Maps of the Pimeria: Early Cartography of the Southwest, by Jack Mount

19th Century

1805. Aaron Arrowsmith & Samuel Lewis
1805. Aaron Arrowsmith & Samuel Lewis. Spanish Dominions in North America: From Various Authorities. Boston, 1804. Map 21 x 25 cm. Scale ca. 1:16,500,000. In Arrowsmith and Lewis, A New and Elegant General Atlas. Comprising All the New Discoveries, to the Present Time; Containing Sixty-Three Maps, Drawn by Arrowsmith and Lewis. Also on title page appears the following: "Intended to accompany the new improved edition of Morse's Geography, but equally well calculated to be used with any former edition, with his gazetteer, or any other geographical work". Boston, Thomas & Andrews, 1805. 27 cm. Map number 57. [G1015 A7 1805]. 971X800 | 728X600

This is the oldest American produced map in the exhibit. In the far West appears Quivera (sic), in what is in truth the Great Basin, while the Puerto S. Francisco is carefully placed and named, together with the Spanish missions then rising along the California coast. The basin of the Colorado River is not well shown, and none of Frs. Garces and Escalante's discoveries appear. It is easy to assume that the results of the Spanish explorations in the Southwest were not yet available to the Americans. This and the other maps in the atlas dramatize both the paucity of reliable geographic information available at the time, and the many erroneous assumptions concerning the western country with which the infamous Lewis and Clark expedition had to contend.

Arrowsmith (1750-1833) was an English cartographer, engraver and publisher and Hydrographer to His Majesty. Lewis (b. ca.1754) was an American geographer and taught drawing and writing. Shortly after the turn of the century, Lewis and Arrowsmith formed a partnership and the 1804 edition of this atlas was their first product. The 1805 printing was prepared to accompany Jedidiah Morse's American Geography and is unrevised from the 1804 edition.

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