Second Printing of The Single Most Important Printed Map of the West in American History and First Tangible Step Toward Thomas Jefferson's Vision of American Manifest Destiny.
Fine example of the second printing Lewis & Clark's map of the Northwestern United States and the sources of the Upper Missouri, based upon William Clark's original manuscript map of the expedition, which was engraved for London edition of Lewis & Clark's Travels to the Source of the Missouri River and across the American Continent to the Pacific Ocean. Performed by the Government of the United States, in the years 1804, 1805, and 1806. . . .
The second printing of this map was done from the original plate prepared for the first printing of the History of the Expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark, 1814. In June-July 1979, 160 impressions of the original plate were taken. The impression is beautiful. The copper plate is in the possession of the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia.
Lewis & Clark's map and the written account of the expedition changed American mapping of the northwest by giving the first accurate depiction of the relationship of the sources of the Missouri, the sources of the Columbia, and the Rocky Mountains. Undertaken in the year after the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis & Clark's expedition was the first exploratory expedition in furtherance of Thomas Jefferson's vision of American Manifest Destiny. The geographical information derived from the expedition would profoundly impact American history, politics and overland transit for at least the next 3 decades. Moreover, more so than any other single event in America's exploration of its domestic interior, the Lewis & Clark expedition has become the signature event which defined and launched the Great American Westward movement beyond the Mississippi River.
Lewis & Clark's official account of the expedition is a cornerstone of any collection of Western Americana. This map, which is intended to illustrate the sum total of the expedition, is perhaps the single most important American exploration and discovery map of the 19th Century. Wheat states:
As for showing the route of the explorers themselves, too much [about the map] cannot be said. This is the way across North America, and the way is made plain for all to see. At last the youthful United States had been heard from, in a tour de force. The fact that many years would pass before any men of the new nation other than Lewis and Clark (and the Astorians) would appear to add force to their country's claim to the land that lay westward made it all the more impressive that the young captains had successfully crossed to the waters of the Pacific.
This 1814 map was the progenitor of many later maps and one of the most influential ever drawn. . . . [it is] a map of towering significance . . . a milestone of mapping in its time, and countless placenames it gave to the face of America remain today as an ineradicable cultural heritage.
Lewis & Clark's work is without question the most famous of all western travel narratives, describing the expedition to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase, undertaken from 1804 to 1806, by ascending the Missouri River to its source, crossing the Rocky Mountains, and reaching the Pacific Ocean. In total, the expedition covered some eight thousand miles in slightly more than twenty-eight months. The expedition resulted in the first reliable information about much of the area which Lewis & Clark traversed, made contact with the Indian inhabitants as a prelude to the expansion of the fur trade, and advanced by a quantum leap the geographical knowledge of the continent.
This example of the map appeared in the Philadelphia edition of Lewis & Clark's official account of the expedition, the first American edition of Lewis & Clark's History Of The Expedition Under The Command Of Captains Lewis And Clark, To The Sources Of The Missouri . . . , published in Philadelphia, by Bradford & Inskeep. The Philadelphia edition of the map was copied by Samuel Lewis from William Clark's original drawing, and was engraved by Samuel Harrison.
A seminal map for American Collectors, being the foundational map for the cartography of the Northwest and Upper Missouri River region and a landmark event in Thomas Jefferson's vision of American "Manifest Destiny.".
This second printing appears occasionally on the market.