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Detailed Map of the State of Aguascalientes

Fine map of Aguascalientes, drawn by German mapmaker Isidoro Epstein, under direction by Governor Jesús Terán and published by the lithography shop of Decaen.

This is one of the first separately published maps to focus on Aguascalientes and the first of several maps by Epstein covering the city and state of Auguascalientes.

The title of this map translates as “Map of the state of Aguascalientes ordered by Esteemed Governor Don Jesús Terán and created by Isidoro Epstein in 1857.” The state is divided into administrative units, or partidos: Rincón de Romos, Asientos, Calvillo, and Aguascalientes.

This map depicts locations of capital cities, mesas, pueblos, haciendas, ranches, dams, mines, churches, and roads and paths. The note found on the bottom right hand side reads “The numbers placed at the foot of each hill and town indicate their height in meters above sea level”. The far-right lower corner holds an even more detailed inset plan of the city of Aguascalientes, including plazas, gardens, and other popular attractions.

Don Jesús Terán was one of the most prominent figures of the nineteenth-century reform movement in Mexico. He acted as a politician in his native state of Aguascalientes and held cabinet positions in the national government. He was selected as interim governor after the sudden death of his predecessor and was later elected as the official governor of the state. Terán was well known for creating what is now known as the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes and the School of Arts and Crafts.

Isidoro Epstein

Isidoro Epstein was a German astronomer, physicist, mathematician, cartographer, geographer, and lithographer who emigrated to Mexico in the early 1850s after the German Revolution of 1848. In 1855, when Terán became governor, Epstein was appointed director of statistical and geographical studies for the municipality of the city and was responsible for making a plan and map of the city. Two of Isidoro’s most important tasks were to draw up the statistical table of Aguascalientes, as well as to create this map of Aguascalientes in which he identified the limits of the state, the names of towns and estates, the layout of roads, and the profile of municipalities.

The state and city of Aguascalientes in the 1850s

Although Aguascalientes is one of the smallest states of Mexico, both in terms of population and size, it was historically known for its railroad and textile industry. During the time period in which this map was commissioned, there was a civil war between Aguascalientes and Zacatecas due to irritation over whether Aguascalientes should obtain the status of a state. The war lasted a year before Aguascalientes accepted annexation to Zacatecas. It was not until December 10th, 1856 that Aguascalientes was established as a separate state. Because of the work he did in the government at this time, Jesús Terán was distinguished as a hero in this War of Reform.

The city of Aguascalientes became the capital during the 1850s, around the time this map was made. Today it is one of the safest and most prosperous cities in Mexico. As the inset map indicates, it lies on the edge of the Aguascalientes River. The city has long been known for its important railroad repair shops, tobacco factories, and other industrial industries, along with a Baroque-style eighteenth-century cathedral.


The map is very rare. OCLC does not locate any examples of the map.

The map is listed in Memoria, presentada a la Sociedad mexicana de geografia y estadistica  . . . 1880 and Boletín de la Sociedad Mexicana de Geografía y Estadística . . .1882.