A Curious Pre-Louisiana Purchase Map Used In the Alaskan Boundary Tribunal
Scarce map of America with a large inset of the North Polar Regions, published in Weimar in 1800.
The map provides a definitive (if ultimately inaccurate) picture of the mountain ranges in America, with the depiction of the mountains in California and the American West particularly fanciful, most notably the range which would separate California from Oregon.
Texas is shown as West Florida with the settlement of Texas named. The lower left of the map has a large inset showing the discoveries of Cook, Hearne, Vancouver and Mackenzie in Alaska and the Arctic regions.
Alaskan Boundary Tribunal Usage
The 1802 edition of the map is referenced on page 511 of The Counter Case of the United States Before the Tribunal Convened at London . . . . (1903), the second entry in the Maps and Charts section, after Arrowsmith's landmark map of the Interior Parts of North America (1796). The note describing the map states:
This map apparently belongs to Reichard's "Atlas des ganzen Erdkreises." The delineation og the Northwest Coast is much the same as on the circumpolar map in that atlas. This map, however, shows as Spanish territory all of the continental coast up to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and also Vancouver, Queen Charlotte, Prince of Wales, and Revillagigedo Islands, while all the rest of the coast, from the head of Puget Sound to Cook Inlet, where the map terminates, is shown as part of British America. Portland Canal is so named and the supposed coast range is indicated.
Johann Christoph Matthias Reinecke (1768-1818) was a German scientist. He worked in a variety of fields, most notably cartography and paleontology. A true polymath, he spoke eight languages and also wrote poems and songs. He produced a variety of maps in his career, including a series for the Geographical Institute in Weimar.