GARCIA Y CUBAS, Antonio (1832-1912). Atlas Geografico, Estadistico é Historico de la Republica Mexicana. Mexico: Imprenta de José Mariano Fernandez de Lara, 1858.

$ 6,000.00

Folio, (22 ¼ x 15 inches). 28 fine double-page lithographed maps, with original hand-color in part; 2 maps from Mesoamerican pictorial manuscripts, one of which is hand-colored (occasional staining and spotting). Modern quarter black calf, marbled boards, gilt-lettered spine.

“The first great atlas of Mexico, produced by a Mexican and printed in Mexico. Sabin says only 300 copies were printed” (Rumsey).

First edition. Map 1 “Carta General Reducida,” Map 17 “Mexico (Valle y Distrito de),” and Map 19 “Veracruz” not present. The general map of the republic of Mexico showing the boundaries created by the treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo of 1848 and the Gadsden Purchase of 1853. This is the first official map of Mexico, printed in Mexico and prepared from Mexican sources. 27 maps of states and territories surrounded by letterpress: Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Durango, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Guanajuato, Mexico, Michoacan, Queretaro, Puebla, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, Yucatan, Baja California, Colima, Tlaxcala, Tehuantepec, Territorios de Sierragorda, and Isla del Carmen. A few of the maps in this copy are misnumbered or bound out of order with respect to the Table of Contents.

“…[T]he SMGE’s new national map, hastily finished in the aftermath of the War and during the initial phases of the boundary demarcation, appeared in 1850…It included a visual elaboration of the territory lost in the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, as well as a demarcation of the new international limits between Mexico and the United States…[According to Garcia Cubas in his ‘El Libro de mis recuerdos’ (p.452)], the image brought an expression of bitterness from General Santa Anna, who for the first time could actually envision the magnitude of the territory Mexico had lost. The map never saw publication because of the government’s precarious financial condition after the war. Members of the Comision and [SMGE] sought publishers in the United States and England, but found the prices for publication no more accommodating than Mexico…

“The need for a published and circulated, Mexican-produced, national map became even more pronounced when in 1854, Mexico lost another portion of its territorial claim as a result of errors in the Disturnell map. . . . Regardless of the role General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and others played in the politics of the [Gadsden] Purchase, Mexican officials and intellectuals were convinced: Mexico needed an accurate and internationally accepted map of its own, published and circulated.

“After the war, a new Carta General, constructed by Garcia Cubas, would proffer an iconographic image of the state’s new parameters and fill that territory with the ghosts of the past, in the process creating an image of a single national spirit” (Craib, “Cartographic Mexico,” pp. 25-27).