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Rare map of the southern portion of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, with Laguna Superior abutting the Pacific Ocean. At bottom is a profile showing elevations across the isthmus.

The map is the result of the surveys undertaken by Don Jose de Garay, between 1842 and 1843,

In the 1830 and 1840s, many governments and investors were constantly seeking an economically viable means of shortening the distance by sea between the Atlantic Coast and Pacific Coast. The Isthmus of Tehuantepec represented the shortest distance between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean, and prior to the opening of the Panama Canal.  The privilege of constructing a means of transit for crossing the Isthmus of Tehuantepec was granted by Mexico to Don José de Garay (1801-1858).

Garay made a survey of the land which was finished in February of 1843.