The First Edition of the First Great Scientific Atlas of All of Mexico.
Antonio Garcia Cubas is regarded as "el fundador de nuestra geografia como ciencia" (Diec. Porrua). Glass, page 680 (citing the plates and commentary for Mapa Siguenza and Codice Boturini, both of which are important for Mesoamerican geography).
This early lithographed atlas of Mexico includes the work of Mexican pioneer lithographers Iriarte, Decaen, and Salazar. The illustrations are signed "Mun ozguren" and come from the lithographic shop of Iriarte & Cia., while the letterpress typography is by Lara. The atlas was created during the Golden Age of Mexican lithography (see Mathes, Mexico on Stone, pp. 17-32). The design and execution of the atlas are handsome, with the middle of each double-page spread being occupied by the map of a specific state or territory, surrounded by statistical and historical information about the region, including subjects of borderlands interest, such as Native American tribes and incursions.
The large general map of Mexico by Salazar is one of the finest maps of Mexico created in the nineteenth century, with a spirited Mexican eagle atop cactus at top center, and especially beautiful lithographed views on either side (Popocatepetl, Orizava, Cascada de Regla, Palenque, Mitla, Uxmal, etc.).
The maps of the states that border with the United States are especially interesting for clearly delineating the changing boundaries over time. For instance, the map of Sonora shows the demarcation of the Treaty of Mesilla in 1853 (Gadsden Purchase). The map of Chihuahua shows the boundary line before and after the Gadsden Purchase. The Tamaulipas map shows the new boundary at the Rio Grande, as well as the older line of demarcation at the Nueces. The plates from Mapa Siguenza and Codice Boturini are accompanied by the notes of Jose Fernando Ramirez of the Museo Nacional.
Antonio García y Cubas (1832-1912) was a Mexican geographer, historian, writer, and cartographer. An orphan from a young age, Cubas attended the Colegio de San Gregorio and the Colegio de Ingenieros, where he earned a geography degree. In 1856, he became a member of the Sociedad Mexicana de Geografía y Estadística.
Cubas wrote several geographic works, including introductory courses to geography, historical atlases, and maps. He is best known for his Atlas Geográfico, Estadístico e Histórico de la República Mexicana (1857), Carta General de México (1863), and Diccionario Geográfico, Histórico y Biográfico de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos en cinco volúmenes, editados entre 1888 y 1891. He is also praised for his memoir, El Libro de mis Recuerdos (1905). Today, the best books published in anthropology and history in Mexico are given the Antonio García Cubas prize.