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48. August Petermann. “Die Vereinigten Staaten von Nord-Amerika” (Gotha: Justus Perthes, 1873, rev. ed. 1880). Published in Stieler’s Handatlas. Copper-plate engraving with fine original outline hand color. 13 x 15 7/8" at neat line. Sheet: 14 3/8 x 17 1/8". Fine.
Price: $825. [ ]
With the 1850 census, which included lands acquired from Mexico in the Southwest and Great Britain on the Pacific coast, the spatial structure of the nation was perceived as being complex enough to warrant a thematic map in a census report. Using the latest scientific information available for creating subnational regions, the U. S. superintendent of the census produced a thematic map that situated each state and territory within the nation's major river basins. Employing the statistics from this 1850 census map, the German geographer August Petermann produced twenty-five thematic maps to inform his European audience of the contemporary status of U.S. geography. The present map of the Four Corners is one of Petermann’s finest productions. It shows extraordinary detail, especially of topographical features. In addition to its focus on New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, it includes Lower California and northern Mexico. Boundaries are hand-colored according to countries. The map appeared in Stieler’s Handatlas, the leading German world atlas in the late nineteenth century. Petermann became an editor of the atlas in 1871 and under his direction it achieved the high scientific level and the unsurpassed relief for which it is famous. The present map comes from the seventh edition and is a fine map of the Southwest in the late-nineteenth-century German scientific style.