Wyld was a map publisher under William Faden and did considerable work on the Ordinance Survey. On Faden's retirement, Wyld took over Faden's workshop acquiring many of his plates. Wyld's work can often be distinguished from his son's maps through his imprint, which he signed as 'Successor to Faden'. Following in his father's footsteps the younger Wyld joined the Royal Geographical Society in 1830 at the tender age of 18. When his father died in 1836, James Wyld II was prepared to fully take over and expand his father's considerable cartographic enterprise. Like his father and Faden, Wyld II held the title of official Geographer to the Crown, in this case, Queen Victoria. In 1852 he moved operations from William Faden's old office at Charing Cross East (1837 - 1852) to a new larger space at 475 Strand. Wyld II also chose to remove Faden's name from all of his updated map plates. Wyld II continued to update and republish both his father's work and the work of William Faden well into the late 1880s. One of Wyld's most eccentric and notable achievements is his 1851 construction of a globe 19 meters (60 feet) in diameter in the heart of Leicester Square, London. In the 1840s Wyld also embarked upon a political career, being elected to parliament in 1847 and again in 1857. He died in 1887 following a prolific and distinguished career. After Wyld II's death, the family business was briefly taken over by James John Cooper Wyld (1844 - 1907), his son, who ran the firm from 1887 to 1893 before selling the business to Edward Stanford. All three Wylds are notable for producing, in addition to their atlas maps, short run maps expounding upon important historical events - illustrating history as it was happening - among them are maps related to the California Gold Rush, the New South Wales Gold Rush, the Scramble for Africa, the Oregon Question, and more. Learn More...


Very good. Closed margin tear professionally repaired on verso. Blank on verso.


OCLC 33631531.