James W. Abert. “El Cañon Infierno.” From A Report and Map of the Examination of New Mexico. Washington: Wendell & Van Benthuysen, 1848. Ca. 4 1/4 x 7. Lithograph. Very good condition.
After the Mexican-American War, Lieutenant James W. Abert remained in Bent’s Fort with a fever, while other officers in the Army of the West moved on to California. Upon his recovery he was assigned, along with Lieutenant William G. Peck, to explore the newly acquired territory of New Mexico. In late 1846 and ’47 they explored New Mexico, examining the mines in the region and looking for the legendary Seven Cities of Cibola. They did encounter the pueblo cities of Cibolleta, Moquino, Pajuate, Covero, Laguna, Rito and Acoma, which Abert realized were those cities found by Coronado in his search for Cibola. Abert and Peck gathered important information on the economic potential, geography and geology, and population and political situation in the region. His report included some fine lithographed views presenting the new U.S. territory to the American public.