Ensign's Travellers' Guide, and Map of the United States, containing the Roads, Distances, Steam Boat and Canal Routes etc.
1845 (dated) 29 x 40 in (73.66 x 101.6 cm)
1 : 6991000
An extremely scarce variant on Ensign and Thayer's series of highly decorative United States wall maps. This map, dated 1845, predates the annexation of Texas and the Mexican-American War by one year. It illustrates the Republic of Texas according to its early proclaimed borders, names Austin's colony, and identifies Austin as the capital. In addition, the map features a large Missouri Territory. Small mountains and rivers charts on the Bulla / Darton model appear in the upper left quadrant. The bottom of the map features a large panorama of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence as well as various scenes from American History. To either side are illustrations of Metacom, the Pokunoket Sachem called 'King Philip' and James Polk, who had just been elected 11th president of the United Sates. Portraits of other former presidents fan out on either side of the panorama.
Census and Publication HistoryPhelps and Ensign first issued a map of this title in 1839 and terminated it at the Mississippi. The present example, presaging the Mexican American War and Texas Annexation, is dramatically expanded to include the Rocky Mountains and additional illustrations. Various editions were issued in 1840, 1841, and, as above 1845, when Thayer's imprint replaced that of Phelps. Additional publications with major revisions continued until about 1859. The entire series, one of the most decorative in the history of early American map publishing, follows the course of the Westward Expansion and the Mexican American War, and as such is of the utmost value to collectors and historians. While maps from this series do come to market from time to time, the individual states, especially Republic of Texas and Mexican-American War editions, are exceedingly uncommon and poorly represented even in institutional collections.
Edward Hooker Ensign (August 18, 1818 - July 10, 1871) was an American map and print publisher based in New York during the middle part of the 19th century. Edward was born in West Hartland, Connecticut. Little is known of Ensign's training but he may have inherited his business from his father, Timothy Ensign, who was a map publisher active in New York. Ensign seems to have had a flair for partnerships and variously published with Humphrey Phelps (1799 - 1875), Horace Thayer, Thomas C. Fanning (1805 - 1873) and Erastus C. Bridgman (1817 - 1870), among others. His various imprints include 'Phelps and Ensign' (1841-1844), 'T. and E. H. Ensign' (1844-1848), 'Ensign and Thayer' (1849), 'Ensign, Thayer, and Company' (1850-1851), 'Horace Thayer and Company' (1852), and 'Ensign, Bridgman and Fanning' (1854-1863). It appears that father and son worked together for some time as well, publishing as either 'T. and E. H. Ensign' or 'Ensigns'. At least some of these companies maintained offices in both Buffalo and New York City.
Horace Thayer (1811 - c. 1874) was a New York based publisher and lithographer active in New York City and Buffalo, New York, during the middle part of the 19th century. Thayer's publications focused on travel guides, wall, and pocket maps - many of which were based on the works of other American cartographers including J. H. Colton and S. A. Mitchell. According to map historian Walter Ristow, J. H. Colton's older son, George Washington Colton, partnered with Thayer in the late 1850s and early 1860s, possibly in order to learn Thayer's lithography techniques. Certainly a number maps emerged bearing a "Thayer and Colton" imprint. At various points Thayer also published with other prominent publishers and printmakers, publishing as Kelloggs and Thayer (1846-1847), Ensigns and Thayer (1848), Ensign and Thayer (1849-1850), and Ensign, Thayer, and Company (1850-1851), Phelps and Watson (1859), and Thayer and Colton (1859-186?). Thayer seems to have moved frequently and had offices at 50 Ann Street, 156 William Street, and at 18 Beekman Street, all in New York City.
Good condition. Few surface mends with virtually no loss. Mounted on linen and fully stabilized.