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Post Lewis & Clark Rarity Published in Vienna

This is a very rare Viennese map of America, published by Artaria & Company, one of the world's most important music publishers. The map credits Aaron Arrowsmith as its source, referring to Arrowsmith's 1802 map of North America. This Arrowsmith map was incredibly important in remapping the interior of North America, although some coastal detail Arrowsmith uses was already out of date.

This map is very attractive, showing the Americas in full (Patagonia is included in an inset), with numerous towns, rivers, lakes, mountain ranges, and much more shown. The anachronistic details in some portions of the map are particularly curious. A cartouche shows a Native American on an island scene, with a ship in the background. The map is delicately colored.

The present map is anachronistic in a number of ways, relying on information from a map published nearly two decades prior. A review in the 1820 Neue Allgemeine Geographsiche Ephemeriden lambasts the map for its lack of inclusion of sources including Vancouver, Lewis and Clark, and Ross. Thus, while the source map was exceptionally detailed and advanced in its treatment of the Canadian Transmississippi West, this map had fallen behind. In addition, the Arrowsmith map was not fully up to date itself, with Vancouver's expeditions already having taken place by 1802.

Curiously, the map attributes Yucatan to the British, a fact that even Neue Allgemeine Geographsiche Ephemeriden recognizes as strange. This is unusual, as Yucatan was part of New Spain and then Mexico, never having been a part of Britain. Even more curiously, Belize and Guyana are not acknowledged as British. It may be possible that Artarias confounded Belize and Yucatan.

This is far from the only unusual political attribution made on the current map. Following Arrowsmith's lead, Artarias shows all of the former possessions of New Spain as united, not daring to subdivide them. Colombia retains its colonial name Granada. In North America, the Louisiana Purchase has not been ceded to the United States, and British claims along the Pacific coast extend to San Francisco.

Manuscript notations highlight some cities in South America, perhaps indicating the voyage of a 19th century traveller. Cities indicated span across Dutch Guyana and southern former Spanish possessions, including Macaraib, Guayaquil, Santiago, and Santee. Intriguingly, Quebec and Nelsons are also highlighted. Exactly why these disparate cities are all marked is far from certain.

Artaria & Co. were responsible for publishing some of the best works of 19th-century music, including significant portions of Beethoven's, Mozart's, and Haydn's repertoires. The company entered the mapmaking trade by the end of the 18th century and produced many attractive and detailed maps based on the leading mapmakers of the day.

The 1802 Arrowsmith Remapping of the Interior of North America

The present map incorporates important changes in the Upper Missouri River region of the American west, which were first compiled in Arrowsmith's map of the Interior Parts of North America in 1802. This Arrowsmith map was incredibly important and was utilized by Lewis and Clark in their expedition. The changes Arrowsmith makes include showing the Upper Missouri joined with the Mississippi River in its correct location (the first map to do so) and showing a significantly improved course of the Missouri River. Additionally, the ruins of Fort Orleans, built by the French fur trapper and explorer Bourgmont in the early 1700s are shown in the Lower Missouri.

North and west of the unnamed Mandan Villages, the Arrowsmith map incorporates for the first time the reports of Peter Fidler for the Hudson's Bay Company, by including a series of possible river courses to the west, leading to (and prospectively through) the Rocky Mountains. It was this section of the map that provided the best depiction of the prospect of a water route or portage through the Rocky Mountains and to the Pacific. Lewis and Clark supplemented this information with reports from local Indians encountered on the expedition to cross the Rocky Mountains. On the far side of the Rocky Mountains, a section of river called the Gr. Lacke River includes a speculative watercourse that flows to the Columbia River.


This map appears to be exceedingly rare. The map does not appear to have ever been on the market, nor does it appear in searches of institutional collections. The map appeared alongside three other maps of the continents, all designed by Artaria & Co.

The only reference to the map comes from the aforementioned German review in the 1820 Neue Allgemeine Geographsiche Ephemeriden. The map was almost certainly produced contemporaneously to this review.

Condition Description
Tear to center top and bottom margins, professionally repaired.