1 April 2014
ARROWSMITH, Aaron (1750-1823). Map of America. London: Arrowsmith, 1804.
Engraved wall map on 4 sheets of North and South America with contemporary outline coloring, overall image 1236 mmx 1483 (ca 1310 x 1650 mm sheet). Decorated with an elaborate title cartouche depicting a landscape with native animals, fruit, fauna and flora. (A few minor marginal tears, very faint offsetting.)
FIRST ISSUE AND EARLIEST STATE with imprint dated "4 September 1804 24 Rathbone place" and on paper watermarked "J. Ruse 1800." An impressive large wall map of North and South America by Arrowsmith, providing a valuable compendium of the state of knowledge of the American west just after the Louisiana Purchase, and shortly before Lewis and Clark's expedition. It was published in the same year as the series of maps of North America which appeared in Arrowsmith and Lewis's New and Elegant Atlas (1804), which Carl Wheat calls "a remarkably clear epitome of the knowledge of the West at the moment when Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were poised for the take-off of their history-making expedition." (Transmississippi West, I, p.184). The map includes fascinating notes with its demarcations of Indian reservations and military posts, such as the ruins of Fort Orleans on the Missouri River and the "Villages of the Tall Indians and Mauders" at its northern-most bend, to the east of Stony Mountains. Goss The Mapping of North America 70; Stevens & Tree, "Comparative Cartography" 1a.
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