DISTURNELL, John (1801-1877). A Gazetteer of the State of New-York: Comprising its Topography, Geology, Mineralogical Resources, Civil Divisions, Canals, Railroads and Public Institutions; together with General Statistics; the Whole Alphabetically Arranged, also, Statistical Tables, Including the Census of 1840; and Tables of Distances. With a New Township Map of the State, engraved on steel. Albany: J. Disturnell, and for sale by Booksellers Generally, 1842.
8vo., (8 x 5 inches). Engraved frontispiece map showing the comparative heights of Mountains and Lakes. Folding engraved map "of the State of New York, showing the Boundaries of Counties & Townships, Cities, Towns and Villages; Rail Roads, Canals, & Stage Roads. By J. Calvin Smith", with original hand-colour in outline, with inset maps of "The St. lawrence River, from the New York State Line to Quebec", the "City of New York with Part of Brooklyn and Williamsburg", and the "Vicinity of New-York showing the line of the Croton Aquaduct and the Hudson River to Newburg" (loose, losses at intersections of folds repaired on verso with Japanese tissue, some browning). Old pigskin boards (rebacked and recornered with leatherette).
Provenance: with the ownership inscription of "McDougal" on the front paste-down.
"To her extensive and admirable system of Internal Improvements, may be attributed much of the prosperity of the State of New-York, now the most populous, and justly ranking as the most enterprising and wealthy of the confederated states of the Union, - but besides the above, her geographical position by nature, must be regarded as the original and true groundwork of her greatness, - which also led to the development of her present productive artificial advantages. Having on her seaboard one of the finest harbors on the glove, accessible not only by a direct and short approach from the ocean, but also by an arm of the sea extending eastward for more than one hundred miles, and protected by a grand island barrier, constituting a valuable portion of her territory, - with the noble Hudson extending northward, through an interesting and fertile region of country reaching out, as it were, to receive the tributary waters of the great northern and western lakes, being connected by means of the Champlain and Erie canals. When all these combined advantages are considered as concentrating to advance the great agricultural, commercial and manufacturing interests of the State, and of the Union, well may her citizens be proud of her superiority" (Disturnell, page iii-iv of the Preface).
With the important and detailed map of the State of New York by John Calvin Smith of the celebrated first Sherman and Smith, who are best known for their work on government publications, including the maps and engravings used to illustrate Wilkes's United States Exploring Expedition.
Published by John Disturnell, who is best known for his 1847 Mapa de los Estados Unidos de Mejico... specialised in "popular handbooks, directories, gazetteers, statistical compilations, guidebooks, and maps. He capitalized on the growth and development of railway and steamship transportation, on the growing tide of immigration, and on the California Gold Rush.... Disturnell had no personal competence in map-making. In common with other commercial publishers of the day he drew upon all available published and unpublished cartographic sources to compile his maps.” (Ristow, “John Disturnell’s Map of the United Mexican States,” in A la Carte, pp. 210-211).