J. Rapkin. “Mexico, California and Texas.” London: John Tallis, 1851. 10 x 13. Engraved by J. Rapkin. Original outline color. Vignettes drawn by H. Warren. Very good condition.
A decorative and interesting map of the American southwest, showing Mexico, Texas and a large California territory. Throughout the area, towns, rivers, mountains, and political borders are delineated. The only road indicated is the “Great Caravan Route” running from Santa Fe to “Pueblo de los Angelos,” that is, the Santa Fe Trail. Though issued shortly after the Compromise of 1850, Texas is shown with its larger borders extending to the Rio Grande, and thus including Santa Fe and other lands to its north and east. The map includes also the land to the west of this enlarged Texas, shown as “New or Upper California.” Of particular interest is the depiction, using a keyed yellow wash, of the “newly discovered GOLD districts” in California, just two years after the gold rush of ‘49. San Francisco is indicated, as is Sutter’s Mill, still called “Nueva Helvetia.” The gold theme continues in one of the three vignettes in which four men pan for gold. A final flourish is the decorative border showing plants from the southwest, including cactus, squash, and melons.