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Detailed map of North America, showing the US-Mexico Boundaries shortly after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and before the Gadsen Purchase, and featuring a massive and remarkably accurate rendition of the State of Deseret, which is cearly labeled as a separate Territory, in the same style and lettering as Oregon Territory, Missouri Territory and Indian Territory.

Strange erratic configuration of California along the Sierra Nevada Mountains, putting most of Southern California. The various Colonies in Germany (French, German and Mainzer) are located.

While note named as a seperate state in the key at the left of the map, there is a very important designation of Deseret in what would become Utah Territory in September 1850. The name Deseret is added and an area of the map is outlined Yellow, showing a recognition by the publisher of the proposal sent by Brigham Young to Washington to create the State of Deseret (1849) and the formal organization of a shadow government for the future state of Deseret in 1850. A number of other place names are included in the Salt Lake area.

The provisional State of Deseret was founded in 1849 by Latter-Day Saint settlers in the Salt Lake city area. Brigham Young sent John Milton Bernhisel to Washington DC, to petition for territorial status, but later, in March 1849, elected to change the petition to a request for Statehood. The proposed state covered most of the lands from the Rocky Mountains and Oregon Territory to Mexico, extending west to the Sierra Nevadas and south to the Santa Monica Mountains, including Los Angeles and San Diego. While the provisional government met for several years, Utah Territory was formally created in 1851.

The present map is perhaps the closest map we have ever seen to correctly designate Deseret. The map treats the border between California and Deseret as running from the southern foot of the Sierras to just south of San Diego, leaving all of San Bernardino County and much of the modern counties of Riverside and Imperial in Deseret, as well as all of the modern Inyo County.

A fascinating example of how the German map publishers were quick to embrace the changing landscape of the American West.

Joseph Meyer Biography

Joseph Meyer (1796-1856) was a German publisher who released Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, a German-language encyclopedia in print from 1839 to 1984. Meyer was born in Gotha and educated as a merchant in Frankfurt, an important city in the book trade. He traveled in London in 1816 and was back in German in 1820, where he began to invest in textiles and railways. He opened his publishing operation, Bibliographisches Institut, in 1826. His publications each had a serial number, a new innovation at the time. He was best known for his atlases and the Meyers Universum (1833-1861), which featured steel-engravings of the world. The Universum stretched to 17 volumes in 12 languages and was subscribed to by 80,000 people all over Europe. Thanks to his publishing success, Meyer moved the Institut from Gotha to Hildburghausen in 1828. Meyer died in the latter city in 1856.