Detailed map of North America & South America, published by James Wyld in London.
The map comes at a fascinating time in American History and reflects several boundary disputes and territorial claims which would be resolved over the next decade.
British-American Dispute - Oregon Territory: The map illustrates an Anglo-centric claim to Oregon Territory, claiming all the lands north of the line established by the Adams-Onis Treaty in 1819, to the north of Upper California. By contrast, the Americans would claim up to 54º 40* (54-40 or Fight). Over the next several years, the parties would consider war, but ultimately settle the boundary dispute with the 49th Parallel becoming the division.
Republic of Texas: Beginning in 1836, Texas declared its independence from the recently independent Mexico. From 1836 to 1845, the Americans, French, English and Mexican Governments all looked at the prospect of claiming Texas, before it was formerly annexed in 1845, by agreement with the United States.
Russian Possessions: While Russia was just then abandoning its claims in California, North of San Francisco at Fort Ross, the Russians would claim Alaska until 1867, when it was formally purchased by the United States.
James Wyld Sr. (1790-1836) was a British cartographer and one of Europe’s leading mapmakers. He made many contributions to cartography, including the introduction of lithography into map printing in 1812.
William Faden, another celebrated cartographer, passed down his mapmaking business to Wyld in 1823. The quality and quantity of Faden’s maps, combined with Wyld’s considerable skill, brought Wyld great prestige.
Wyld was named geographer to His Majesty George IV and William IV, as well as HRH the Duke of York. In 1825, he was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was one of the founding members of the Royal Geographical Society in 1830. Also in 1830, his son, James Wyld Jr., took over his publishing house. Wyld Sr. died of overwork on October 14, 1836.
James Wyld Jr. (1812-87) was a renowned cartographer in his own right and he successfully carried on his father’s business. He gained the title of Geographer to the Queen and H.R.H. Prince Albert. Punch (1850) described him in humorous cartographic terms, “If Mr. Wyld’s brain should be ever discovered (we will be bound he has a Map of it inside his hat), we should like to have a peep at it, for we have a suspicion that the two hemispheres must be printed, varnished, and glazed, exactly like a pair of globes.”